Reading comprehension refers to the process of making meaning of the text we read. Reading is much more than merely deciphering the words written on a page. Reading is a process that forces us to actively engage in making sense of the words we read. When we read, the words should paint a picture in our minds and invite us into an imaginative world. Be aware that this is not a natural process. Reading comprehension is a skill we acquire with practice, and parents can help their children develop these abilities by modeling these cognitive skills.
To model reading comprehension is to demonstrate how you make sense of the words you read. To model is to make visible the invisible process that occurs in your mind. The reading comprehension strategies that we use daily include making predictions, visualizing, questioning, drawing inferences, identifying main ideas, and summarizing text. When we teach our children how to do each of these things, we equip them with the skills to exercise critical and creative thinking skills to achieve a deeper understanding of the material they read.
Here are some suggestions to help you model reading comprehension strategies at home:
- First of all, make sure that you read with your child on a regular basis. You may consider making reading a part of the bed time routine, or pick another time of day to sit down and read together.
- When you read together, take turns reading out loud. It’s important to demonstrate your reading and provide opportunities for your child to practice reading aloud.
- When you read, be sure to pause periodically and model reading comprehension strategies like summarizing the story you’ve read in your own words or explaining the picture you are visualizing in your mind as you read.
Stay tuned for our next blog to read specific examples of how you can model reading comprehension at home.
For more information regarding literacy support, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.