4 Tips for Kids on How to Read Text Book

A clear strategic approach to textbook reading will help any student get more out of the books they're using in school.

Find available tutors

A student needs to have objectives and a plan for reaching them. Too often, kids get through their school day just going through the motions, keeping the teacher (and mom and dad) off their back. A student with an awareness of why they're in school is more likely to participate willingly in his own education. If the grown-ups around the student care enough to show learning techniques, then follow up on the use of those techniques, the student will be more likely to see some value in it. Having that awareness is the first step towards success.

Reading a text book may seem as simple as just keeping up with the assigned reading, but a clear strategic approach will help any student get more out of their school books. Here are four steps your child can take when reading and taking notes from his text books.


The overview gets the student focused on the topic. It's a refresher of what they've already learned and a glance at what the child is about to discover. The overview consists of reading the breakdown of the chapter. Your child should look at the title and headings, then read any front matter, such as a preface, or backmatter, like a summary or an appendix. A glance at the index is a good idea because it pulls out specific terms your student will encounter in the reading. Next the student should look at the graphs, tables and illustrations in the chapter. An overview helps your student get her bearings.


Having questions in mind at the outset is important for your child's understanding of new material. They help the reader stay focused and provide a sense of purpose. One approach is to formulate questions based on the chapter headings encountered in the overview. Your child can then read the section in search of an answer to his question. For example, if the heading is 'General Grant's Plan of Attack,' the question might be 'What are the three main points in General Grant's plan of attack?'


With the specific question in place, reading becomes a search for information, more like an investigation. The questions will change as the reading continues. New questions may arise. Tracking the twists and turns of the information stimulates active reading and that's the key.

Take Notes

Keeping a notebook is crucial. Your student should write down all the questions and their answers as they progress through the material. At the end they'll have a useful, ordered chronicle of his interaction with the textbook that will serve as a vital study aid at test time.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Great Read Aloud Books: The Monster at the End of This Book

    'The Monster at the End of This Book,' which stars 'lovable, furry old Grover' from 'Sesame Street,' is a widely cherished picture book released by Golden Books in 1971. The postmodern story was written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin.

  • More Blog Articles
    Read My Lips: Babies Learn to Talk From More Than Just Hearing Sounds

    It's long been understood that babies experience speech and emotional development through hearing and eye contact. Speak and smile at a baby and they will listen, look into your eyes and smile back. But a new study shows that infants as young as six months old begin to watch a speaker's mouth when he or she talks. Can this...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth