Importance of Reading Comprehension

Posted by Sarah Rutzler on October 20, 2017

Although many children can read, reading and reading comprehension are two different things. While reading involves translating and decoding text into sounds and spoken words, reading comprehension involves taking what was just read and deriving meaimportance of reading and reading comprehensionning from those words. In simpler terms, reading comprehension is the ability to read, understand, process, and recall what was just read.

The importance of reading comprehension

Having excellent reading comprehension skills is crucial. It increases the enjoyment and effectiveness of reading and helps not only academically, but professionally, and in a person's personal life. Imagine being given a document by your boss.You can read the document, but you cannot understand what it is fully asking, or maybe you are applying to jobs and do not understand a question that is being asked. Being able to understand the meaning behind the text helps children develop intellectually, socially, and professionally.

In a school environment, it is crucial children have excellent comprehension skills. As I mentioned earlier, reading comprehension is used in other subjects such as science, math, and history.

Science: Children read and learn about many scientific related topics throughout K-12. Proper reading comprehension will have them read and understand facts about animals, plants, the Solar System, the scientific method, and many more.

Math : Children are given word problems a lot in mathematics. Without reading comprehension skills, children will struggle determining what is actually being asked and said.

History : Children are taught about many significant leaders and events throughout history like Abraham Lincoln, The Constitution, and the American Civil War. In order for children to succeed at reading about history, they must understand what is being said. Reading comprehension will help them understand and process the information in the text.

Ways to improve your child’s reading comprehension


Improving your child’s reading comprehension skills is easier than you think. Six ways to improve your child’s reading comprehension ability are:

Ask questions. Asking your children questions before, during, and after reading helps make sure they fully understand what is happening or going to happen.

Before :

  1. “What do you think the book will be about based on the title and cover?”

  2. “What type of characters do you think will be in the story?”

  3. “What do you know about this topic?”

During :

  1. “What has happened in the story for far?”

  2. “How do you think the character will handle the situation?”

  3. “Is there anything you are wondering right now?”

After :

  1. “What was the main message in the story/text?”

  2. “Tell me the story in your own words”

  3. “What were the most important events in the story?”

Make connections. As you and your children read aloud, share experiences you have had that relate to the story and have them share theirs. Remind them how it is important to make connections with the characters and events in the story.

Create a visual. Sometimes children have a hard time visualizing what they just read. Help your children visualize by describing the scene, characters, and plot. You can even ask them what they are visualizing and have them draw in pencil, pen, markers, or colored pencils. They will be involved and creating their own story, which will help them get a clearer understanding of what is happening.

Make inferences and predictions. Making inferences and predictions goes hand-and-hand with asking questions. Inferring is the ability to take clues and given knowledge from a text and conclude what will happen next. To help them infer, ask them to predict what might happen next in the story.

  • ●  Inferring questions :

    1. “What does the author want you to think about?”

    2. “Why do you think the character did ______?”

  • ●  Predicting questions :

    1. “What do you think will happen next?”

    2. “If the story had a sequel, what do you think it would be about?”


Figure out what’s important. Stories have a lot of information in them and some information can be more important than others. Create a story map or download one and jot down the setting, characters, problem, order of events, and conclusion. This will help teach children a story structure, which is used for better comprehension. Story maps help give a visual representation of what is happening and help children stay organized.

Fix any type of confusion. It is important to go back and reread a story in case your children are confused. Reread the story with them, look at pictures, and identify the terms that are confusing. Go over the story with them patiently to make sure they have fully grasped what was being read. Some confusion can come from a lack of vocabulary or language arts. If you child is struggling with the meaning of a word or the structure of a sentence, make sure you take the time to go over these questions with them. At first it might seem like small thing, but giving your child an increasing vocabulary is essential to reading comprehension. 


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Montgomery, Courtney. "How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips." How to Improve Reading Comprehension: 8 Expert Tips. PrepScholar, 25 June 2016. Web. 10 Oct. 2017.

Osewalt, Ginny. "6 Tips for Helping Your Child Improve Reading Comprehension." Web. 10 Oct. 2017.


Topics: Reading, Reading Comprehension, Child Education, Better Education

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