When your kids start going to school or attending English tuition, they will be asked to read quite a lot of things that sometimes look like gibberish to them because of the complex terms and details they are supposed to learn. If they were not taught in advance about these facts, it would be hard for them to remember it. This same result would also happen if the text is boring for the child to continue.
As a result, it is not uncommon to hear kids saying they do not understand what they just read even if they finished the book or passage.
What Makes Reading Stick?
Experts have long proven and argued that certain reading strategies are effective in enabling people to understand things better and improve their memory. Some of these strategies may include predicting the next scenario that will happen, making friends based on what they like and have experienced, relating the information read to stock knowledge, and analyzing facts and photos.
To understand and remember texts better, the process is similar to improving one’s memory. A child could take in the new information and connect it to what they already know. The brain then becomes active and takes in the information faster, and store the information in your memory banks once it sees the pattern from the information you already know.
If you ask your child to recall a particular memory which the information is connected to, their memory circuits will then activate and their hippocampus would take in the new information. This same occurrence happens when a child is reading something they truly like since their attention is more focused on the book they are reading.
Inspiring your kid to become curious boosts their interest in a topic and help them make predictions. As they make predictions, the brain remains active and allow the child to take in what they read and create the necessary links to their stock knowledge.
However, encouraging kids to use various reading strategies to make their reading better is difficult. Some kids would treat it as more work and bore them eventually from the material you assigned.
A good tip for you to try out is asking your child to fill post-it notes and do “prompts” before they read the book.
The task is simple.
Your child simply as to write a prompt on a single Post-it and stick it into the page they are analyzing. The post-it prompts would then activate their brain by using natural reading strategies that would help them understand the book better.
Sample Post-It Prompts:
To begin your child in doing these post-it prompts, start off by teaching them how to write it. You can refer to the book as your friend, speaking to them about the things it wants to teach its readers.
Here are some prompts you can teach your kids when they start this technique:
• What prompts should be written before reading to show preview and prediction
I know some facts about you, so I think you will…
I think this page would tell me….
• Prompts to write after briefly reading the assigned pages
What does the chapter suggest about its contents?
Is this picture explaining a particular concept in the text?
• Prompts to write while reading as a reaction to the text
My guess was incorrect/correct because…
I believe this will be included in my exams next week because…
I should look into this information more because…
I think it would be better if there was a diagram here to explain the concept in the text
Why This Works
There are many reasons why this technique would work for your child.
First of all, there are no right or wrong answers because it would only be your child’s interpretation of the material they are reading. It is also not difficult to complete since you only need to write a few words.
It also reduces your child’s stress levels and improves the possibility of them learning more from the text.
Post-it would also help improve your child’s memory pattern comprehension, and even develop their reading habits. The notes would also help them boost their memory since they can use the colors of the notes to recall the facts they have read. It also reduces the possibility of memorizing without understanding the text.
Your child would also develop their curiosity and involvement about the things they read, as well as make them confident readers.
It would also open new doors for your child, especially now that they understand the materials better and memorize what is being discussed in the text.
Still not working?
If the technique still fails to make headway for your child, do not worry. There are other ways you can try out so they would be able to remember and understand the books they read.
A notable option is by enrolling them in tuition that would incorporate other reading techniques to make the reading materials easier for your kids to read and assess if they need one-on-one training and others. They can give your child a more focused training and identify which techniques would work better for their needs. These tutors can also visit your child at home and do their lessons from your child’s study room for easier monitoring.
Every child has their quirks when it comes to reading, and it is important you help them if they find it difficult to understand the material or recall them better. With this simple technique, not only will you help your child memorize and understand it better, you will also be able to help them discover the worlds reading can show them each time they pick a book.
With some careful guidance and support, your kids would also learn why reading is fun and help them perform well in school and in life.
Looking to increase reading independence in your child? These articles might help:
How To Teach Your Singapore Child To Love Reading From A Young Age
4 ‘Must-Know’ Tips for Better Reading