My dd is a young Year 2...she is on white level books (not sure whether this means much to people or depends what book scheme they are using...there seem to be one or two further colour bands before 'free readers'). Anyway, she can read the words in these books without too much problem but often finds the comprehension very difficult to understand...even after I have reread and tried to explain. I have mentioned this to the teacher on a couple of occasions and her answer is that 'yes she does need to work on this' but that 'it will come'. DD and I are both getting frustrated by the small choice of books in this band level and by her lack of comprehension. I do think ( and have for a while) that she is behind in her understanding of language in general anyway. Not sure what or how I can help this or what extra help I should be seeking (we do read to her as well as much as we can). Thanks in advance for your help.
Thank you simpson...I do ask her questions but sometimes she really doesn't 'get' any of the book...in which case I tend to put the book to one side and say we'll choose another tomorrow. I do feel worried though that her comprehension is 'behind' what it should be. She also takes things and reads things totally literally still so this also doesn't help with the comprehension.
Make stories with her from scratch. Plotting is actually a skill of its own. (That's why some film plots are rubbish.) It's unfair to expect children to just naturally understand how plotting works. Many adults who get paid millions haven't a clue about it either!
You could start with a baby squirrel who wants to grow taller so that he can reach the nut on the tree. But of course it takes ages to grow. And all of his exercises to get bigger only result in his bashing other squirrels by accident .... and what happens next....
What about books you read to her for pleasure? Does she "get" those? I would concentrate on this for a bit rather than her reading. If she can enjoy listening to stories, following the plot etc then that should help her comprehension.
Do you read the same stories lots of times over (not her reading book)? I think this is helpful. I tend to do it more with my 4 year old than my 6 year old, but both children enjoy old favourites as they are so familiar and they can predict/comprehend really well.
Make sure that when you read a story you talk about what is happening and why she thinks characters behave in certain ways, get her to predict what might happen, explain new vocabulary. I would be inclined to ask for easier books as the purpose of reading is understanding.
And my little tip is to sometimes do a 'comprehension' exercise around a favourite tv programme or film. The skills are the same. Why was the character upset? What might happen next? What did x mean when they said y?
You might be able to ascertain if it really is a skill she doesn't have yet whatever the medium or if it's only with reading. Obviously don't grill her enough to spoil her viewing (!) but just the odd occasion. If you're still concerned about her comprehension you should speak again to the teacher to raise the issue.
Thank you all. Yes, I do read the same stories a lot to her and she enjoys this. With new stories, she doesn't always understand...the colloquial language in particular. I find the books at school very limited...there are only about 10 in each colour band and they vary enormously...some she can understand no problem, but others are very tough. Sometimes we just pick one of the books in her room and she reads that to me instead...but I'm sure this is stretching her as she remembers a lot of it anyway (she has a great memory). Parent consultations are coming up so I will have another word with the teacher then. Thank you for your replies.