Some children might have trouble retelling stories and making inferences or predictions while reading a book or story. There may be times when children might not remember main characters or be able to synthesize plot elements. These are all issues related to reading comprehension.
Even if a child isn’t reading far below grade level any struggles could cause concern for parents, and tutoring could help children gain proficiency. There are many options for reading comprehension tutoring when children are struggling at school. Here’s how parents can find the best tutor!
When parents are interested in finding a reading tutor for their child, they might be drawn to in-person tutoring options. There are many ways to find tutors; some companies specialize in offering tutoring services. Others offer a platform for tutors to offer their services, and parents can shop around to find a tutor that matches their child’s needs (and maybe personality, too).
Schools also could offer types of tutoring services, although this could simply just be before school or after school assistance. Still, though, this extra small-group option might help students who struggle with reading or other subjects.
Other school districts might require tutoring hours for upperclassmen for certain programs or clubs. Tutoring also could be a part of community service hours. These tutoring services might be offered at no charge. Not every district offers this type of tutoring, though. Parents should reach out to their school to find out if these types of programs exist in the area. Schools also could help parents find tutors, too.
Community programs through the YMCA or other organizations could be another option. Parents might need to be members, though. Or there could be certain other requirements related to these types of tutoring services. Research the local Y or other organizations in the area to inquire about after-school programs or tutoring.
While some of these in-person tutoring opportunities might be offered at no charge to parents, tutoring services via professional tutoring companies might vary in price. Tutors likely charge per hour, and, depending on how much help a child needs, tutoring sessions might be needed multiple times per month. For parents on a budget, this is a cost that could add up quickly.
Some tutoring companies might offer virtual tutoring services. This might be set-up a bit like online learning was during the pandemic. Children might need to schedule a virtual meet up through a program like Zoom.
Parents will likely pay per a specified time period (i.e. by the hour, half hour, etc.). However, virtual tutoring sessions could be a more flexible option for parents who don’t have time to drive their child to a location like a library for tutoring services. Virtual tutoring allows lessons to be held via the child’s home…or anywhere with an internet connection.
Parents as Tutors
Some parents feel confident serving as their child’s tutor. Not only is this free, but it’s also convenient! There are many resources that parents could use to help their child with reading comprehension. Many of these resources can be found online. There are reading worksheets focused on comprehension; these often feature a reading passage and questions related to the story. Many of these worksheets can be found online and printed for free. Just make sure to read the terms of any website to be sure that it’s ok to print out these materials.
Teachers also might be able to provide parents with enrichment materials that can be used at home. They might be able to send extra worksheets or give parents some tips on how to work with their child at home.
Parents of elementary age children also could let their child create a reading comprehension bookmark. This page marker serves as a reference guide for children as they read a story or book. Bookmarks can include questions about the plot, characters, etc. Parents also could purchase reading comprehension bookmarks via online retailers.
Not every parent feels confident serving as their child’s tutor, however. Some parents might feel that their child won’t view them as an educator and might not take the lessons seriously. Parents also just might not have the time to devote to tutoring their child.
Some children also could need more help than a parent knows how to provide. While helping a child with reading might sound easy, it isn’t always so simple…many teachers know this. A child’s struggle could be complicated and might require more focused reading programs or resources.
Teaching reading comprehension isn’t always just about asking questions related to the story. Children need to begin to learn how to look beyond the text and analyze meaning. They need to be able to predict what could happen next. Or inference the intentions of a character. As children move into the middle school and high school years, comprehension becomes complex. Students need to think deeply about stories, using text to support arguments and comparing and contrasting events from a story to broader themes.
Guided Reading Comprehension Tutoring Programs
Parents who aren’t interested in hiring a private tutor or who don’t necessarily feel confident in tutoring their child at home also could research reading comprehension tutoring programs. These are available online or via apps. There are many options, and each one might have a different format and unique features, too.
Some reading programs might focus on the whole reading journey—phonics, fluency, comprehension, etc. Other programs might be designed for students with a particular reading struggle. Parents know their child’s struggles and might be the best advocate for what type of program they need. Before committing to a reading program, parents might explore different options.
Free trial periods might be an option with some reading programs, and this is an easy way for parents and their child to try out a program before committing to a subscription. Readability, for example, offers a seven-day trial. Other programs might offer similar or different lengths of this free period.
When exploring a program during the trial period, parents really need to assess the features and structure. Not every program will resonate with every child. Parents might wish to sit with their child as they use the program and work on reading lessons.
Readability requires children to read lessons aloud. The program offers a built-in AI tutor that is programmed with voice recognition software. This means that when a child reads the story out loud, the AI tutor is learning the intonations of the child’s voice. The purpose of the AI tutor is to help a child correct any word mispronunciations and to aid the child as they read; even though the tutor is virtual, it still holds a similar role and function as an in-person tutor.
After the child completes a story in Readability, they are tested on their comprehension. The AI tutor will ask the child questions related to the story. If the child demonstrates both reading proficiency with content and comprehension mastery, they can progress to another reading level.
When parents commit to a Readability subscription, they can access their own portal called the Parent Dashboard. This portal will display all their child’s reading data, including the words read per minute, reading level and the time the child spent using the program. Parents also can collate this data into a report that can be emailed to the child’s teacher.
While a reading program can serve as a reading comprehension tutor, parents also can look into other tutoring services. Private tutors, virtual tutoring sessions and even some free tutoring programs might be an option. Parents also could serve as their child’s tutor. If the budget and time are an issue, though, programs like Readability can provide a unique tutoring program for children to use right in their home…at any time. Parents can try Readability for free for one week to see if it’s a fit for their child. Schedule a trial today to access a unique reading comprehension tutoring experience.