Some children are natural readers. They analyze, synthesize, understanding inferences, cause and affect and other advanced reading comprehension issues in a natural manner. However, other children will struggle with one or more of these issues for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they simply need more experience with reading, or maybe, as with my own high school student, they are in the process of overcoming a learning disability.
In my search to find tools to help my son overcome his challenges, Reading Detective Rx was recommended. It is a program geared toward 6th-12th graders who need extra help in reading comprehension. The program is divided into eleven main units:
- Main Idea and Supporting Statements
- Conclusions and Inferences
- Story Elements
- Literary Devices
- Figurative Language
- Cause and Effect
- Fact and Opinion
- Mixed Skills
Within each unit are both fiction and non-fiction genres written in a fourth to fifth grade level to facilitate focus on learning the basic skills within reading comprehension. The students are asked to analyze each selection by answering a variety of questions (multiple choice, short written responses) while providing supporting evidence. Requiring students to provide evidence to support an answer, gives them another avenue to hone their skills.
A full answer key is provided, along with a copy of the reading text. Although the answer key provides a recommended answer, all answers should be discussed with the student. Discussion provides yet another way that comprehenion can be sharpened. A few pre-tests are provided at the beginning of the program to help the teacher determine skill level. Once the student is finished with the book, there are two post tests included to help the teacher ascertain skill improvement.
The program is designed to be used in an independent manner, however, discussion with a teacher is foundational in determining strengths/weaknesses and gives the teacher opportunity to further guide and direct their student.
Because the book is written at a 4th to 5th grade level, I would recommend alternating this resource with a more appropriate grade level reading comprehension program to provide ample practice for standardardized tests. The students can take the skills they develop in Reading Detective Rx and apply them into more difficult material. All in all, Reading Detective Rx is an excellent resource for those who need to sharpen basic reading comprehension skills.
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.