How Can a Parent Help a Child Improve Reading Comprehension?

The best thing a parent can do is read to a child starting at a young age. Many parents stop reading to their children as they get older. I'm guilty of reading less to my school aged children.
Does your child avoid reading? Does your child say he/she can't find a good book to read? Your child might be struggling with reading comprehension. You can help.

7 Keys to Comprehension has been my go to resource for ideas to help my youngest son with reading comprehension. I use ideas from this book for all three of my children. I'm able to purposely share my thinking, ask questions, and have interactions during reading a book to help my children use the 7 keys to improve reading comprehension.

I suggest finding good books to read out loud to your child and teach your child to use the 7 keys:

1. Create mental images.
2. Use background knowledge.
3. Ask questions.
4. Make Inferences.
5. Determine the most important ideas or themes.
6. Synthesize information.
7. Use "fix-up" strategies.

You can teach a child to use these 7 Keys while reading to your child, while listening to your child read, or while sharing the reading of a book. It's never too late to start. Buy the book. Start with one section at a time. I saw huge improvements in my youngest son's desire to read chapter books after I taught him to create mental images.

This book is written in a parent friendly format and is also useful for teachers. There are recommended books, descriptions of the keys, ideas to teach keys separated by age groups, classroom connections, and more.

Socks by Beverly Cleary, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume are three classic stories that will hold the attention of most children. You'll love the rich language, humor, and interesting plots. These books have all the elements needed to teach a child the 7 keys.

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