If you want to know how to help a child understand what they read, you are in the right place.
Reading is a tricky skill. It is one thing to be able to read the words out loud, but a totally different thing to fully understand the words that you are reading.
Words can also have different meanings and then, of course, there is what is said without words and simply implied.
This all makes reading comprehension difficult to master. But, before a child can even get to comprehension focus, they need to read well and read often.
How to Improve the Reading Skills of a Child
In order to improve the reading ability of any child, the child must first be able to recognize and read a large range of words. Comprehension can only come as reading skills progress and their vocabulary expands.
The Readability reading app can help a lot with both increasing a child’s reading ability and also their comprehension. Here are a few of the ways that it can help improve the reading skills of a child:
- Having a private virtual tutor builds confidence
- Pictures help with comprehension of the story and also make for great discussion points for reviewing stories they have read
- Fun and carefully selected book recommendations encourage your child to read more
- Level appropriate books make comprehension achievable and less stressful
- Hearing stories read aloud can help to increase comprehension, as sometimes hearing a sentence read smoothly and correctly is easier to understand
Of course, we are not an ‘all-in-one’ solution, but our app combined with parental and carer support can quickly improve a child’s reading ability and comprehension.
So, let’s now take a look at how the significant people in a child’s life can help them to really understand what they are reading.
How to Help a Child with Reading Comprehension Problems
In order to support a child’s development, it is important to learn how to overcome reading comprehension difficulties. Of course, this is an important task for the child and the child’s carers can be of great help.
There are some simple and yet very effective approaches to boosting thought, reflection and comprehension while reading and after reading a story.
Our Top Tips for How to Help a Child Understand What They Read
Constantly supporting your child while using some of these techniques could greatly increase their comprehension. Here are our top tips to help a child with reading comprehension:
- Encourage them to read a little every day. This can be done together, in an assisted situation such as with our app or a tutor, or solo independent reading.
- Teach them to question themselves as to if what they just read makes sense. Get them to think if it makes sense both as an individual sentence and in the context of the story that they have read so far.
- Ask them questions about what they have just read. This can be done after they’ve read a book, or by paragraph or even per sentence. Questioning them not only makes them think about what they have read but makes them work at understanding the next part to be ready for any questions asked. However, always keep it fun and enjoyable, show an interest, but don’t bully them.
- Teach them how to use a dictionary, offline and online. By doing this, they can then start to teach themselves the meanings of new words. You can follow this by asking if they learned any new words and did they understand them. In many cases, the child will be excited and proud to show off what they have learned.
- Teach them about context and how surrounding words or illustrations can help with understanding. This is very true about words that have multiple meanings, but the same spelling in all situations.
- Get them to try to imagine what is happening and describe it to you, if you are reading together. This can be followed up by asking them to draw a picture of how they imagine the story, without copying any pictures already in the book. A picture also makes a fun discussion point.
- Help them to understand the world by explaining things and talking about things daily. Not only what interests them, but everything and anything.
- When reading together, or when they are part way through a story, ask them to predict what will happen next. A follow-up and fun twist to this is to also ask them what they would like to see happen next.
- Ask your child to tell you about a story. This then means they need to summarize what happened, which is key to proving they have understood what was read.
- Try to get them to relate what happens in stories with their own experiences of life. This can also be in relation to experiences they know friends or family members have had. It helps them to not only connect with the story but get a deeper understanding of what it means.
Help a Child to Read Better Today
If you are ready to get your child understanding more and enjoying what they read, why not try out our reading app today. It is crammed with useful features to encourage and support any child’s reading journey.