How to Help Your Children to Improve Their Reading, Spelling and Comprehension Skills

If you discover that your children are having a hard time comprehending what they're reading or have a hard time spelling correctly, there are some very useful activities you can do with your children to help overcome these issues. You don't need to be a teacher or tutor by training; every activity suggested here is doable by every parent.


  1. 1
    Read every day for 20 minutes. It is important that children read every day for 20 minutes. Sit with them and listen to them. By doing this you be able to understand their reading abilities, what words and sounds they struggle with.
  2. 2
    Ask questions. After the children have read a few pages, stop them and ask them about what they have just read. This allows them to think about the information they have read and begin to process it and not forget it. This is key to building comprehension skills. Ask them questions and try to coax out as much detail as you can out of them. When they come to do comprehension exercises in school later on, they will answer the questions with detail because they're already used to doing so in the home environment.
  3. 3
    Use dictation to assist with both comprehension and spelling practice. Read out a few of the passages from the book they are reading and ask them to write down what you read. Read each word slowly, give them enough time to think about the word, then ask them to write it down. Having read the words already, they may remember them; however, some words are spelt differently from how they sound.
    • Check their spellings after and identify the words and sounds they are struggling with and practice those more.
  4. 4
    Write stories. Children have a wild imagination. Set them a few story titles, for example: “Lost in the Woods,” “From Another Planet,” “The Coolest Adventure”. Also set a few personal and descriptive titles, such as: “Describe your house, or a friend or a relative” “My Favourite Country” “My School Trip”. Varying the titles will work their imaginations as well as helping to improve their descriptive writing skills.
  5. 5
    Find the errors. Ask your children to spend some time rewriting any sentences where you discovered errors, to correct them, but without you identifying which parts are errors. This allows the children to spot the mistakes for themselves. For this exercise, use sentences with missed punctuation, bad spelling, etc. They can read their own writing and correct the mistakes, a skill that is essential for the rest of their lives. Check the work; after this exercise, the parts where they have not noticed the errors is where more attention needs to be given.


  • Set aside regular times each week to do these things with your children. Once the habit is established, they'll feel comfortable attending to the learning with you.

Things You'll Need

  • Workbooks or notepads
  • Books for reading
  • Writing implements

Article Info

Categories: Improving And Maintaining Grades