Digital learning is becoming ingrained into virtually every educational curriculum in America. Using digital tools to help my son with reading comprehension is a great way to prepare them for formal education, while improving their reading routine at home.
How your child interacts with the story can make a significant difference in their success and understanding as they’re learning to read.
Read on for five easy ways to help your child with reading comprehension using technology.
1. Help your child draw conclusions.
Reading comprehension skills are essential for piecing together essential pieces of the story, and sometimes new readers need a bit of help to connect the dots.
Your child can get more information out of the first read through by helping them identify the parts they know, which will bring more clarity to the aspects of the story they don’t quite understand.
A great way to help your child make connections as they’re reading is to draw attention to places, subjects, and characters that they might understand based on their own life experience. Tapping into knowledge they already have helps the reader dig deeper into the subject matter, which will improve their comprehension of the story as a whole.
2. Ask (and answer) questions about the story.
Another effective way to boost reader understanding is to ask your child questions before, during, and after reading a story.
Using questions to spark emotion from the reader is an ideal tactic for making children more invested in what they’re consuming.
Consider asking your child questions like:
- What do you think will happen next?
- How does XYZ character/place/action make you feel?
- How is the character feeling?
- Why did the character make that choice?
This strategy puts the child in the driver’s seat, and helps them control the lesson without hindering the learning process.
3. Use sensory tools.
All children learn differently, and sensory cues play a major part in the divide. Auditory, visual, and tactile learners will respond better to teaching styles that support their learning method.
Learning aids like mind maps, organizational charts, and drawings will resonate with learners who respond best to visual information. On the other hand, using clay or repeating thoughts out loud might work better for children who process information differently.
Visualization is another effective tool that can help confused readers identify key elements in the story.
Play around with different tools and techniques until you find something that works for your young reader’s unique needs.
4. Look for and identify context clues.
Making connections is the single most difficult part of learning reading comprehension for most new readers. Sometimes a little push in the right direction is all they need to connect critical elements of the story, especially if there are words that are new or unfamiliar to the reader.
Re-reading specific sentences and pointing out words that your child seems to struggle with can help their confidence, while bringing more attention to the context of the story.
Also bring attention to the words that precede and follow the terms that your child is having trouble with. All of these elements can help your son or daughter with reading comprehension by giving them more background information that they can take with them to the next story.
5. Review and check for understanding.
Repetition and review is proven to improve cognitive understanding and learning efficiency across the board. When it comes to learning how to read, this step couldn’t be more important.
After your child is finished with a passage, talk about what was covered in the new material. Also discuss how this portion of the story fits in with the rest by asking contextual questions such as:
- How did ___ character accomplish ___ task?
- What emotions did ___ character express in the story?
- At what point did ___ character reach their goal of ___?
Repetition and review are successful teaching tactics that have been proven to help students across all styles and learning preferences. This method can also help them in their other school subjects by building an internal thought process that promotes inquiry and problem solving.
Reviewing questions and themes you discussed earlier in the lesson is a great way to tie everything together. This will also help your child read by retaining key information after they finish any story.
Reading comprehension is essential for any new reader to advance their educational plan. If you’ve mentioned to yourself “I don’t know how to help my son with reading comprehension,” consider taking the measures above to speed up their learning process.