Reading comprehension is one of the essential reading skills a child should develop. To ensure that you would be able to adequately monitor your child's reading comprehension, here are some comprehension strategies that you can try out:
Read-alouds, also known as storytelling and guided reading, is a fun way to engage a child in a story. It's a very easy activity that you can do for about 30 minutes before your child's bedtime. A tip is to let your child choose the book that he wants you to read together; make a big deal out of this activity to let him feel that reading is a very enjoyable treat.
Before the read-aloud, let him look at the cover of the book and let him guess what the story is all about (this works if it's his first time to read or listen to it). After reading every page, you could ask him to predict what would happen next. Encourage him to use his imagination. He doesn't have to be correct all the time. By letting him predict the next event, you are also monitoring his comprehension level. Apart from this, you are instilling in him an excitement for reading.
After the read-aloud, ask him questions about the story. You could start by asking knowledge questions (such as, "who were the main characters of the story?" "What was the story all about?" etc). If your child can't answer, then reread the relevant section, or give him clues. If he still can't answer, it's very important that you never pressure your child or reproach him. The key here is to gently instruct and guide. You wouldn't want your child to be traumatized with reading in any way.
Do make sure that your comprehension questions would not be limited to what occurred within the story; ask questions that let your child share his opinions and that even lets him be critical. Such questions may include, "Which character do you like the best?" "Which part of the story did you like the most?" "If you were a character in the story, would you have done anything differently?"
There are so many reading worksheets available that focus primarily on monitoring and building the reading comprehension level of a child. Pick out one that targets your child's age and/or grade level. These reading worksheets have typically one short story of a particular genre, with questions following afterwards. By using these worksheets regularly, you would be able to monitor your child's reading comprehension in a quantifiable way, and you would be able to instruct him based on his areas for improvement. Another advantage to these worksheets is that if taken regularly, he would get used to standardized reading comprehension exams.
Related games, activities and exercises.
A very creative way of monitoring reading comprehension is through creative games, activities and exercises that are rooted from the story. After your child reads a story, for example, you could have him draw a comic strip of his favorite part; let him answer crossword puzzles (with questions like, "which character..." or "where..."); word hunt games... and the list goes on. The key here is to create an activity that would appeal to your child and would also serve to tap into his interests and talents.
There are so many online resources that you could take advantage of to help you monitor your child's comprehension, or at least to give you ideas on how to help him enjoy reading more. These online resources include free worksheets that have guided questions as well as reading instructions. Some of these online resources include teachnology.com; rhlschool.com, abcteach.com, and many others.
There you have it! These are just some tips to help you monitor and improve your child's reading comprehension. Make sure that you acquire reading help also from your child's teacher and that you work hand-in-hand with her towards your child's development in reading. Good luck!