Help Your Child Read and Comprehend for Success
Parents’ responsibilities are not over when they admit their child to a school. It is a proven fact that involving yourselves in your child’s academic activities done at school and guiding him/her at home to carry the process forward gives your child the edge that he/she requires to succeed both in the present and in the future.
Creating an effective study environment at home and reinforcing the concepts learnt at school help to develop a work ethic that helps your child learn beyond and outside the classroom.
Here are some ways a parent can guide his/her child at home in the areas of reading and comprehending a given text:
- Cloze: An effective way to enhance the reading and comprehension skills of children is to give them practice in ‘Cloze activities’. Cloze refers to a reading exercise that is done in which readers fill in blanks left in a text, using their understanding, knowledge, skill and experience. Specific reading skill is honed while your child works on a significant piece of text in a particular manner. Follow the steps given below to help your child practise reading and comprehending skills:
- Choose a meaningful text from a big book, a song, a rhyme or a similar piece of writing.
- Cover up some of the words or parts of words from the text using sticky notes. The following guidelines may be used:
- For an Emergent reader: 1-word deletion in every 15–20 words
- For a Developing reader: 1-word deletion in every 12–15 words
- For a Beginning reader: 1-word deletion in every 8–10 words
- Present the piece of text to your child and ask him/her to think of the words that would be appropriate for those covered-up places.
Here is an example of a Cloze activity:
- I __________ a bird flying in the sky.
- If you wish to emphasize the meaning, ask: “What would make sense in this space?”
- If you want your child to focus on the syntax, ask: “What would sound right in this space?”
- If you wish to stress on graphophonics, reveal a portion of the word (for example s_____) and ask: “What word would make sense and begin in this way?”
Assist your child as he/she uses the context of the text, structure, illustrations and graphophonics information to figure out the missing word.
- Question-Answer Relationship Strategy
Use the Question-Answer Relationship strategy to hone skills of comprehension in your child. This strategy is built on the association between the question, the text and the background of the reader. Guide your child to use the four QARs to seek the information he/she requires to answer the questions posed to him/her.
The four QARs are as follows:
- Think & Search: Your child has to search for information on different pages and put them together to arrive at the answer.
- Right There: Your child can locate the answer right in front of him/her as it is found in one place.
- Author & You: Your child has to search from his/her kitty for knowledge and what is already known to arrive at this answer. The answer is not directly stated, and the reader has to sift through information given by the author and fit it with what he/she already knows to find the answer.
- On My Own: The reader will not find the answer in the given text. Your child has to use his/her background knowledge and experiences to come to a conclusion about the answer.
These strategies adopted regularly at home will work wonders and make your child proficient in reading and comprehending given texts, honing skills that will help him/her in academic development as well as bring enjoyment in reading that is crucial for any reader.
Look out for my next blog post for unique Spelling and Writing strategies to help your child spell words correctly and express themselves in writing effortlessly for success.