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Tips to help your child improve reading comprehension, retention

What is the difference between reading comprehension and reading retention? Reading comprehension is the ability to understand words and sentences when reading and connect that new information to what the reader already knows. Reading retention is the ability to remember what one reads and recall it later.

Here are several techniques to help improve students’ reading comprehension and retention:


Reading is like any other activity that requires thinking: students will get the most out of it if they prepare to focus on what they’re reading. A great way to do this is to have your child preview what they’re about to read by looking for clues of key terms and information. For example, have your child read any pre-chapter summary.


Children should ask themselves questions as they read, which will help them stay aware of what they’re reading and identify anything they don’t understand. For example: What did that passage mean? What part was confusing? What was unclear about it? What did I take away from this story/paragraph/essay/section of a chapter?


Often, children understand fiction better when they can relate it to their own lives. Talk about how your child can empathize with story characters and whether he or she has experienced a situation like the one in the story. When reading with your child, ask what he or she thinks about a character’s behaviors and actions.


This strategy is important as students start reading more challenging material. Often, textbooks are designed to make this easier. Your child should know the general idea of a passage, the main takeaways and point and how to explain what he or she read to someone else. Have your child stop after each section to check.


Reading the right way will result in greater comprehension and long-term retention. As mentioned above, previewing helps with this. Children should jot down questions they have. Then, when they begin to read, they should pause to ensure they are taking in the material and answering questions they’ve written down.

Reading comprehension and retention are important parts of reading development. Children’s skills will become stronger the more they read.

The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206-2353.

Written by Huntington Learning Center

The Huntington Learning Center Gulfport is located at 8950 Lorraine Road, Unit E, Gulfport. Contact the center at (228) 206- 2353.

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