When we encourage a child to `go off and do some reading’ we hope that they will be developing comprehension skills at the same time. After all if you can master the mechanics of being able to read a word you should be able to comprehend the word. Reading aloud or reading to one self is not quite the same thing as understanding or comprehending the words on the page.
So if your child is experiencing difficulty with comprehension then you need to try to work out what is holding your child up.
Sometime poor comprehension can be caused by reading too fast or too slowly. This could be on mathematics or verbal reasoning questions where the instructions are not read carefully enough. An able child may simply find the work rather easy and read too quickly and miss key words – or even the intent of the question.
Sometimes the content of the reading may be too difficult. We have all come across occasional exercises on eleven plus papers where the words are simply too hard for even a bright child to be able to read and understand.
The passage selected may be outside the vocabulary and experience of the eleven plus child. The comprehension passage could be drawn from a book written years ago with content and language that is far from words and ideas used today. The passages may not be related to the child’s age or interest levels. Naturally the passages can not be customised for every child but at times they could be topical.
So when you are working with your child on reading you can look at:
Speed of reading
The difficulty of the content
The interest level of the passage
So the child that started last weekend with the final Harry Potter saga will have been able to glide of these hurdles. There would have been little difficulty with speed, difficulty or interest – especially if the book has already been handed on.