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7 Strategies to Increase Reading Comprehension

We’ve all been there: The bottom of the page comes along…and we realize we’ve got no recollection or understanding of what we’ve just read on the rest of the page!

This happens when our reading comprehension is…well, lacking.

Even for adults, maintaining a solid and consistent level of reading comprehension is crucial.

When it comes to your child’s reading abilities, one thing he might struggle with is understanding the information or story he’s reading. 

The good news is, that’s okay! There are many strategies for improving reading comprehension that serve to make reading more enjoyable overall!

Check out the top 7 tips for boosting your child’s reading comprehension. 

  1. Read Aloud

Reading aloud can help your child’s reading comprehension in a number of ways. Whether you’re reading aloud to them, or they’re reading aloud to you, the act of speaking the words on the page helps with mental processing.

When children read aloud, it helps them process mistakes they made when a word doesn’t sound right.  If they happened to be reading silently to themselves, they may not notice if they skipped a sentence or made a mistake.

Especially in young and middle-grade children, reading text aloud has proven to improve reading comprehension. Give it a shot!

  1. Monitor Progress

A common mistake some children make when reading a story is failing to monitor their reading progress. Some students will go through the text as quickly as possible to get their reading done, without checking to see if they understand or remember what has happened.

Encourage your child to monitor their reading progress. A great way to make this happen is by installing checkpoints throughout the reading, whether it’s at the end of every other paragraph or halfway down the page. Encourage your child to stop, look back, and process everything they’ve read since their last checkpoint.

Monitoring reading progress as we go helps us ensure that we don’t get lost within a text. It also saves us from having to backtrack and start again at the beginning.

  1. Make Notes

Another mode of tracking progress and ensuring comprehension of the text is to make notes on our reading throughout the process. Whether your child makes notes on sticky-notes or on a separate paper, this practice helps us slow down and process what we have read.

Your child may benefit from taking note of questions they have while reading. Or, you may want to have him highlight and define vocabulary words.

Making notes as we read helps us slow down and look more deeply into our reading, while ensuring we understand it.

  1. Take Down Questions

Yes, we know we’ve mentioned this tip once before! But bear with us. It’s important.

When your child sits down to read, it could be helpful to set a goal for them: Read 15 pages and record 4 questions that we can talk about together afterward.

When your child takes the time to compose questions, they’re slowing down to think critically about their reading. And when you go over the questions with your child afterward, you’re allowing them several different opportunities: to voice confusions, to share thoughts, and, in some cases, to teach you! 

  1. Look Things Up

We’ve touched briefly on this concept as well, but it’s important enough to note once again! One of the major things that deter young readers from devouring books is a sense of intimidation in the face of words they don’t know yet.

Encourage your child to look up words they don’t know. Allow them to keep a dictionary by their side every time they sit down to read.

  1. Summarize

For many children, it can be difficult to understand an entire chunk of text without taking the time after completing it to step back and process. Summarizing the text your child has just read by rephrasing the main ideas in their own words may be the thing your child needs to solidify their understanding.

Your child will be able to use the notes they’ve taken while reading as a key tool when drafting their summary. Taking breaks throughout the reading will help them process the main ideas up to each stopping point, and it’ll improve their comprehension overall.

Have your child write down a summary of the text they’ve read, then ask them to show you the main ideas from it. If your child would rather talk with you about their summary, that’s okay too.

  1. Talk with Someone

The act of talking with another person after reading is crucial for a young reader’s reading comprehension development. This gives them the chance to verbally process what they’ve read. It brings gaps in understanding of the story to the surface, and it gives your child the chance to brag about all the cool stuff they’ve been reading!

Encourage your child to sit and talk with you after their reading time has finished. Be sure to show them that you’re excited about their book and that you’re proud of their reading efforts.

Closing your conversation with a few words of praise and a note about how excited you are to hear more about your child’s book may be the thing he needs to gear up for the next chapters!

Want More Tips to Increase Reading Comprehension?

For some kids, reading comprehension comes naturally. For others, a little extra practice can go a long way! If your child has room for improvement, try some of our reading comprehension strategies.

For more tips on how to get your kids to read and understand a story, check out our page!