Develop Your Child’s Reading Retention Skills
Children read a lot. Each and every subject your child studies in school requires reading comprehension and retention. Whether it is math, history or science, reading retention is critical to success.
Strong reading comprehension skills are required to retain information, no matter what the subject, which is why retention skills are a necessity for a child’s academic success. Here are some ways you can help your child grow and develop solid reading retention skills.
Start Early Remember, a child’s listening skills are years ahead of his or her reading skills. Young children just learning to read can still practice comprehension and retention skills. An easy way to do this is by inserting a few extra steps into an already existing nightly routine: bedtime stories. As you read your child a nightly bedtime story, take note of some key story lines, or events. After the story is over, you can ask your child, “Do you remember how Sam-I-Am finally got his friend to try green eggs and ham? Did he try them in a house? Did he try them with a mouse?” Even though your child is not reading for retention at this level, he or she is still learning to comprehend and retain ideas. So give it a whirl and toss in a little retention practice at bedtime.
Practice and Improve Like any skill, reading comprehension and retention require practice. Board games offer an opportunity for children to read instructions and rules that test their retention skills without it even feeling like work. Try finding a game that your family has never played. Parents, you read the rules first to understand how the game works. After you grasp them, ask your children to read the rules. When they’re finished, ask them to explain the rules to you before you begin. For families with more than one child, this exercise can provide a unique perspective on how each child understands what he or she has read. One child may see the game in one light, while another will view the rules completely differently. Listening to your child explain the rules will identify comprehension strengths and challenges as you learn new rules together. After everyone understands the rules, game on!
Encourage Self-Correction When your child shows signs of confusion or frustration with a homework assignment , encourage your child to re-read the material before explaining the problem to you. In the interest of saving time, you may lean toward explaining the problem yourself. While this is easy, and we understand the need to save time on a busy school night, in the long run letting your child self-correct builds his or her problem solving skills. Guide your young child toward understanding the problem independently. After conquering the problem on his or her own, he or she will have more self-confidence for the next challenge and greater pride in being able to tackle the problem independent of mom or dad.
Reading is one of the most valuable tools in your child’s academic tool belt, but without good retention reading won’t carry him or her very far. Understanding and retaining are just as critical a focus for students and parents as the skill of reading itself. Encouraging the development of this crucial skill will set the stage for a lifetime of success.