Research tells us that reading comprehension is dependent on knowledge. Consider this example: Although cricket is the world’s second most popular sport, when children in the United States hear the word “cricket” they probably think of an insect rather than a sport. So if they come across the sentence “James and his brothers like to play cricket,” many US children might be confused. Do the boys like to play with an insect? Meanwhile, their British or Australian counterparts are likely to understand what the author of this sentence intended to communicate.
It is easy to see from this example how prior knowledge is crucial for children’s accurate comprehension. The richer children’s breadth and depth of knowledge of the world, the better they are able to comprehend what they read. So read widely, explore the outdoors, go places, do things, and share all that you know about the world with your children. Not only will they know more about the world, their reading comprehension will benefit.