Do you have a feeling that your child struggles with reading comprehension? Would it be a shock of shocks for you to see your son or daughter curled up with a good book? In truth, there’s a lot of reasons why reading itself becomes an issue for today’s students.

Parents often cast a critical eye at today’s lifestyle: with iPhones, Xboxes, personal computers, and flat-screen plasma TVs becoming almost obligatory parts of a modern student’s room, it’s easy to look upon techno-gadgets with an air of suspicion. While it’s true that today’s students are more distracted than ever before, a child’s desire to spend hours in front of Facebook is a symptom of under-developed reading skills, and not the cause itself.

What we find time and time again is that students who don’t read habitually or for pleasure fit two common patterns. First, they don’t think that reading “book language” is worthwhile or can communicate anything to them effectively. Second, and just as importantly, they have arrived at this conclusion because they never learned how to read the right way.

Often times, students unwittingly create a vicious cycle: they don’t understand what’s going on in a novel or textbook, so they begin to skim. And when they skim, they jeopardize their ability to know what’s going on or what’s important. Additionally, as they increase in grade level, students are more tempted to skim because the assignments become longer and more complicated. When a student flatly says that they hate to read, it’s a condition that won’t go away on its own.

At Walker, we break this cycle by reading with a student, taking frequent breaks after each paragraph to talk about major themes in the passage, how the author might develop an argument, or clues that give us an idea as to what might happen next.

Because reading comprehension is so important to high achievement—regardless of subject—it’s important for us to spend the time with our pupils to develop this skill set. If you suspect your child’s reading level could be affecting their progress, reach out to us. We’d be thrilled to tell you more about how tutoring has been the spark that has turned many disinterested students into avid readers!