Build reading comprehension by asking your child to ‘wonder’


When children are small, they ask lots of questions. But often in school, they are asked to answer questions.

Getting your child to return to his naturally curious state—of asking questions before, during and after reading—will boost his motivation to read and enhance his understanding of what he reads.

To do this, don’t tell him to ask questions. Suggest he “wonder.” Wondering has been shown to free students’ thinking more.

Before reading an assignment, have your child examine the chapter. Have him look at the headings and illustrations. Then ask him to write down what he already knows about the subject. Also have him write down what he sees. “I see a map of the thirteen colonies.”

Then ask what he might wonder. He might wonder what the chapter is about, what he’ll learn and what will happen.

During and after reading, he might wonder, “How come?” “Why did … ?” He could also wonder what the teacher might put on the test!

Reprinted with permission from the April 2008 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2008 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: Lori Oczkus, Super Six Comprehension Strategies: 35 Lessons and More for Reading Success, ISBN: 1-929024-69-X (Christopher-Gordon Publisher, Inc., 1-800-934-8322,