Jul 102013

Do You Think You Need Reading Comprehension Strategies for your child?

Does your child know how to read words, but can’t remember what he read?
Does your child read, but doesn’t get the meaning behind his reading?

It’s frustrating to read and not remember!! Reading Comprehension problems are a big issue for a large number of kids!

If your main goal is to find a good reading comprehension program for your child, scroll down to the middle of this page for program choices.

Overcoming reading comprehension problems may require you to use a special program with your child.  Even though your child may appear to be a good reader, if he can’t recall any meaningful details from what he just read, he probably needs help using some proven Reading Comprehension Strategies.

Skills Needed for Good Reading Comprehension:

The National Reading Panel said: “Reading comprehension is very important to the development of children’s reading skills and therefore to their ability to obtain an education.” In carrying out its study of reading comprehension, the NRP noted three main themes in the research on the development of reading comprehension skills.

  • Reading comprehension is a complex cognitive process that cannot be understood without a clear description of the role that vocabulary development and vocabulary instruction play in the understanding of what has been read.
  • Reading comprehension is an active process that requires an intentional and thoughtful interaction between the reader and the text (text comprehension instruction).
  • The preparation of teachers to better equip students to develop and apply reading comprehension strategies to enhance understanding is intimately linked to students’ achievement in this area.”

Reading Comprehension Strategies : Vocabulary Enhancement

The Dyslexia Help Handbook for ParentsReading Comprehension StrategiesThe National Reading Panel also says, “Vocabulary development has long been considered important for reading comprehension. The Panel concluded that vocabulary should be taught both directly and indirectly.

Repetition and seeing vocabulary words several times is also important. Learning in rich contexts, incidental learning, and the use of computer technology all help children develop larger vocabularies.

A combination of methods, rather than a single teaching method, leads to the best learning.”As with vocabulary development, text comprehension is improved when teachers use a combination of reading comprehension techniques such as question answering, question generation, and summarization. When students are able to use them successfully, they perform better in recall, answering questions, generating questions, and summarizing texts.

“To teach vocabulary in order to increase comprehension, you might want to consider Big Words for Little Kids: Step-by-Step Advanced Vocabulary BuildingReading Comprehension Strategies. You can check out additional information about building vocabulary skills on our Vocabulary page.

Reading Comprehension Strategies: Comprehension Programs

Most Reading Comprehension programs are really comprehension ‘practice’ programs. Most reading comprehension workbooks do not teach comprehension skills. In fact, finding a program that TEACHES a child HOW to comprehend is a challenge. What you really need are Reading Comprehension Strategies for working with kids.

The GREAT news is there are are many reading comprehension strategies you can use. However, there are too many strategies for a quick web page, so I wrote a book you might also want to check out: Reading Comprehension for Kids: With strategies that work, so your child can read and remember. (Learning Abled Kids’ How-To Books for Enhanced Educational Outcomes Book 4)Reading Comprehension Strategies. The book is designed to help parents, like you, figure out how to overcome your child’s reading comprehension difficulties. It covers a variety of reading comprehension strategies you can use depending upon your child’s specific difficulty with remembering what he has read.

HOW To teach Reading Comprehension

One of the best places to start helping your child is with the book, Reading Comprehension for Kids: With strategies that work, so your child can read and remember.Reading Comprehension for Kids. The book shares proven methods for overcoming reading comprehension difficulties along with information about the various causes for reading comprehension struggles. If you’re looking for strategies that work for improving your child’s reading comprehension, I highly recommend starting with this Kindle Quick Read. The book value priced and it will give you good understanding of what is needed to overcome reading comprehension struggles.

You’ll find many programs that provide comprehension practice. Those programs are great for that–practice. To teach your child reading comprehension skills, you’ll need a program that teaches visualization and questioning skills.

Your child needs to build pictures in his mind, like an ongoing movie as he reads. Doing this helps a child remember what he’s read, but it is not a skill that is easily learned. When working on this skill, you’ll have to stop your child’s reading, then tell him “picture that in your mind”, and then move on. Stopping your child regularly will help him develop the habit of building pictures in his mind.

A great program for helping teach visualization skills is **Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing. The program is a winner for actually teaching reading comprehension skills. To start out, you’ll need the Visualizing and Verbalizing Manual and the Visualizing and Verbalizing Stories. These materials will help you your child develop critical visualization skills.

A good online option for practicing reading comprehension is the K5 Learning Reading Comprehension Program Online.  “K5’s online reading comprehension lessons focus on helping elementary school kids to actively understand what they are reading.”  There is a fee for this program, so I recommend you use their free trial before enrolling to see whether you like the program or if your child will be willing to work with the program.

Another program that teaches reading comprehension is Reading Kingdom. This is an online program that is a fun, easy-to-use online program that teaches children 4-10 years old how to read and write to a third grade level.  You can get a free trial version, which is using before deciding to buy.  The Reading Kingdom “is based on a patented six skills method for reading success. These skills include sequencing, motor skills, phonics (phonemic awareness), meaning, grammar and reading comprehension. The online reading for kids program is ideal for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, special education, homeschool, and English as a second language.”

Time4Learning has “teaches reading comprehension as part of an overall language arts program for enrichment, remediation, summer use, or homeschooling. The key reading comprehension skills, interacting with the text versus just decoding it, is taught by Time4Learning as part of an integrated language arts program delivered on line including phonics, vocabulary, fluency, writing, grammar, and critical thinking.”

The **Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing and the K5 Learning Reading Comprehension Program Online incorporate the actual teaching of reading comprehension skills rather than just practicing the reading comprehension skills.  The Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing program is the one we chose for addressing my son’s reading comprehension issues and it was sufficient for making a lot of headway. If you are looking for a ‘fun’ engaging way to work on comprehension, the K5 Learning Reading Comprehension Program Online might be your better choice.

Both Reading Kingdom  and Time4Learning incorporate reading comprehension training as part of a broader reading program.  If your child needs reading instruction too, then you might prefer the more comprehensive reading programs provided by Reading Kingdom  and Time4Learning.

If you want a book-based reading comprehension program, then the Reading Detective, from Critical Thinking Books is an enjoyable choice for most children. The books don’t provide as much reading instruction as a child generally needs, but they do teach to some degree rather than just provide practice. If you can take the skills taught in the books and assist your child in applying them to everything he reads, your child will develop some reading comprehension skills. My child liked these books, but they were not sufficient for helping him overcome a lack of comprehension issues. Thus, we did have to go to Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing for a more robust solution.

In any case, with patience and practice, hopefully your child can learn the necessary skills using reading comprehension strategies that are proven to work. The goal is for your child to learn from his reading, and it is possible when you use the right reading comprehension strategies.

Best of Luck!