As parents, there are things you can do. The key thing to remember is that the reading material HAS to be a bit challenging or the cycle of incomprehension will continue and that often means tackling slightly old-fashioned books. There are some modern writers who write well, so speak to your school or town librarian to get ideas on those or check out my short-list of great modern-ish books; in general I focus mostly on older books but make exceptions for these (see link A Short List of Fab Modern Books)
The things listed below can be done in conjunction with whatever 'easier' reading material they read themselves for pleasure:
Audiobooks (see suggestions on reading list tab on left) – long car journeys to visit relatives? Confiscate the iphone/ipad/back-of -the-seat tv and download audiobooks onto ipods (no instant messaging to distract them) or kindles or use old-fashioned CDs. Then they look at the view too!
Listen to audiobooks WITH your children and ask them questions about what is happening – pretend you don’t understand it and get them to explain it to you!
Read aloud to your kids and ask them questions about what's happening, who's doing what, why something happens, what might happen next.
Ask them to explain what they’ve read after each ‘section’ of their own book.
Get your child to draw a mind map after anything they read, sketching out characters, events, themes etc. You'll be surprised how much they remember!
Tell each other stories; ask your children to tell you a story – throw a one or two word title at them (whatever pops into your head: The Chase, The Hunt, Those Shoes, Lost, When Hedgehogs Go Bad.....)
Renaissance Accelerated Reader Scheme (look here for more information www.renlearn.co.uk/acceleratedreader )
Does your school do it? Could they? If it’s beyond their budget, could the PTA fundraise for it?
Run out of ideas? Contact me through this link Contact Me if you live in the Esher/Claygate/Kingston area to see if I'm running a workshop your child could attend. Click here Sample Workshop Model to see what my workshops consist of.