Step 7 Comprehension

The whole purpose of reading is comprehension. Comprehension opens your world to people who lived thousands of years ago and to people who never lived at all. Coupled with your imagination it can take you to far off galaxies and to nearby cities. 

You can measure comprehension by asking questions about what your child has read. You can also develop better comprehension by discussing what is read. It is very important to accept that your child is not an adult and may not see things the way you do. For example, a four year old may retell a story not sequentially, but just tell the parts that interested her the most. So in your discussion don’t correct just accept her viewpoint as a viewpoint. Pulling out the details that support your viewpoint will model the behavior that creates great comprehension.

If you discover that your child reads fluently, but doesn’t understand anything then she may not be visualizing. Most people run a movie in their head as they read. This visualization allows them to picture and understand what they are reading. But some just don’t naturally do this. If your child understands the vocabulary, but isn’t visualizing I recommend having him read and explain jokes. Jokes are short and have a high visual component to them and they are fun!

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