Reading Comprehension — The Skill That Pairs Well With Phonics

When educators or homeschooling parents start the process of teaching students how to read, it’s important to tackle it on different fronts.  Several tactics are used together to ensure that a child can not only read but has an understanding of what is being read.  For the early reader, the most effective combination of skills to use in decoding unknown words is a combination of phonics, story context, and picture clues.

A combination of strategies leads to reading comprehension

Word decoding is the ability to read single words in isolation.  Before a child learns this, they must first learn, through phonics, what the symbols and letters represent. Tim Shanahan, a reading expert, commented on the National Reading Panel’s 5 pillars of reading. These include phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary. Lastly, it includes strategies designed to boost comprehension.  These can include learning to summarize or creating a drawing of what was read. Sadly, it’s been reported that only 37% of educators cover all five pillars.

Key Tactics for Reading Comprehension

When you teach for comprehension, there are other factors that help.  For instance, students respond better to reading about things they have some prior knowledge about.  With rapid decoding skills, students can start to understand the meaning of words and sentences. The five pillars all work together so that students can have a better rate of learning how to read. With Super Books, students have high-interest stories. Words are decodable in text and detailed visuals aid in understanding.