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Reading Comprehension issues

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My son is an avid reader and he even reads higher level books on his own (Classics), and he can recall concrete facts and ideas and general information.


He cannot make inferences.  He simply cannot.


We have tried to go through workbooks, have had long discussions, I have walked him through the texts, etc.....he simply cannot get it.


We have started working our way through SAT prep stuff and I am seeing that this is going to be a huge problem.  


Is there a curriculum or even an online help type thing that we could use?


He is going to the local high school in the Fall, he went to a charter school last year, and he was homeschooled before that.  


He did fine in reading, reading comprehension, etc....up until about 8th grade and the the inferences and implied meaning got harder and he hasn't been able to do it.


Right now we are working our way through More Reading Comprehension, Level 1, but he is getting 100% on these.  These seem to be more concrete retention, which he doesn't have a problem with.  




Anything with more abstract ideas we can do?

Edited by DawnM
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He did end his 10th grade year in charter school with a B overall, and a relatively high B at that, I think it was around 87%.  


But the school he is transferring to is higher academically and for some odd reason last year he did no Shakespeare or advanced writing.  


I am worried.

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If you mean that he misses the last question  on an passage test--the inference question, remember that  rc testing is a test trap.  try taking  passages from  upper level ssat, isee, or psat  preparation materials.  You will have to work with him to resist the conclusion answer (bird wings come in many shape and sizes), to pick  the inference answer (animals adapt to their environment). I worked with  my new 6th grader a year before he got it.  it takes practice to do this under test pressure.

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Missing the last question?  I guess I am not following.  It isn't the last question, it is interspersed throughout the list of questions.  


I HAVE worked with him, a great deal, this is why I am asking if there is anything else we can use.  We have practiced and practiced, we have set up diagrams, discussed topics, themes, what the author might be saying, etc......


In 6th grade he did fine, it is now in high school that is he struggling.  

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On most rc passage tests of exams that I am familiar (isee, ssat, cpt/erb) , the last question  for each passage is usually the inference question, and will have the word  "infer", ."inference" as part of the question.  There are usually 4  options. 2 answers typically have nothing to do with the passage.  Then there is is the conclusion answer that is so tempting because it contains accurate information from the passage (conclusion/summary), but is not an inference.  That leaves the correct inference  answer.  At first, these questions are hard to handle because your child has to learn to resist  the seemingly correct conclusion answer, to pick the subtle inference answer.   When I was working with my son, I taught him "inference" means think.   Took a year of practice before he could reliably do this under test pressure.

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The CAP Reasoning and Readng series, the CAP link is currently having problems, they are secular, CBD has good samples. You may need to start with level 1, look at the samples.




After that, work through ACT practice tests from a book like The Real ACT, a few questions a day for the reading portion, they explain the inferences well and the why it is the best answer for each of the questions.

Edited by ElizabethB
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CTC has those Inference Jones books, have you done those? Or Reading Detective? I'm considering getting one for them for my son, who also has major issues with making inferences. I am doing the beginning Reasoning and Reading book with him right now, because his verbal reasoning is low overall. The beginning book has only 9 pages covering Inferences specifically. Perhaps the higher level books have more. Now, what is there looks good, R&R really tries to break things down into its parts and have the student play with them, but it could be expensive for just 9 pages. Could you ply the rest of the book on younger kids?

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Well this all sounds familiar! Nothing to add, just eavesdropping for suggestions. :patriot: Happy Fourth!


I will say, in case someone else wants to take a peek, I just started ds working through Building Thinking Skills Level 3 Verbal from Critical Thinking Co. At a quick glance, it seems to cover many things that previous suggestions also cover.

Edited by EppieJ
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