“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald

Try to follow these easy parent friendly comprehension tips with your son, and with regular practice, they will become second nature.

Read, read, read

While this seems obvious, it can be tricky to get the reluctant reader to pick up a book. Reading aloud and taking turns means that you can get through a book more quickly.   Reading the first few chapters of a novel to your son often captures their interest and then they can read on their own.  Reading a variety of books also adds to their vocabulary. Model reading as an adult.

Build links to the text

Try to make links between the text and something in his own life.  As questions such as: “Does character y remind you of….?”  “Remember when we also did that, just like the x character?”  “How is this book similar to….?”

Try to guess what will happen next……

Use the information that you have read so far to guess what might happen next.  What clues can your son use to imagine where the story might lead?


Can he form a mental picture of the character/s, the setting, the things being described in the story?

 Ask questions to help clarify

Don’t just use this strategy whilst reading books.  Ask your son questions when you’re watching a favourite tv show or movie together.  This is a good habit to develop (as he won’t associate questioning with reading books!).

Monitor the meaning

Can you follow the plot so far?  Encourage your son to pause and check whether the story is making sense.   Re-read any tricky paragraphs and try not to race through the text (as boys often do).  Tell him to ask questions if he doesn’t understand.

Summarise and recap

Assist your son to recap on the main points of the story.  Ask: “In your words, tell me the main idea of the story.”  “Was there a message for the reader?”  “What could be the theme of the story?”

Check out our blogs for more ideas and tips.

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