This post is sponsored by Reading Portfolio.
There are so many things that can distract our teens from reading these days. Cell phones, Facebook, videos, and more can grab their attention and drastically reduce their reading time.
Most homeschool parents would agree that teen reading is a habit that needs to be encouraged and cultivated. Many of us set minimum time limits for reading or compile a list of required reading for the homeschool year.
But what about ensuring that our teens are really digging in and understanding what they are reading?
3 Ways to Cultivate Teen Reading Comprehension
1. Require a written analysis of the book.
One tried-and-true method of demonstrating reading comprehension is written analysis. This could be in either a formal or an informal format.
A formal written analysis, commonly referred to as a critical review or a book critique, is an excellent tool for helping a student to dig deeper and reconsider what has been read. It is also a great way to prepare for college-level writing.
Not every analysis needs to be a formal critique, however. An informal, factual paper or a simple book report can also help a student to organize his thoughts about what has been read.
2. Encourage oral discussion of the book.
As homeschoolers we know that there are plenty of ways to learn without writing. Oral discussion is an excellent option in a homeschool setting, since parents are already deeply involved in what their teen is learning.
Read the assigned book along with your teen, either reading aloud or reading independently. Then discuss the points that stood out to you personally and ask your student to share his thoughts, as well.
Encourage your teen to share reasons why he agrees or disagrees with your viewpoint on the book. This builds the same critical thinking skills that are honed in a critical review, without the actual writing process.
3. Assign a test or quiz on the book.
Perhaps the simplest way to encourage basic comprehension skills is through the classic method of giving a test.
Many books have study guides available with questions and answers that could be turned into a test. If you are very familiar with the book, you could also create your own test.
Reading Portfolio offers the option of online quizzes for a wide variety of books that are commonly required as high school reading. The quizzes contain randomized questions from up to ten different categories, ensuring that students have truly understood the book.
Specifically designed for ages 13 and up, Reading Portfolio gives students credit for every book read when they pass the quiz. This helps provides a solid reading portfolio for high school transcripts and college applications–especially helpful for homeschool students.
Use Reading Portfolio to Demonstrate Reading Comprehension
You can get access to Reading Portfolio and track your teen’s independent reading for only $15.95 per year. Even better, you can get access for a full TEN years for only $24.95!
Reading Portfolio is also offering a fabulous fall giveaway! 25 winners will receive one-year membership to the site with access to all the quizzes and records. Please enter via the widget below.
If you purchase membership and then win the giveaway, Reading Portfolio will refund your purchase price.