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Ready, Set, Read! When my son, Michael, was four years old someone gave him a video of his favorite movie “Star Wars.”   The problem was he could not yet read.  So, each time the movie started, as the words began to crawl, he would drag his older sister (who was six and...

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Simple Ways to Increase Your Child's Reading Comprehension

Posted by: Connie McCarthy on Aug 15, 2011 in Summer Learning, School Success, Kindergarten, Kids Reading, Kids Learning, Fun Learning Activities, Elementary School, Connie McCarthy


Connie McCarthy
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Ready, Set, Read!

When my son, Michael, was four years old someone gave him a video of his favorite movie “Star Wars.”   The problem was he could not yet read.  So, each time the movie started, as the words began to crawl, he would drag his older sister (who was six and could read) over to the screen, yelling “Read it Megan, read it, read it!”

She would read the opening words again and again to him, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”  She patiently read it to him until he could read it himself.

Reading together often is an important way to help your young child learn to read.  Yet, it is how and what you read together that can increase your child’s comprehension.

Here are six simple ways to enrich your child’s reading experiences:

  • Read from a variety of children’s books, including fiction, non-fiction, fairy tales, poems, etc.
  • When reading a story together try using different voices for different characters. Doing this really holds your child’s interest, while helping him understand different characters in the story.
  • While reading to your child don’t forget to pay attention to the punctuation marks.  Slightly raise your voice when there is a question mark, or sound excited when there is an exclamation mark.
  • Re-read a favorite story again and again.  Once your child knows it by heart, make a little “mistake.”  Read a word incorrectly, or leave out a word and let your child correct you!
  • When reading to your child point word by word as you read.  This promotes a natural “left-to-right” progression.
  • Most importantly, while reading together make as many “self-to-text” connections as you can.  A “self-to-text” connection simply means that your child makes a personal connection from something in the story to their own life.  The best way to do this is to stop and ask questions while reading.  For example, “Do you remember the time we made that chocolate cake together?” or “Did you ever feel like that?”


These simple strategies can have a powerful impact in creating strong readers!

Next Week:   Ready, Set, Math

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Comments

  1. Posted by - barbara on Aug. 21, 2011

    Turn closed captioning on! My son actually prefers television this way with the sound very low. Of course, you cannot always rely on every word, but every little bit of reading helps. (And I enjoy the TV not blaring loudly, too!)
  2. Posted by - Connie McCarthy on Aug. 20, 2011

    Great ideas Amy! Isn't it amazing how parents can utilize so many "teachable moments" in a young child's daily life!
  3. Posted by - Amy on Aug. 20, 2011

    Hi Connie,
    Your ideas for promoting literacy acquisition are great. Parents could also provide their children with "reading outside the box" opportunities. For example, parents might model the following:
    1. how to read around the super market
    2. reading the back of DVDs to determine what to watch
    4. follow directions in cookbooks or for games
    5. use reading comprehension strategies to improve comprehension
    6. Use a reader's notebook. Invite children to draw a picture of their favorite part in a book or write down new and important words from the book.

    Try visiting www.readingcomprehensionlessons.com for resources and ideas to promote reading at home.
  4. avatar

    Posted by LiviaMcCoy on Aug. 16, 2011

    That's great advice, Connie. I loved reading with my children when they were young. Best wishes as your new school year starts.

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