How to Improve Your Child’s Reading Comprehension in 5 Minutes

by Rachel

in Hands-On Learning Games

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reading comprehension gamesWinter break is coming up, and I’m betting a lot of parents out there are plan on working on reading comprehension activities with your child.

Improving your child’s reading comprehension doesn’t have to be a month long odyssey in Worksheet Hell.

Let me guess: you’ve got your fancy-shmancy workbook, assorted writing supplies (and you know there’s going to be a lot of writing; you may have lied to your kid but WE know better than that, don’t we?), and you’re raring to go.

Well, not exactly. Because when you put away the new workbook, you kind of happened upon the old ones that you really meant to finish someday. But this one will be different, right?

Wrong.

Improve your child’s reading comprehension in 5 minutes – or less

There are other ways of improving your child’s reading comprehension, with nary a workbook in site. Ways that your child will find fun, stress-free, and that don’t sacrifice one little rain forest tree.

And best of all, you can play this reading comprehension game in 5 minutes or less.

The goal: Help your child remember more details while they read

Many children with reading comprehension difficulties have trouble sorting out the chaff from the wheat. They don’t know what things they need to remember, and what things are relatively unimportant. So they end up trying to remember everything, which of course doesn’t work.

In this game, you’ll use a fun song to help your child focus on the part they need to remember.

How to play:

  1. Choose a song. If you don’t know the words, you can find them by doing a search for “lyrics for…” online. Choose a song both you and your child enjoy- no point in torturing either of you.
  2. It should also be a song with a refrain, but with more than two or three lines. Some examples: Yellow Submarine, and Don’t Worry Be Happy, are some examples of simpler ones that are fun and easy to use.
  3. Listen to the song a few times with your child. You don’t have to sit and concentrate on it, think-tank style. Just have it playing in the background while you go about your day.
  4. Once your child has heard the song about 2-3 times, you’re ready for the next step: the Challenge. In it, you or your child sing one line of the song, but leave out the last word. For example, in the Don’t Worry Be Happy song, you sing “Here is a little song I –  ,” your child needs to fill in, “wrote.”
  5. Continue your way working through the song until you finish it.

Bonus Points:

You can play this like a game show and give bonus points for top performance. For example, challenge your child to remember the key words at the end, without singing each line. So she would say “wrote-note” for the first couplet of the song. The more she knows, the more points she gets.

You can have them trade in points for a special night out with mom and dad, a toy they’ve been wanting to get (and you planned on getting them anyway – why not let them work for it?), or whatever else you want.

And that’s it. Play this game daily and in just a few days you’ll see a marked improvement in your child’s ability to remember details. And remember, the more your child plays reading comprehension games, the better they’ll get when they hit the books.

 

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