Whether your child is in first grade or twelfth grade, reading above grade level or just starting to sound out
words, direct and intentional instruction in
reading comprehension should be a regular
part of each day.
Reading comprehension is one of the
most important skills we teach our children. It’s a skill that impacts every subject
area from language arts to math to electives. We can’t learn new material without
being able to understand what we read.
Beyond academics, we need compre-
hension skills in our daily lives, whether
we’re reading instructions, news articles,
or emails. And above all, our Creator has
given us Scripture to read! If we aren’t able
to comprehend His Word, we miss out on
what He wants us to know!
If your child is reading above grade level,
you may not think you need to focus on
comprehension. Surprisingly, advanced
readers often need even more direction in
this area. While they may devour works of
fiction and even remember plenty of de-
tails, many have trouble slowing down long
enough to truly pay attention to and ana-
lyze texts. And even students who love fic-
tion can struggle with nonfiction and with
those “boring” passages on tests like the
ACT and SAT.
If you have an emergent reader in your
home, you may be focusing primarily on
reading fluency and feel that your child isn’t
yet ready to tackle comprehension skills.
Working on fluency and comprehension
together, however, is mutually beneficial as
one reinforces the other.
What can we do to help all of our readers analyze and understand both literary
and informational texts? My favorite approach is simple—yet systematic—and effective for all ages and all reading levels. I
recommend working regularly with short
by Dawn Burnette
Tools for All
Direct and intentional instruction
in reading comprehension should
be a regular part of each day.