Are you concerned about your child’s reading comprehension? You might need to take another step back and assess his basic reading skills. Often, poor reading comprehension is the result of gaps in basic reading skills.

To figure out if you need to work on your child's basic reading skills, have him read aloud to you. As he is reading aloud, pay attention to the following:

  • If your child consistently has a difficult time breaking words down into syllables, then he probably has a gap in his decoding skills and in his understanding of sound relationships.
  • If your child doesn't consistently recognize words when he tries to sound them out, but then recognizes the word when you help him, this reveals a gap in word recognition and word decoding skills.
  • If your child doesn't consistently recognize basic sight words (it, the, a, are) and common words, then he is probably predominantly a visual learner and has difficulty with words he cannot connect a visual to- this is often a sign of dyslexia and other language learning disabilities. This problem can be corrected with multisensory practice because it will help him connect the visual representation of the word to auditory and kinesthetic cues making it easier for him to retrieve from his brain.
  • If your child lacks fluency in his reading and frequently gets stuck on words, he is spending his mental energy to cope with a weakness in basic reading skills and that is why he is unable to pay attention to the overall text.
  • If your child reads fluently and recognizes most words, then his comprehension problem is unrelated to basic reading skills and is a sign that he either lacks the vocabulary and background information needed to comprehend the text OR he is bored or distracted. To figure out which one of these is the case, ask your child what some of the more difficult words mean. If he knows the meaning of the more difficult words, then his reading comprehension problem is rooted in his lack of focus or boredom with the text. If he reads the large words correctly but does not know what they mean, then his poor reading comprehension can be attributed to a gap in his vocabulary.

Keep in mind that your child’s poor reading comprehension can be attributed to a combination of these signs. It may be the result of poor focus, a gap in basic reading skills, and a lack of vocabulary.

If you believe your child may have a gap in his basic reading skills, use Reading Horizons free assessments to find the gaps. >

Reading Horizons specializes in filling the gaps in basic reading skills that prevent reading success. For more information on Reading Horizons products visit our Online Store.