5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension at Home

Posted by Curriculum & Assessment Team on 12/5/2022 11:00:00 AM

Students smiling at desk


After learning about our English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum, you may be interested in how you can support the reading comprehension of your student. Here are five easy strategies.


  1. Talk to students about what they are learning about in school.

All Kyrene students are reading, discussing, and writing about a specific topic in their ELA classrooms. Here is a list of the ELA units of study for grades K-8. Ask students what they have learned about the topic; you will find yourself amazed about how much they know. This will foster vocabulary development, which is closely tied to reading comprehension.


  1. Find connected text/media to the topics taught in class and discuss the ideas learned.

Use the Kyrene ELA units of study list to visit the library to find books related to the topics students are learning. Watching videos allows students to understand new information from a different medium. Discovery Education, BrainPop, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and PBS are great places to start. Even YouTube has many informative, student-friendly videos that are rich in content knowledge. Once you have found print and digital material to learn from, talk to the student about what was learned. Chances are that adults will learn something new as well!


  1. Do research about a topic the student is interested in.

Additional reading and research does not have to be limited to what students are learning in school. Talk to the student about what interests them. Have the student brainstorm questions that they want to learn more about. Visit the library or search the internet and help them find answers to those questions. Have conversations about the information they are finding.


  1. Listen to audiobooks that are slightly more difficult than what a student could read themselves. 

We have known for a while now that a child’s listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension until they are about 13 years old (Sticht & James, 1984). This means that children can listen to more difficult texts than what they would be able to read independently. We need to take advantage of this strength by allowing students to listen to harder texts; this will support them in their vocabulary development, as well as their reading fluency, another factor that influences strong reading comprehension.


  1. Find a book the student is interested in and read it with them. 

It is important to encourage our children to read outside of school, so start with the topics and stories that interest them. To support their thinking and vocabulary, read the book with them. This will make the reading more enjoyable for the child as well as support the critical thinking necessary for strong comprehension of all texts.