In the 2018 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) , which measured the reading comprehension capabilities of 79 nations, the Philippine scored 79th. This means that as a nation, we are horrible in comprehending what we read. In fact, in job recruitment posts, people would still ask about things which are explicitly mentioned in the post. This shows how terrible our country is, with regards to reading. However, all is not lost for the next generation, for they can still develop their reading skills. With this simple guide, you, dear parents, can stop this trend and allow your kids to be the change, with regards to reading comprehension.

Read to Them

Reading to kids really helps

The first thing you should do, dear parents, is to read to your kids. You can read anything to them, from Bible verses, children’s books, and even simple newspaper columns. Just make sure what you are reading is simple enough. Choose texts with simple words, and not complicated journal articles, to spark their interests. Also, help them develop the passion to read by allowing them to choose the texts you read to them. After all, kids dig it when they are offered choices.

Discuss the Text With Them

This ain’t the library, feel free to discuss

After reading to them, and allowing them to follow you as you read, discuss what you have just read. For example, if discussing the story of Jesus blessing the children, you can ask them why the disciples did not want the kids to go to Jesus. In this example, the answer is that they thought he was tired. So, what you can talk about after a reading session does not have to be limited to details in the text. If they are able to comprehend the text, and go beyond it as well, encourage their capabilities.

Know Their Capabilities

Jedi Masters know the abilities of their Padawans

However, it is important that you know the capabilities of your children. For example, you shouldn’t expose them to Tolkien’s novels unless they have mastered reading simple texts, like news articles (PG) for instance. If children are exposed to texts too hard for them, then they will lose their confidence if they can’t comprehend them. So, do them a favor and remember what they are capable of. After all, no Jedi Master places their Padawan in grave danger if they don’t know if said Padawan is ready. As a result, you must really, and I mean really, know the reading level of your children, so you know where to start.

Remember, Reading is Fun, Yet Practical at the Same Time

Remember, reading is fun

Finally, it is important for kids to know is that reading is fun, for it exposes them to new worlds, like Narnia, Ancient Israel, and for the older kids, Middle Earth and Westeros. This is because the best authors effectively construct their fictional worlds, to the extent that readers forget that what they are reading is fiction.

Also, teach the kids about the practicalities of reading by taking them on the field. This means that you allow them to read prices when shopping, read road signs, and even, in case they are interested, contracts. Due to this, it can be said that reading comprehension is a practical skill, since our civilization is built on reading and writing. However, it is fun because reading can enrich the imagination.

There is Hope

In the end, even though being last place with regards to reading comprehension may seem depressing to us Filipinos, there is still hope, for we can still help the young be better readers. So, all you, dear parents, need to do is to follow this guide, and you can help your kids become better readers. If the young become expert readers, then it will lead to our nation’s improvement. After all, Rizal believed that young people are the hope of the nation.

SOURCE: Juan, R. S. (2019, December 3). Philippines lowest in reading comprehension among 79 countries. Retrieved January 21, 2020, from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/12/03/1974002/philippines-lowest-reading-comprehension-among-79-countries

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