When a young one is struggling to read, there is no time to waste. The earlier the issue is addressed, the better. For most parents, it is important to get effective reading comprehension help for 2nd graders as the majority are not teachers themselves.
Focused support can make a huge difference if the issue is caught early. This support can be in many forms and certainly does not need to be boring or only about ‘extra study’.
Here we are going to look at how you can help your 2nd grader to improve their reading comprehension fast.
Why is Reading Comprehension So Important?
When a young person reads a page perfectly, parents and teachers often feel a sense of pride. There is something about a child finally grasping how to read and sound out words that is rewarding to those who have helped them get to that point.
However, the problem is that many can ‘read’ perfectly without really understanding much of that which they have just read. They are simply making the sounds without understanding the words or context.
Reading comprehension is not only about understanding the individual sentences either, but it also goes far deeper into understanding the meaning, motives, and hidden information in articles and stories.
In today’s world of being bombarded with information, children need to both understand the sentences and be able to think about what is actually meant and even consider if the information is likely biased or fake.
According to unesco.org “there are still 781 million illiterate adults”. This needs to be addressed and prevented from continuing to help the following generations read properly.
5 Strategies to Boost Reading Comprehension
These strategies, especially when combined, can have a huge impact on reading ability and the level of reading comprehension for second graders (or older). It does involve practicing, but these approaches help to make sure reading is fun and interesting, which in turn inspires a desire to understand more.
Here are our top 5 reading comprehension suggestions:
- Read Aloud – This is so simple, and yet extremely effective at indirectly increasing comprehension. When a child reads aloud, they not only slow down their reading but also hear the words being read. Both factors combine to greatly increase understanding. As this is practiced more and more, eventually they will start to ‘hear’ the words when they read silently.
- Ask Questions – Questions make us think, and so it is important to ask children questions about the stories or articles that they are reading. They can be fact-finding questions, questions about the story in general, or otherwise. Don’t make them too difficult but try to get them to explain the story and answers so that they need to understand what they read. Questions can also be asked before reading to inspire them to read with a purpose (something that is a useful skill for exams later).
- Use Technology – Technology can help to make reading fun, modern, and interesting. Virtual reading tutors are not only able to assist students to read better, but also to suggest a range of level assessed and age-appropriate reading materials to keep them interested and inspired.
- Use Interesting and Age Appropriate Readings – If you aren’t using technology to provide this, be sure to check that the books and materials they are reading are age and level appropriate. Being too difficult or just not the right style can leave a struggling reader feeling even more frustrated. It is better to go ‘too easy’ than ‘too difficult’ when someone finds reading a challenge.
- Read It Again – While the idea of rereading a story is an odd idea to many people, for reading comprehension it is an excellent way to increase skills and confidence. By reading a story a second or third time, the effort of reading itself is reduced and it allows for the reader to ‘discover’ more of the story that they may have missed the first time around.
The above tips can help greatly, but there are other things you can do too. Discussing pictures in the book and relating them to the story can also be a fun exercise that makes them want to explain the story or discuss their ideas about what was just read.
Whichever approaches you decide to use, be sure to combine at least a few, and see how they work for your child. Make sure they have the option to read interesting stories and the motivation to read. Motivation can be inspired by setting reading times, challenges, and even providing rewards for both efforts made and milestone achievements.