I have four children and have taught three of them to read to advanced levels. Most of my children have been able to master reading comprehension through reading and discussion quality literature. However, some have needed more practice in order to do well on standardized tests.
More Reading Comprehension in Varied Subject Matter by Jane Ervin – Level 1is a resource that provides practice for students who need a bit more exercise in various reading comprehension skill areas.
Book One is intended for use with 8th to 9th graders. There are twenty-five reading passages covering a variety of topics taken from social studies, science, philosophy, logic and math. The book is secular in nature and does contain occasional references to evolution. However, because we are using this product with a high school student, we simply review such passages and apply our Biblical world view. We are in the world, but not of it!
Skills Addressed in Book One:
- Story recall
- Identifying facts
- Drawing conclusions
- Vocabulary development
- Main idea
- Extending thoughts in writing
Within each exercise is a test sized portion of text, roughly five to seven paragraphs in length. At the top of each selection there is a section entitled: “About the Passage,” which helps the student understand what he is about to learn, and another section called, “Reason for Reading,” which shows him why he is reading the passage.
All vocabulary words are bolded for ease in finding them later while answering questions. After the student finishes reading he begins to answer various types of questions. A very short essay response is handled in “Thinking It Over.” This helps me know if he has truly taken in the information and has been able to understand and apply the information in the requested manner. There are also multiple choice, true and false and numerical order questions.
A special bonus in the program is that it doubles as a vocabulary resource. Every bolded word can be defined in context as the student reads and then is recalled later within the exercises.
Lastly, the student is asked to develop a longer essay type response to the passage. “Explain how…,” “Describe…,” “Make up a tale…,” “Write a short mystery…” The teacher can decide how long or short these written pieces should be depending on the skill level of the child.
We have been very pleased with More Reading Comprehension in Varied Subject Matter. Having used the book three times a week, we are definitely seeing an improvement both in skill level and confidence.
Written by Yvonne Ferlita, homeschooling mother of four, ages six to eighteen. Having home educated for more than twelve years, her purpose is to learn Jesus everyday using an eclectic, yet Christ-centered, learning approach. She blogs about homeschooling and life at Gr8tful4grace.