Everyone has experienced it… you get to the end of a sentence or a page and you realize you can’t remember what you just read. Maybe your mind was wandering. Perhaps the subject matter was a bit dry. Now, imagine your teen struggling with the same challenge – only their attention span has to contend with a much more vivid imagination!
In today’s world, there are many factors that affect reading concentration. Smartphones, friends, games and all the other modern distractions are making it more difficult for teens to focus. To give your teen the best chance at reading success, we’ve put together 4 tips that will help them make the most of their reading sessions.
1. Read with your eyes; not with your words
Many people have the tendency to read to themselves when they are trying to absorb a passage. Whether they do this out loud or in their minds, the pace at which they read is slower than if they just followed the words with their eyes and absorbed information this way. Although this technique can be helpful when reading something that is more difficult to grasp, the name of the game here is speed! Use this rule to teach your son or daughter to read faster without converting the words on the page into speech.
2. Preview the “passage”
If reading a textbook, have your child read over the title of the chapter, the headings, subheadings, illustrations or any items that stand out. This way, they’ll have more context about what they are about to read, which will lead to improved comprehension.
3. Eliminate Distractions
This is a big one. The alluring “ping” of a new message popping up on a teen’s smartphone will always be hard to ignore. If you notice your teen is dealing with too many distractions, suggest that they turn off their phone and focus on their work for a short time. Once they can get the ball rolling without a never-ending series of stops and starts, they might realize that eliminating distractions can save them time in the long run.
4. Move on to the next sentence
This rule applies to all age groups – when you don’t understand a sentence and you read it over and over again, leave it behind and move on to the next. Chances are, you may not understand that first sentence, but if you continue on and read through a paragraph, you’ll have more information and will better understand what was written in the beginning. Let your son or daughter know that they can continue on so they are not stalling on one sentence.
These are just a few tips to help your teen and even yourself become a more efficient reader. Care to share your best reading tips? We encourage you to comment below.