Tips on How to Improve Your Child’s Reading Level and Comprehension
As a parent, you are aware of your role in promoting your child’s early childhood development, foremost being education. With the current global crisis, schools have been closed in many parts of the U.S., which means that you are participating actively in your child’s learning process now more than ever.
Primarily, you’ll want to build your child’s reading skills to build fluency. There’s no need to worry if your child is struggling to read. In this post, we’ve gathered information on how to improve your child’s reading level and why it is essential.
What Exactly Is a Reading Level?
A reading level assessment measures how well your child can read, based on a variety of factors such as sentence length and complexity, vocabulary, and repetition. The reading level that is assigned can then be used to match your child’s abilities with books written at the appropriate level.
Why Your Child’s Reading Level Matters
Understanding your child’s reading level is crucial because it ensures that you can give your child appropriate books to read. Remember, it shouldn’t feel like a chore for children to enjoy reading but rather a fun and confidence-boosting activity. Remember, reading is a requirement for every learning subject and a determinant for future success.
How to Improve Your Child’s Reading Level
To improve your child’s reading fluency, begin by speaking to your child’s teacher to find out his or her reading level and get advice on strategies that have worked in class. The teacher may also share resources that you could use to strengthen reading habits and abilities at home. Below are some tips to improve your child’s reading level.
Identify your child’s weak areas
The first step to increasing your child’s reading level is determining whether they have any problems or weaknesses. Understanding what they struggle to read will help you focus on the relevant words rather than what they already know. Here’s how to pinpoint what they are grappling with:
- Assess the techniques your child uses to decipher and read unfamiliar words.
- Check whether your child struggles with sight words such as the, again, and before.
- Test your child’s comprehension by observing whether they rely on pictures to understand the book’s contents and by asking them to describe book characters.
- Introduce synonym games to assess their vocabulary.
- Determine their reading fluency by observing whether they use natural pauses or their reading is robotic.
If your child is in kindergarten or just learning to read, the best tactic to build reading fluency would be to read aloud to them. Remember, they need to hear fluent reading sounds to know how they are supposed to sound. Ensure you articulate words correctly and incorporate expressions.
Echo reading is a popular strategy that teachers sometimes use to help struggling readers improve their reading levels. Echo reading means asking your child to read a passage aloud the same way you did (echoing you). This strategy helps to improve how your child sounds out words and improves reading comprehension.
Create a reading routine
It may sound cliché, but practice really can make your child’s reading perfect. We recommend encouraging your child to read every day, preferably in the late afternoon after school. The goal is to create a reading culture that will be fun for them. Below are the suggested reading times according to grade level:
Grade level Reading time in minutes
Teach by example
As a parent, you’ve probably noticed how observant children are and how they tend to imitate you. If you want them to read more, make sure they see you enjoy reading time as well. It can be challenging to find free time, so we suggest doing it simultaneously when your child reads. This routine not only builds a reading routine but it’s also an excellent way for you to bond with your child.
Try to show interest whenever you catch your children reading. Ask them to tell you about the characters, the storyline, and what they like about the book. This will allow you to gauge their reading comprehension and determine whether it needs improvement.
Provide suitable reading materials
By now, you’ve noticed our emphasis on making reading fun for children. One surefire way to do that is by providing appropriate and appealing reading materials for your child to read. Remember, reading for pleasure is different from reading at school.
Your child may occasionally choose a book that’s a little below their grade level, and that’s completely okay. Pay attention to your child’s favorite books and purchase others of the same genre. Make the types of books your child enjoys easily accessible in your home.
Finally, as you employ these strategies, stay calm and patient to avoid frustrating your child. Keep reading times short—unless, of course, your child wants to keep reading. Also, involve your child’s teacher and don’t be afraid to ask for their help when you need it.
Improve Your Child’s Reading Level with The Happy Hollisters Book Series
The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West is a classic mystery series for children aged between 4 and 12. The books not only have intriguing storylines, but they also focus on building critical thinking skills. The educational themes make this series excellent for parents hoping to improve their child’s comprehension skills, and children enjoy reading along and trying to solve the mysteries themselves. The entire collection (33 volumes in all) is available in paperback, individually, in specially curated sets, or on a subscription basis through The Happy Hollisters Book Club.