Enjoying Reading and Talking about it to Improve Understanding
Comprehension practice will help your child improve in other subjects too. This is because comprehension is all about understanding what is being read.
So provide some practice comprehension exercises for your child to work on with you at home. This will be similar to the sort of work they will do in school. This will give your young one more confidence and will make reading and learning easier and more enjoyable.
Over the decades there have been a number of strategies developed for improving comprehension. One is called SQ3R. This stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. It is not necessary to follow such a method strictly to get results. For younger children especially, the approach needs to be made simple. However, by looking at these methods you get the idea behind them.
Rather than just delving straight in and and reading every word of a passage from beginning to end follow a simple process. Look at (survey) the material by taking note of headings, emphasised words, information boxes, pictures etc. This will give an indication of what the material is about.
Then the pupil is encouraged the think about the topic. What do I already know (Question) about the subject? Perhaps the headings are intriguing or raise questions in the mind.
Then when the passage is read, the information is easier to assimilate from the start and may even excite the mind to be actively looking for answers to the questions raised in the mind earlier.
After reading, an excellent discipline is to say out loud (recite) what the passage was about. It forces the reader to think about the content and helps to fix the information in the mind. Also, when you know that you will have to recite after reading it encourages greater concentration when reading (active reading).
Review is going one step further and testing whether the main points have been remembered and reviewing the passage again to pick up main points or key phrases which cannot be recalled.
You can see that giving your child practice with this process when help them understand more readily anything they read.
When children get to Key Stage 2 this appears to be the time when parents are most often looking for comprehension activities to help their child. Of course, simpler exercises can be tackled earlier and will produce positive results. Giving attention to reading comprehension is an important part of KS2 English and improvement will undoubtedly enhance their SATs results. So helping your child at home with comprehension is time well spent.
You will find comprehension resources on the Internet but one ideal location for guidance and practical worksheets is Parents in Touch. Go here for suggested Comprehension Activities.
The Comprehension Activities advice here applies to Key Stage 1 and KS2
- Enjoying reading and talking about it