K06-Mercy_sm webI have a confession. I would make a horrible teacher.  Horrible terrible no good teacher. This admission makes me a little sad since when I was younger and played “school” with my friends, I was always the teacher and I was GOOD at it! Patient, caring, loving and very doting of my fellow friends students.

Well now that I’m a mother and my kids are now my “students”, I admittedly suck.  I can be impatient and I get frustrated (only sometimes…don’t judge me please).

Last school year my 1st grader continually got low marks in Reading Comprehension and the teacher would send home homework to assist that even I didn’t quite understand.  I forced  encouraged her to read, even took her to the bookstore to pick out books that she’s interested in an effort to increase her love of reading which served the purpose of increasing the EXCITEMENT.  BUT although she was able to read the words, she just wasn’t where I wanted her to be in COMPREHENDING what she read, which in turn frustrated me which got us absolutely nowhere.

Luckily for me …and you who are in same boat, I know a great teacher who after hearing how awful my own methods were , came up with the following list of tips to help build reading comprehension skills.  Let me tell you firsthand how AMAZING these tips have been!

My daughter and I are about a quarter of a way through The Isle of the Lost: The Descendants and I’ve been implementing these tips as we read. And you know what? I’m NOT frustrated! My daughter has been able to tell me WHAT the book has been about and she gets to show her creativity in her purple Evie inspired journal 🙂

Hopefully these tips below will help you has well!  Please share with your friends and family and let us know how they’ve worked for you!

Before reading:
Create a book journal and decorate
Choose a variety of book genres on your child’s reading level and interests. *(Get help from school librarians if needed)
Predict what the book is going to be about.
Ask why s/he thinks that and read to find out.

While Reading:(think to self)
5W’s:Who,What,Where,When,Why
Write down unknown vocabulary to look up in dictionary. * (builds vocabulary skills needed to decode)
Stop at end of each page or chapter to check for understanding.

After Reading:
Write a brief summary in a reading journal answering the 5W’s plus what was your favorite part of the story and Explain why in 2-3 sentences. *Add an illustration of favorite part.

Have a book discussion, talk about what is being read (in a non- teaching tone/keep it casual and non confrontational)
Ask what she would do, think or say in situations from book.
Turn off the TV during weekdays Let your child see you read books, magazines any print material.

Additional thoughts:
I like devices like the next person but  kids seem to associate devices with entertainment. Reading should be fun and relaxing but when trying to model and establish positive reading habits kids should have lots of hands on time with actual books.

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