Doman has always said that when it comes to early learning, never to test your child because it is the fastest way to put him off learning. After observing that what Doman said was true, I steered clear of testing for fear of putting my boys off learning. Unfortunately, that also meant I never really knew what G2 had learned and what he didn’t know. I figured that as long as I knew he had picked up the basics in reading, he enjoyed reading books, and we were exposing him to new books on a regular basis, it didn’t really matter.
Some time back, he came home with The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl and I discovered that he could read the book by himself. Curiosity caught me by the tail and I wondered how much he could read so I suggested reading a book from the Ladybird reading series – Peter and Jane: Adventure on the Island. Even though I know he can read, I must confess that I was surprised by how easily he read the book. And after speaking to his teacher at school who tells me that his reading is fluent, it got me thinking…
In Education by Numbers, they found that when it comes to gaining benefits from reading:
- mindlessly reading book after book doesn’t do much
- it is comprehension that is the key to learning gains
For example, a child who read 30 minutes a day but answered fewer than 65 percent of the [comprehension] quiz questions correctly didn’t show strong improvement over the year. Indeed, this type of high-volume reader didn’t do any better than lazier students who didn’t bother reading much.
So now that G2 can read fluently, it’s time to work on his comprehension. How much does he really understand about the books he reads? Quite frankly, I’m terrible at asking comprehension questions. And then I stumbled on these in the book store:
Given how fond he is of the Geronimo Stilton series, G2 seems quite amenable to working through this book with me. Even G1 has assigned himself Pawbook Level 3 even though I never intended for him to work on it. Bonus!
- Resources for developing comprehension
- Why children who read are smarter
- Supporting Reading at Home
- Phonics: Encouraging Literacy at Home
- Reaching the Reluctant Reader