The aim of parents should be to make sure that their children are able to develop into independent and successful readers. Such a reader is defined as a reader who reads with expression and in a smooth manner. In general, there are five, common obstacles that stand in the way of reading comprehension. They are improper phrasing, inactive reading, a lack of smooth reading, a vocabulary that is limited, and attempting to read text that is too hard.
Helping your Child choose Books at the Correct Reading Level
Helping children choose books at the proper reading level involves parents helping their kids pick books at both their instructional and independent levels. Few people know this, but there are three, varying reading levels for every person. There is the independent level, which children can read easily without too many difficult words; the instructional level, which sees children being able to read most words, but still being challenged by some words on every page; and the frustration level, which features children stopping frequently to decode the words, leading to frustration. When parents choose a book for children, they should use the five finger rule, which involves making children pick out a book they want to read and then opening it to a page. If children count up to five words on the page they have a hard time reading, then the book will frustrate them. Instead, urge children in this situation to choose books on their independent reading level.
Helping your Child Develop his Reading Vocabulary
Developing children’s reading vocabulary involves knowing as much as they can about anything. The reason is because the human brain has a need to affix new information to information that is old, so if children have greater knowledge about life’s common things, the more they’ll know what they are reading. One tip for children to develop their reading vocabulary is for parents to explain to them what things are and also how they work. Another tip is when children come to a word that is unfamiliar to them, parents should make them guess the meaning of the word by its use in the book and in the sentence. Yet another tip to help children develop their reading vocabulary is for parents to simply encourage them to actually look up the word in the dictionary.
Helping your Child Develop Reading Fluency (Smoothness)
For children to read smoothly and fluently, they have to be able to read without stopping all the time and then sounding out the words, which is called decoding. Doing this will hamper your children’s ability to comprehend what they are reading. Parents can help their children by attempting a couple of things. First, they can just read to their children because a parent’s fluent reading will serve as a model of proper reading to children. If that does not work, parents may also monitor when their children get to words they struggle with. When that occurs, they should simply make their children reread the problem sentences they failed to read fluently.
Helping your Child Develop the Habit of Active Reading
Active reading can be thought of as reading where the reader actually retains the information they have read. Parents can ensure their children read actively by helping them think prior to, during, and after reading. For instance, parents should speak to their children, prior to them reading, about what they may already comprehend about the book’s subject. This activity may help them remember about the words that they may have to read in the book. Alternately, parents can also urge their kids to tell them what they think may occur next in the book. Doing so will raise the interest level of children, helping them to read more actively.
Helping your Child Develop Correct Phrasing
Correct phrasing revolves around readers pausing at the right places in a sentence as if they were pausing at the right places when speaking. Children must read in chunks, just like people talk, which is to say that they should constantly pause at commas and periods. Correct phrasing in children should entail correctly changing the pitch of their voices (raising the voice at the end of a question, for instance) in the correct places while reading a sentence. If parents catch their kids not doing this correctly, they should rectify the problem by having them reread the sentence after explaining to them their errors.
Children who are facing reading comprehension obstacles need not despair. With the tips and tricks mentioned above, even their own parents should be able to guide them until they read better. Parents helping their children must always keep in mind that they have to be patient with their children. Helping children read more smoothly and correctly will ensure a more successful academic life for them, too.
For more information on reading comprehension struggles, see the following links.