boost reading comprehension

Activities to Improve Kids’ Writing Skills

Reading skills are essential, but they go hand-in-hand with writing skills. Boosting one skill can help improve the other, plus writing can help better your child’s overall communication skills as well. There are several activities you can encourage your children to partake in that can help them improve their writing and reading skills.

Start Simple and Get Reading

Kids who read books and varied materials such as magazines and word games tend to be better at writing as well. Reading can help kids get a feel for how language works, as well as a deeper understanding of the English language by reading a variety of different material. Not only do kids develop writing skills through reading, but also kids can develop skills like empathy and understanding when they read about different characters, which can contribute directly to their ability to communicate well with others.

Encourage Them to Document Their Lives

Journaling is lauded as a highly therapeutic activity for people of all ages, but it also gives kids an easy topic to write about. Getting them into the habit of writing about their day can help them form a habit of keeping a journal, which has also proven to improve memory and can help kids better understand their own feelings and emotions. Plus, having a journal from when they were young can be a really special memento for them to have when they’re older.

Make It Fun!

Word games like riddles, crossword puzzles and word jumbles can be both brain bending as well as fun. These sorts of games can also help to improve problem solving skills, vocabulary, and spelling too.

Write Letters

Writing letters is a bit antiquated, but they are still very much appreciated. Skills that come along with letter writing can be helpful as your kids get older, too. Writing letters to grandparents and friends make for great gifts and sweet surprises when they arrive in the mail. The art of writing a proper letter can still come in handy when it comes time for your kids to learn how to write essays in high school and college as well as resumes and other documents as an adult.

Make Some Space

Like any activity, it helps to make it special by designating a certain spot to write in. Create a fun, customized/customizable writing space that can encourage your kids to get in the zone. Supply it with notebooks, pencils and other gear – and to make it feel less like school work you can splurge on the colored pens, markers, and other supplies that may not be allowed on their back-to-school list but can still have plenty of fun with at home.

Give Them Some Ideas

Even professional writers use writing prompts now and then. You can give your child some ideas for poems, short stories, or even journal entries by giving them words to use, using a picture for inspiration, or asking them specific questions.

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Questions to Ask Your Child to Boost Reading Comprehension

When it comes to building reading skills, what better than actually reading? However knowing the words, sounding them out, and reading them aloud is only part of the skill set that reading requires and can it help enhance the experience if done correctly. Being able to read is one thing, but retaining information, making inferences and forming opinions is another important aspect of this activity – especially in regards to academics. It is important that kids are not only able to read, but that they are also able to take something away from the experience as well. This can mean learning new things, but it can also mean connecting with a fictional character on a personal level or being inspired to engage their imaginations and do something new.

There are some ways parents can help kids boost their reading comprehension skills to get them in the habit of thinking actively.

Ask Their Opinion

This is straightforward, but it can help. After story time, whether it is the parent reading to the child or the child reading aloud, asking questions about the book or the chapter that was just read can help a lot. Not only can asking questions help engage their minds, but having a discussion about the story can help boost kids’ memories and encourage them to engage with the material more personally.

Ask them who their favorite character was and why. Ask them why they think the character did what they did in the story, and what they might have done differently if they were in their shoes. You can even ask your child what they think might happen next or what they would write if they were in charge of the next chapter or sequel.

Encourage Them to Keep a Journal

Kids don’t necessarily have to recount their days; kids can write about their lives, the things they read, school, or anything they like. The important thing is that they are writing. Writing is inherently related to reading in nature, and writing can help children better understand written material. Not only that, but writing can help boost communication skills, empathy and emotional understanding.

Give your kids prompts to answer in their journal, whether it is about their day, what happened at school, or what they think about the things they are reading. Ask them engaging questions and see what they come up with.

Have Them Tell You a Story

Sometimes, bedtime includes a story from mom or dad and not from a book. Storytelling in any form can be beneficial, plus it’s a great way to spend time together and form wonderful memories. But next time at bedtime, ask your child to tell you a story instead – and don’t just listen in, be an active audience member. Ask your kids about their characters and the events of the story, ask them why things happen or why a character did something a certain way. These are the same questions you may have asked your children after reading a book, but asking them about their own stories can help to further engage their active sense of reasoning and understanding. These skills will come in handy when kids are reading on their own and once they begin to ask themselves these questions, they will become more active and understanding readers.

Below are some starter questions you may consider asking your child before choosing a book, while reading a book, or when you’re finished reading:

Picking out a book

• Why did you choose this book?

• Did you like the picture on the front? What’s happening in the image?

• What could this book be about?

Before reading the book

• Can you point to the title? or What is this? (pointing to the title)

• What might happen in the story?

• Talk about the different parts of the book (ex. front cover, back cover, title, author, illustrator, etc.)

• If it is an informational book, ask them what they hope to learn and why

While reading

• What has happened so far?

• What might happen next?

•How do you think the story might end?

• What sort of character is….? How would you describe them? Would you be friends with them?

• How would you feel if you had been that character? Has anything like that happened to you? What would you do if this happened to you?

• If reading an information book: Have you learned anything new? What else would you like to know?

At the end of the book

• What was their favorite part? What was the most interesting/exciting part of the book?

• Why did that character do … (give a situation from the story as an example)?

• What happened in the story?

• Who are the main characters in the story?

• What character would you like to be?

• Did you like this book?

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