You can help your child improve their reading comprehension by just doing this one really easy activity. It will take about 20 minutes each day for a few weeks. Be sure to approach it lightly and make it a fun, bonding and motivating activity.
Here is what you do:
- Explain to your child that predicting is making guesses about what will come next in the text you are reading. You should make predictions often when you read. Start with the title and ask your child what he or she thinks the story will be about. Pause and stop frequently as you read, discuss if your predictions were correct, and make new predictions.
- If your child is having troubles with predictions, model the process for him or her by making your own predictions. You can simply say, “I am going to make predictions while I read this book. I am going to start with the title.” Explain what you think will happen.
- Make predictions collaboratively with your child. Suggest that from a certain section on you want him or her to make predictions with you. You should both stop and think about what might happen next and then discuss your thoughts together.
- After much guided practice, it is time to let your child read silently without your help. Remind your child to be sure to make predictions often and to check as he or she reads to see whether the predication came true.
Make sure as you are reading together with your child that you pay careful attention to the level and demand of the text. When children are first learning reading comprehension strategies, they should encounter texts that do not make heavy demands in terms of extensive background knowledge, complex vocabulary, or unknown decoding skills.
Also, the level of motivation that your child has towards the text will impact whether and how he or she will use comprehension strategies. Best is to allow your child to pick out their own reading material that excites, motivates and interests him or her.
Karina Richland, M.A. is the Founder of PRIDE Learning Centers, located in Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Richland is a certified reading and learning disability specialist. Ms. Richland speaks frequently to parents, teachers, and professionals on learning differences, and writes for several journals and publications. You can visit the PRIDE Learning Center website at: www.pridelearningcenter.com