Helping Children with Comprehension

Comprehension is one of the most important skills children learn in school and you may spend many hours of instruction helping your child with comprehension. By practicing listening and reading comprehension skills, your child will often become a stronger student and do better in all academic and extracurricular subjects. Keep reading to find out more.

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Ways You Can Help Your Child with Comprehension

Improving Listening Comprehension

One of the keys to a child's ability to absorb new information both in and out of school is by learning to listen well. Although there are exceptions, listening is actually an acquired skill rather than something that comes naturally. Reading to your child from a very young age is a great way to get him or her used to listening and connecting spoken words to images, emotions and concepts.

You can help an older child to work on his or her listening comprehension skills by providing outlines for stories you'll read aloud. When you read to your child, he or she can follow along with the outline. Alternatively, have your child create his or her own outline by writing down the main events of each chapter.

The Importance of Reading

When working on reading comprehension, show your child how to use pictures to support comprehension of the text. Before reading a book, you may want to take your child on a picture walk and encourage him or her to make predictions about it.

When your child gets a little bit older, there are many book lists available online that she or he can utilize. You can also get book lists from local libraries or from your child's teachers that are appropriate for your child's age and reading level. Allow your child to pick out whatever he or she wants to read and suggest books that you think will be relatable to his or her interests.

Increasing Vocabulary

One of the main components of reading comprehension is the size of your child's vocabulary. When children don't know key vocabulary words in a text, they will struggle to comprehend it. Prior to reading to your child or having your child sit down to read, teach him or her key terms from the text. Go through the text yourself and pick out several words and create a list of vocabulary words for your child. After reading, go over the words again and discuss them.

Useful Online Resources

There are tons of websites where you can find helpful comprehension activities and games for your child. There are also many free lessons available that you can teach your child at home and worksheets that you can have your child complete. All of these resources are available for kids of all ages and at all reading levels.

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