In a previous post, we discussed the importance of ‘Summer Reading‘ and how over the summer months off school, up to three reading levels can be lost. The same thing happens when our reading comprehension skills are not up to snuff. Do you always retain everything that you read? How much do you recall when asked about the chapter you just read… a minute after reading it, or two weeks after reading it?
Helping out your reading comprehension skills is easy to do, whether you are a child learning to read or a well versed adult reader. You might be one of the lucky few who can remember every single detail, but for most of the population, this is not the case. Let’s explore a few ways that can help with better reading comprehension, to get the most out of what you read!
Keep Notes- Taking notes is a good way to boost reading comprehension. If it is for a class, choose a notebook. If it is just pleasure reading, a few pieces of paper and a pencil will do.
Read Your Notes- Wait a day, then read back your notes. If your notes make no sense, you’ll know you either need to take more notes, or take better ones.
Eliminate Distractions- Turn off the music and the television. Head to the library, your bedroom or anywhere you can find peace and quiet to read.
Read Aloud– Reading aloud allows you to slow down and to read with more time to process the words. This is an additional benefit for visual learners. If you find that reading aloud helps, you might find ‘books on tape’ to be particularly useful.
Use a Dictionary- Have a dictionary on hand to improve vocabulary. Stop, look it up, and write it down in your notes so that you’ll remember.
Start with a Below Level Book- Reading should not have you straining to figure out what the words mean, or have you reading sentences over and over. Read books at slightly below level to start, to gain confidence and find joy in the story, instead of a struggle with the language.
Reading is like most things and is done best when practised often. Help yourself get the most out of your reading!
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