Are your kids understanding (comprehending) what they read? Because if they aren’t, you need to know. And you need to know how to help them at home. Especially over the summer. Some kids don’t stop when they’re confused, they just keep going! (Aaah!) I had 5th graders who were proficient at faking it. Since I always let my students choose their own books, I couldn’t know the plot of every book. But, even if you haven’t read the book, it’s possible to do a sniff test and see if your kids are really understanding what they read. Here’s how.
Quick Comprehension Check (even if you haven’t read the book)
1. Skim — even a chapter or two. Ask your child about the part you skimmed. Do you remember what happened when ________? Why did ____________ do _______________? 2. Listen for confusion clues. Phrases like . . . “I forget.” “It’s hard to explain.”
What To Do If Your Child Isn’t Comprehending
The most important thing you want your children to understand is that good readers know if they don’t understand. If your child does not have a movie in his or her head about the story — then they’re aren’t comprehending. I KNOW WHEN I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Teach your child what to do if he/she doesn’t understand.
If you don’t understand you should: 1) stop and use a reading strategy, 2) get help, or 3) decide if the book isn’t atyour reading level and pick a different book (as long as picking a different book isn’t an avoidance strategy that is used every time.)
KEEP READING: Specific reading strategies for comprehension.
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