When a Child
What He Reads'.
VVhen a child or teenager regularly reads a passage well but "can't remember
what is said," we know that he is using an inefficient strategy for comprehension.
ne Ofthe most puzzling situa-
t ions a homeschooling moth-
er finds herself in is when she
has a Child Who Can read the
words in a book but cannot answer the
questions or tell her what has just been
read. moms frequently hear the
phrase "I don't remember" when queried
about the reading material.
When working With bright, hardwork-
ing fourth- through eighth •graders in my
reading class, I often had students who
Were experiencing is particular reading
difficulty. I realized that these students
were not proficient at converting the
words they Were reading into a
in their head, as the rest of us do when
we read. They were merely doing "word
calling" much Of the time. I found that
"movie making" was a skill that could be
developed in them, using an easy fifteen-
minute-a-day exercise. exercise did
not involve paper or pencil but only the
use of the brain.
"Word calling" is a left-brain auditory
task, While creating a picture Or movie Of
those words is the responsibility of the
right-brain hemisphere. I merely showed
them how to Create a seamless flow Of
words to pictures as they were reading.
You can do this at home, very easily.
Converting Words to Pictures
When a child or teenager regularly reads
a passage well but "can't remember What
is said," we know that he is using an in•
efficient strategy for comprehension. He
Often is trying to remember the exact
words he read, rather than converting
the words into pictures. Whether he is
reading for recreation or information, he
must change the words he reads into im•
ages in his mind. 'Ille more these images
involve the Senses (Sight, sound, smell,
feel), the greater Will be the comprehen-
sion of the passage.
The following steps can be used with a
student to develop his ability to change
the words he hears or reads into pictures
for good comprehension. You will be
surprised how fast his comprehension
Skills Will improve after just a few weeks
ofthese "training sessions."
This method works well with one child
or a group Of children or teenagers.
Step 1 : Parent/Teacher Reads a
Passage A loud
Choose material to read to the child
that is interesting and very descriptive.
Standing in front Of him as you read to
him, have the child sit upright and keep
his eyes upward, creating a "movie" in
his mind. You can pretend that are
32 December 2012 • 'lhe Struggling Homeschooler