When I was in school I struggled with reading comprehension. It was easily one of my worst subjects. I enjoyed reading itself. I loved that it was like a movie playing out in my head. I loved I could get lost in the pages of a book. Actually understanding the reading, not so much. I really didn’t care to comprehend what was going on. I didn’t care what color shirt Mr. Frog was wearing. It was my escape from reality, don’t make me think too hard! I don’t really remember many books not having reading comprehension questions either in the back or otherwise. It seemed no matter what book I was reading someone handed me reading comprehension questions to go with it.
As a mother, I struggle to make sure that my daughter doesn’t fail in the same areas as me. I know she is going to have her own issues but I hope by being aware of where my issues were I can help her. She gets good grades. She devotes her best work to her school work which is all anyone can ask. However, we don’t stop learning just because school is out. It has dramatically less structure, sure. It is more review work than anything else.
Today I am getting on my soap box and ranting on a lack of reading comprehension material for books that don’t have awards or medals. Because I have forced myself to read a fourth/fifth grade level overly adjective (yes that is a thing) book to get the questions and vocabulary words myself, reading it ahead of the kid. I refuse to limit her to only books that have reading comprehension questions available because she actually had an interest in this book. For her to find a book that is on her reading level that she has an interest in, is rare. She much prefers books way below her reading level so that it is easy. The reason I am so bent out of shape about this is, I am sure there is so much more that she could take away from this book. Hastily thrown together reading comprehension questions just don’t get to the heart of the book. I guess though even crappy reading comprehension questions keep her thinking about the book, and really that is half the battle.
Many other books have reading comprehension questions, I know. Mostly ones that have medals or awards. There is nothing wrong with that. There are books that she has in her reading pile that do have reading comprehension questions. Her pile is a mix of books I have picked for her to read and books she picked. I had planned to sort through them and find the ones that didn’t have questions available. No wait, that is not exactly true. I just didn’t even think that there would be a lack of reading comprehension questions available. Most of the books she picked were through Scholastics. It is not even that I won’t do it, because obviously I am.
One night I was really annoyed with this and was talking with my friend Beth Tehlio , who wrote The Order of Seven. Which admittedly is way above my daughters reading level. However, she was not at all offended and thought it was a great idea to put reading comprehension questions or a discussion guide in the back. I am after all only a mother wanting to see her child excel. If I have to read really annoying books to make sure that happens, I will. Every. Time.