Reading Comprehension Strategies for Children

In this post, we will take a look at some strategies to support the development of reading skills in small children. Reading is such a fundamental skill that it is important that students are provided with opportunities to develop this important talent.

Let them See You Reading

In order to establish  a culture of reading in the home/school children need to see people reading. When something is common it naturally becomes an expectation in terms of behavior. Children need to know that reading is a part of being a member of a household/classroom and that everyone is expected to do this.

What is meant by reading is reading from a book. We can do lots of reading online but reading online establishes a culture of being online rather than reading a book. It is common to believe that how one reads makes no difference. However, this may not be true when applied o children.

Read with them

Nothing will inspire perseverance in learning something for a child than having an adult with them when they are struggling. It seems as if anything can be learned with support. Therefore, it is critical that parents/teachers read with children. The feedback and correction that they receive while reading one-on-one builds reading skills. Furthermore, Reading together provides accountability for young readers.

It is tempting to have a child go read only. However, given the naturally social nature of many children, coupled with their desire for attention, sending them off alone will simply make reading boring for many children.

Ask Questions

In order to develop comprehension, it is important to ask children questions about what they are reading. It is common for kids to read a text but not really know what it is about or what is going on. This can be especially true for abstract texts such as textbooks that usually lack a narrative that is found in a story.

Younger students who are learning to read, struggle so much with the mechanics of reading that they will neglect comprehension. These are just a few reasons why it is important to ask children questions when they are reading. Asking questions forces the child to be aware of what they are reading rather just on reading it. This is one example of developing thinking strategies

Answer Questions

As children get older, they often begin to have questions about what they are reading. Therefore, it is important to encourage children to ask questions and to be sure to provide answers to them.

It’s not necessary to answer the questions directly. For example, you can point the child back to the text to look for the answer or ask another question that might help them find the answer to their own question. One goal of teaching is to make students autonomous learners and this means that providing the answer to every question may not be beneficial.

Conclusion

Reading provides foundational skills for learning throughout life. Children need to be provided with opportunities to experience reading and interact with others in this learning experience.

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