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Helping Children Understand What They Read

Many parents are surprised when they find out that their child can read the words on the pages with fluency yet he/she does not comprehend what the text is about. The child can follow the marks of punctuation, read with enthusiasm but when asked a question about what he/she read tends to have no idea. When this happens you want to ask the following questions:

  1. Is your child asking questions about the text that they read?

  2. Are they using visualization to correspond to the text. This can be done even when you read to your child. For example, the sentence you or your child just read is, "The boy skipped down the street" questions to ask include:

*What does the street look like?

*What is the boy wearing?

*What do you think the boy is feeling when skipping down the street?

The importance of this exercise is to be able to explain why you imagined your image.

By enhancing your child's mind fosters comprehension.


Chunking is another way to help comprehension. This is a way to breakdown information into smaller manageable parts. When you divide a larger reading assignment into smaller pieces it enables a child to summarize what they read into parts and then after reading all of the chunks they can pull together each summary to review the entire chapter or assignment that they are reading.


A visual organizer is another tool that can help with the comprehension piece. This allows children to identify the sequence of a story, by demonstrating the relationship between facts, ideas and concepts. It also enables you to visualize and construct ideas, organize information from what you read and help plan what to write while increasing reading comprehension. Lastly, it is an excellent till that can help significantly in understanding and remembering the information you have read.


These are just a few tips for your comprehension toolbox that are available. Most importantly make this an enjoyable activity. Remember you can always call me to help.



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