Q:

My son is 7 years old. He reads words quite easily. However, he has problems with identifying the main idea and summarizing a story in his own words. How can we help him improve in these areas? -- Baffled

A:

This is not an unusual problem for young children to have. A good way for you to start helping him is to have him stop after he has finished reading a page and ask him to tell you what the story is about. Also, have him retell the story at this point. You might also want to ask him what he thinks will happen next before he continues reading. This is helping him to become a more active reader, as he is learning how to interact with the printed page. Rereading a story several times can be helpful, too. You can also help him by using a flannel board with story characters when he retells a story.