If your child is struggling to develop their reading skills in a traditional or distance learning environment, standard drills and exercises might not yield the results you’re looking for. As a result, educators and tech experts have collaborated to teach young readers how to get better at reading comprehension.
From reading games to voice-controlled apps, here are some of the most effective tips and tools to improve your child’s reading comprehension skills.
1. Focus on Vocabulary
Individual words are the building blocks of reading comprehension, starting with high-frequency words and single syllables. Understanding how to pronounce and identify simple words will help your child work up to more complex terms and phrases.
Children absorb new vocab words via two key methods: indirect and direct learning.
Direct instruction requires the explicit explanation of new words in a learning environment. Indirect instruction, on the other hand, involves organically learning new words via everyday conversation and passive listening.
Both methods are important for integrating new words into a new reader’s repertoire. Knowing what your child is struggling with, and where their strengths lie, will help you to identify the best learning resources for your family.
Using flash cards, charts, or even apps to reinforce your child’s vocabulary takes only a few minutes a day. This simple exercise can help young readers identify patterns early on, which is a great way to further their progress in less time.
2. Find the Main Idea
The main idea of the entire story frames how all of the characters, locations, and individual elements come together. But, each individual paragraph also has a main idea. Helping your child understand how to identify the subject of what they’re reading is a fundamental stepping stone toward better reading comprehension.
To find the main idea of a passage, encourage your child to summarize what they just read in their own words. This gives them a way to collect their thoughts and figure out what’s really important to the progression of the story.
If you’ve noticed that your child struggles with common concepts and topics, consider choosing a book or story that’s right below their reading level. Opting for more simple subject matter is an easy way to build confidence and fluency, while helping your kids highlight key ideas in less time.
3. Identify Context Clues
Even if your early reader doesn’t understand every word on the page, it’s possible to use context clues to understand main ideas and key subjects throughout the story.
Context clues come from the words and phrases that are surrounding the terms the reader might be struggling with. By considering the meaning of the auxiliary words that the child already understands, they can infer the meaning of new or challenging words.
Relying on context clues requires the reader to focus and use critical thinking skills to build a meaning from what they know in the story.
4. Break Story into Smaller Sections
As your child progresses into more difficult reading material, it’s common for young readers to freeze up and become overwhelmed. If you notice this while studying with your kids, consider breaking up the story into multiple smaller sections.
Attacking a smaller, more condensed paragraph is far less daunting than trying to work through multiple pages.
Children are more likely to stay engaged if they believe that they can accomplish what’s being asked of them. Giving them bite-sized assignments will help them build the confidence and fluency skills they need to succeed.
5. Set a Comfortable Pace
Sometimes, reading comprehension has less to do with the child’s ability and more to do with how they’re getting through each lesson. If your child feels overwhelmed with the rate at which they’re reading, it can hinder their ability to seamlessly finish the story.
Reading apps are a helpful tool for anyone who wants to learn how to get better at reading comprehension. By listening to the reader’s voice, these systems use artificial intelligence to identify:
- Repeated phrases
- Reading habits
- Fluency patterns
Using this information, mobile reading tools can set alerts to help your child know what they should spend more time on, and where they’re excelling in the curriculum.
Building a stronger reading foundation is key for any new readers who are trying to improve their comprehension skills. Taking more time to identify each reader’s individual strengths and weaknesses, while applying the right skills and techniques, will have your child devouring full-length stories in no time.
Check out one of the top digital reading tools on the market to help your child learn how to get better at reading comprehension.