Active Reading: How Parents Should Be Reading to Their Children

Developing reading skills and comprehension is one of the most important aspects of your child’s education, even in the stages of early childhood. Developing these skills are a central part of our daily activities at Discovery Tree Academy, and we’d like to share some helpful tips for you parents so that you can be an active participant in your child’s reading development skills.


What Is Active Reading?

From the time that your child was an infant, it’s very likely that you’ve spent hours and hours reading to your child. While this is a very important practice, the next step in developing reading skills and comprehension is to read with your child. This is called “active reading,” and it can be utilized in books ranging from simple board books all the way to your child’s first chapter books. Active reading actually begins before you even crack open the book — as you sit down with your child with your selected book, ask questions like these:

  • What do you think this book is about?

  • Do you know who these characters are?

  • What do you already know about this story?

  • Do you have any questions about this book?

portrait of young girl with a book

Ask Questions About What You’re Reading Together

As you read together, asking questions is a wonderful way to build up language skills and improve comprehension. Actively asking questions while reading is essential to the act of active reading. The more you practice asking questions, the better you will become at asking questions that provoke thought, reflection, and ultimately, absorption of information.

 father reading with his son and daughter

Take Opportunities to Build Vocabulary

One of the most obvious and beneficial outcomes of participating in active reading with your children is the development of their vocabulary. Active reading provides the opportunity for your child to experience and use words that they may normally not encounter in their normal daily life. The more your children take part in active reading, the more robust their vocabulary becomes. You can also feel free to have fun with new words — start a list consisting of a “word of the day” and encourage your child to try to use it in conversation.

Make Connections to Your Child’s World

During active reading, you have the ability as a parent to make connections from the books you’re reading to your child’s world. The connections that result from these types of conversations help create experiences that your child will remember, increasing your child’s ability to recall and retain read information. The more relevant a story or information is to your child’s life, the easier it is for your child to make sense of and remember that information. As you read, make connections regarding characters, settings, and events.

Learn More About Active Reading With Discovery Tree Academy

Developing reading comprehension skills and building vocabulary are just two essential parts of your child’s early and continuing education. To learn more about active reading and how you can help your child continue to grow and learn, contact Discovery Tree Academy in Springville and Payson!