Developing Reading Comprehension

One of our main goals as parents is to cultivate a love for reading in our children.  It is a great desire, and easy to accomplish, but just as easy to squelch. 

As homeschooling parents who have taught three children to read, we still need to check pronunciation and develop comprehension.    To do so, we have implemented several different methods. 

For pronunciation, we listen to our children read aloud several times a week.  During these read aloud sessions, we also work on speed and elocution for our older children.

Checking comprehension can be a bit more time intensive. 

Sometimes we have the child narrate orally what a chapter or book was about.  This is very easy to do and provides a great opportunity to dialogue about characters, plots, and events. 

Other times, we have the child write either a few sentences or a few paragraphs (depending on their age) about their reading.  This is very similar to the oral narrative, but provides a written component.  Often, our children draw a picture to accompany this written work.

Another way we develop comprehension is through literary guides.  Two we prefer are Veritas Press literature guides and Progeny Press study guides.  Both offer vocabulary, detailed questions, and related projects to accompany a selected book.  We use these guides occasionally for variety. 

Finally, for a few books, I have developed our own comprehension guides.  When I wanted to use a particular book for a specific purpose, I wasn't always able to find a guide.  In these cases, I simply made our own.  I hope to eventually share these short guides with you as free downloads on this site.


  1. Thanks for the ideas, Dorie!

  2. I have never used literature guides, but I may have to start!!! We LOVED Calico Bush (I see it in your basket) -- my daughter her whole literature fair with this book so it is close to her heart!

    1. Calico Bush is definitely a good read!
      We really like the variety of using a literature guide every so often. I doubt we would like them for every book, but every once in awhile they are fabulous.


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