Tips for Parents: Ways to Help Your Child with Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is something that children can struggle with in a test format, and a topic which can be pretty daunting to even the most avid readers.

We as adults enjoy reading for pleasure, without the pressure of having to answer a variety of questions on what we are reading, including tricky inference ones. Getting our children to practice reading comprehension, in a non-pressurised way, is a careful balance we – as parents – need to get right!

Exposing children to a variety of texts is really important, as is the over-riding importance of developing a love of reading. To that end, any reading comprehension practice (and revision for primary-aged kids in general) should be undertaken in a non-pressurised way. Which is why using apps for revision to a great way to change the focus and provide an alternative way of working. In our experience, kids love using apps for revision!

  1. Give children plenty of exposure to a wide variety of texts in different formats: both traditionally published and in digital formats. This could and should include newspapers (both on and offline), poems (there are some great poetry apps including The Poetry App), different fiction and non-fiction genres or styles.
  2. Comprehension shouldn’t just focus on writing the answer. It could just as well be a conversation or discussion. Inference (reading ‘between the lines’) comes from a broad¬†understanding and is often helped by ideas generated in conversation. So discuss a text together and give your child plenty of opportunity to chat about a book you are reading together. A book or app-based book or story at bedtime is a great opportunity for this. Try Rockford’s Rock Opera, great for all ages!
  3. Kids love acting out a scene for a book so encourage role play activities at home with you taking part too! Acting out a scene from a book or poem brings it to life and helps spark other ideas too.
  4. Reading text out loud means children process WHAT is written. Give children the opportunity to read out loud to you, however old they are.
  5. Have fun! Have a bit of down time from straight text and get children reading purely for fun using fun reading apps like Reading Trainer. Through word searches and other word games, they’ll be building their reading ability without even realising it!

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