Family Life

Any ideas for improving reading comprehension?

Do any of you have suggestions for helping my son increase his reading comprehension?

I’d better give you a little background. My five year old is hyperlexic. Basically, for him, written English was his first language and he is still working on spoken English. Sometimes when he speaks he sounds as if English is his second language because he makes grammar errors that those learning the language might make – word choice, verb agreement, etc. You know what he means, but it sounds awkward. On the other hand, he has been reading since he was three, and now by my calculations is reading at least a grade level ahead.



Who’s that crossing over my bridge?

Now the challenge. His reading comprehension scores from his first report card were below his reading level. He is “word calling”.

For example, when asked why the Troll did not eat the littlest Billy Goat Gruff he responded “He was a bad tempered troll.” Literal, word for word exactly as written in the story. He has made his father and I act out the story numerous times – EXACTLY the way he remembers it in his mind, down to the specific lines and intonation. And he makes us repeat it until we get it correct. Akira Kurosawa could pick up a few tips from him. 🙂

So we know he knows the story, but he is getting tripped up on the analysis. If they don’t tell him in the story he isn’t able to figure it out from the contextual clues.

I still think he gets the “w” questions mixed up sometimes. M thinks he is trying to go so fast that he isn’t paying close enough attention. His teacher thinks he is just brilliant and thinks on a different plane than the rest of us.

I know he is only 5 and this is his first Kindergarten report card. I am not a Tiger Mom, or that annoying mom/teacher in the ABC Mouse commercial that is distraught her 4 year old couldn’t read. I know he is advanced for his age. I don’t want to push him beyond his capabilities or freak out that he can’t do things 3 grade levels ahead like some in his class can. But, I am a firm believer in Early Intervention. If there are little things we can do now to help him along I want to do it so he doesn’t risk falling behind later on.

We are asking him questions when we read (which is every day) and having him retell the story per advice we have received from several elementary teachers, including his own.

So did I explain and justify my reasoning enough?

I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas (programs, books, etc,) for us to try, because I think you can never have enough tricks in your bag. You never know which one will work the best, and sometimes it is a combination of techniques that work best.

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