Reading is so “boring!”
Finally, the Solution for Strong Reading Comprehension Skills!
I would be unable to count each time I have heard that stated by a child or teen in our clinic. However, when I taught them how to visualize while they read, they would declare just as adamantly that reading was now “fun’ for them.
I often term visualization skills as the key to academic success – and the same is true for reading comprehension. The brain is intended to convert what is heard or read into pictures in the mind’s eye. Reading IS boring when we only read the words. We have no way of connecting to or gaining meaning from the written word. Conversely, how enjoyable it becomes when we are able to convert the words into a movie in our imagination. I have never heard a child say that he or she did not like watching movies, and the same applies to movies we make in our head when we read.
Often parents are shocked when they learn that their children have poor reading comprehension skills because they are not visualizing. Many people are not aware that they visualize when they listen and read, and if they do, they think everyone else does too. It can be damaging to a student’s self-esteem when they are literally unable to remember information due to poor visualization skills. They are often considered a behavior problem, less intelligent or simply “not trying hard enough” while learning.
These issues often disappear, or are at least are greatly reduced, when a student learns strong visualization skills. Strong reading comprehension is imperative for educational and professional reasons. If a student can comprehend and retain what has been read, a myriad of educational and job opportunities will be available. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Those with weak visualization skills may not be able to attend college or pursue the occupation of their choice.
In our clinic we have commonly seen clients improve their grades from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s when applying visualization strategies. Or, clients that take many hours of study to maintain their straight A average, learn techniques which result in their study time being reduced while resulting in the same good grades. One of the greatest joys of our practice is when a parent comes in complaining that they can’t get their child to stop reading, and they are sneaking a flashlight under the covers so they can keep reading at night. We love converting new members to the flashlight club! Reading IS fun and teaching students to visualize so they can learn to love reading is rewarding.
The strategies utilized in our clinic for teaching visualization skills to improve attention, comprehension and memory skills are available in my ebook Beyond Tutoring: Strategies to Improve Reading, Spelling, Comprehension and Memory. The ebook is available for purchase on the Clear Pathways Learning Services website www.ClearPathways.org.
For younger elementary school children, the companion book “Poetry Fun: Teaching Visualization Skills with Poetry” is also available.