The Parenting Cipher Logo
June 25, 2021

Improve Your Child's Reading Skills by Using the Before-During-After Strategies

Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is a package of skills used to digest what we read. Last week, I shared a summer reading list of multicultural and diverse books for you and your child to enjoy during the downtime of summer. Consider this Part 2, as I talk about ways to improve and enhance your child’s reading comprehension. FYI: These strategies work for adults too.

According to the Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD), secondary readers struggle more than primary readers due to text complexities. While reading is said to be fundamental, reading comprehension is not. However, there are simple and effective ways to improve reading comprehension. The better the comprehension, the more fun reading will be.

The BDA: Before-During-After strategies are popular skill-clusters that use writing and conversation to be effective. While you don’t have to execute each strategy, you must execute each skill within the strategy chosen to be successful. Let’s take a look!

Before Strategy – Background on the Book

The Before Strategy increases interest and establishes a purpose for what you and your child are about to read. Skills:

  • Examine the front and back covers – title and pictures.

  • Read the summary.

  • Make predictions about the characters and ending solely based on the title and covers. For fun, this can be turned into a game – It is summertime!

  • Write out two or three questions to be answered during and after reading.

  • Use vocabulary words for your child to look for as they read, a sort of multi-tasking effort.

During Strategy – Wandering Through the Wonder

The During Strategy helps make connections, ensures focus and gauges the level of understanding. Skills:

  • Answer questions from the Before Strategy.

  • Encourage questions from your child, like if it’s a word they don’t know or a phrase they don’t understand.

  • Ask for a summary of what was just read, mid-section.

  • Re-read or paraphrase a passage to promote clarity.

  • Give a visual representation by referring back to the cover pages or other pictures.

  • Inquire about vocabulary words from the Before Strategy.

After Strategy – Grasping the Goodness

The After Strategy secures knowledge gained by prompting reflection and response. Skills:

  • Discuss what was read asking if anything was relatable.

  • Inquire about your child’s favorite part(s).

  • Request a written summary, or book report.

  • Ask how the ending made them feel.

  • If the Before Strategy was used, ask if the predicted ending was accurate.

There are other skills you can add to each strategy to make it successful. The BDA consists of very practical comprehension skills. You don’t have to use all strategies at the same time. You can choose one, mix two, or use all three.

Other Skills to Try

  1. Reading in Pairs – share the book by alternating who reads per page. One person can read the even-numbered pages and the other person reads the odd-numbered pages.

  2. Quiet Time – sitting in a quiet place for 15 minutes max, enhances focus on the reading. Sometimes, 15 minutes will turn into an hour.

  3. Multi-sensory Activities – strengthens comprehension when multiple senses are stimulated at once.

    a. Sight – put words and letters on the wall.
    b. Taste – let your child eat letter-shaped snacks and encourage spelling words.
    c. Smell – use scents with word association, blue smells like the beach, red smells like cherry, etc.
    d. Hearing – create songs for letters and vocabulary words.

Because it’s summertime, find fun ways to incorporate the BDA and other skills into your child’s reading time. These strategies are also great ways to increase the bond between you and your child.

During this summer, set more time aside to give your child more attention and stimulation. Time is there for the taking so don’t waste it. Embrace it.

The Parenting Cipher Logo

Copyright © 2023 The Parenting Cipher – All Rights Reserved. Designed by Arising Co.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram