6 Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension

Try these tips to help your child develop stronger literacy skills.

Jun 24, 2024



6 Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension

Jun 24, 2024

Developing reading comprehension skills is incredibly important for early readers, starting as early as picture books. As school-aged children get older, it will help them understand textbooks, newspapers, and other more complex texts.

Scholastic offers plenty of grade-appropriate reading comprehension activity books that can help your child practice, but in addition, here are six tips to sharpen reading comprehension skills in your early reader. 

Check out the best reading comprehension practice workbooks for grades 3+.

For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter!

You'll also get 10% off your first order at the Scholastic Store Online.

1. Have Them Read Aloud

This encourages them to go slower, which gives them more time to process what they read and in turn improves reading comprehension. Plus, they're not only seeing the words — they're hearing them, too! You can also take turns reading aloud. (Explore these popular read-aloud books the whole family will love.)

2. Provide Books at the Right Level

Make sure your school-aged reader gets lots of practice reading books that aren't too hard. They should recognize at least 90 percent of the words without any help. Stopping any more often than that to figure out a word makes it tough for kids to focus on the overall meaning of the story.

If your child needs help transitioning from picture books to chapter books, try Scholastic's Branches books, which are designed to bridge that gap for growing readers.

3. Reread to Build Fluency

To gain meaning from text and encourage reading comprehension, your child needs to read quickly and smoothly — a skill known as fluency. By the beginning of 3rd grade, for example, your child should be able to read 90 words a minute.

Rereading familiar, simple books gives your child practice at decoding words quickly, so they'll become more fluent in their reading comprehension. (For simple books your child will love to reread, check out these expert-approved beginner books.)

4. Talk to Your Child's Teacher

If your child is struggling with reading comprehension, they may need more help with building their vocabulary or practicing phonics skills. (This Pokémon Phonics Boxed Set and this Peppa Pig Phonics Box Set are fun ways to help your child build necessary phonics skills.) A teacher can weigh in on the best next steps to take.

5. Supplement Their Class Reading

If your child's class is studying a particular theme, look for easy-to-read books or magazines on the topic. Some prior knowledge will help them make their way through tougher classroom texts and promote reading comprehension.

6. Talk About What They're Reading

This "verbal processing" helps them remember and think through the themes of the book. Ask questions before, during, and after a session to encourage reading comprehension. (Read about all the questions you should ask during story time here!) For example: 

  • Before: "What are you interested in about this book? What doesn't interest you?" 
  • During: "What's going on in the book? Is it turning out the way you thought it would? What do you think will happen next?" 
  • After: "Can you summarize the book? What did you like about it? What other books does it remind you of?"
Shop resources to improve your child's reading comprehension below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store

Workbooks for Reading Comprehension

Phonics Sets to Improve Comprehension

Book Sets to Boost Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension
Developing Reading Skills
Age 9
Age 8
Age 7
Age 6
Age 10
Reading Support
Reading Comprehension
Parent and Teacher Communication
Reading for Pleasure