Suggestions for Parents

I have parents ask... "What can I do to help my child?"

Here are three tips to improve reading comprehension in your early reader:

  1. Have him read aloud. This forces him to go slower, which gives him more time to process what he reads, which improves reading comprehension. Plus, he's not only seeing the words, he's hearing them, too. You can also take turns reading aloud.
  2. Provide the right kinds of books. Make sure your child gets lots of practice reading books that aren't too hard. She should recognize at least 90 percent of the words without any help. Stopping any more often than that to figure out a word makes it tough for her to focus on the overall meaning of the story.
  3. Reread to build fluency. To gain meaning from text and encourage reading comprehension, your child needs to read quickly and smoothly - a skill known as fluency. By the beginning of 3rd grade, for example, your child should be able to read 90 words a minute. Rereading familiar, simple books gives your child practice at decoding words quickly, so she'll become more fluent in her reading comprehension.