Reading or listening to a story opens up rich and wonderful world of imagination and experience for your son. In order for him to make the most of what he is reading or listening to, he needs to develop strong comprehension skills. It is important for your child to learn how to develop different meanings, in different ways.There are a number of comprehension strategies we use every day that before long, and with practice, become second nature. Encourage your son to develop good comprehension skills by following these easy steps.
1. Read, read, read
Reading frequently will help your son learn new words and interpret different meanings. Encourage him to build an ample and wide vocabulary by looking up difficult or unfamiliar words in the dictionary and writing them down.
2. Make links to the text
Your son can make links by relating and comparing the text he is reading to something in his own life. Ask him whether the text reminds him of something he has previously read, seen or heard before.
3. Try to guess what will happen next
Your son can use the information in the text to guess what might happen next. What clues are provided in the text to suggest where the story might go next?
Encourage him to form a vivid mental picture of the things that are being described in the text. What does he picture in his mind from the descriptions in the text?
5. Ask questions
Help him to ask questions about the text and answer them in order to tease out the meaning. What is the main character like? When is the story set? Form the habit of asking questions when you are watching a film or TV program together.
6. Keep track of the meaning
Remind your son that it’s okay to stop and ask questions when he is unsure of the meaning. Encourage him to slow down and re-read difficult passages and ask himself regularly whether the text is making sense. What clues can he glean from the text about its meaning?
Help your son to summarise the main points of a text in his own words. What does he think is the main theme or subject matter of the text? Encourage him to tell you about the text and to put the main topics in his own words.
Being able to read well and gather the layers of meaning in a text is a valuable gift you can help your child to develop. Encourage him to read widely every day, to build his vocabulary and to put his comprehension skills into practice as often as possible. Remember that practice makes perfect!
Found out how a Scots education helps boys to grow into fine young men by downloading your copy of the Brave Hearts Bold Minds handbook.