At some point in time, all of us will come across a challenging text and may struggle to comprehend what we are reading. When we’re unfamiliar with vocabulary or lack prior knowledge of a subject matter, a text can be difficult to understand. I can think of a number of occasions since college where I’ve started to read academic journals, historical texts, novels with a lot of exposition and found myself lost. My eyes glaze over. My focus jumps elsewhere. I realize I’m looking at the words but nothing much is sinking in. Here’s the thing though, I know what to do if I want to understand what I’m reading. I know I need to slow down and look up the vocabulary and concepts I’m unsure of. I know I need to summarize the text, visualize, and make connections.
Struggling readers often don’t know there are ways we can help ourselves understand what we’re reading.
Many of the struggling readers I’ve worked with believed you were either a good reader or a bad reader and were convinced they would never be a good reader. They hated reading and didn’t understand why others liked it.
Good reading strategies help readers understand what they are reading. Once they understand, reading becomes more enjoyable and reluctant readers are more willing to practice.
While the practice is key, unless a reader is using the right tools, struggling readers can look at a page over and over again, and it will be nothing more than that, a piece of paper with letters on it.
Struggling readers need tools to help them understand what they are reading.
Do you have a child who could use some help understanding what they are reading?
I offer online classes through Outschool that help readers learn and practice good reading strategies. Hands on and discussion based, these virtual classes mirror how I worked with my students in the classroom. They provide concrete strategies readers can apply to ANY text they read.
Feel free to contact me on Outschool or on the form below with questions or to request a certain day/time or age range.
Reading isn’t always easy or enjoyable. If your child or students are struggling, there are ways to help. There are strategies that will make reading less painful, help texts become accessible, and give readers the confidence and tools to begin to overcome the challenge.