Use R-1 with your child's normal reading homework

You don't want extra work. You want to make the assigned work count!

What is my role as a parent?

Your role at the beginning can be anything from merely ensuring the work gets done to providing an "I do -we do-you do" demonstration to using R-1 (we show you how), depending on the age and temperament of your child. R-1's ease of use will have your child working rather independently with the program very soon, regardless of the starting point.

If your child needs significant help initially be sure to take a look at our How to Use Egorg R-1 document for a more complete explanation of how to proceed.

Is this going to be too hard for my child?

In some cases, starting right in with a "full workup" in R-1 is overwhelming. Don't worry: Just start at a level that is easy, and build your child's skills one step at a time. For example, you could start with the fundamental strategies of questioning, review, monitoring, and using a graphic organizer (these strategies are explained in our white paper How to Improve Reading Comprehension) applied in the simplest way:

  • guess what is going to happen in the next section/chapter and record this in the "before reading" section;
  • read the section/chapter and enter what happened on the plot arc (under the "plot" button), including evaluating whether the event takes the protagonist closer to or farther from his or her primary goal;
  • fill out character information about the protagonist (main character) and continue to revisit and update it as he or she reads. Note that filling out the protagonist's primary goal is very important.

As your child gets more fluent with these introductory steps, you can add more: two other characters, and the setting, for example; then maybe a few of the "Parts of a Story" or filling out the "after" side of the "Before Reading" prompts in more detail. You will already be noticing that your child is starting to follow the story much more than ever before.

So R-1 has different levels?

R-1 does not have different modes or levels any more than your word processor does. But like your word processor, you can use it very simply or in a complicated way. As a result, your child won't get frustrated or feel ashamed because he or she is in "beginner" mode. Yet as a parent (or teacher) you can control the "level" by how much depth you require for the responses or which sections of R-1 to complete.

What if I am using a tutor?

R-1 will help your child make better use of the time between tutoring sessions. The tutor can incorporate R-1 into the lesson plan by assigning certain parts of the work to be "Egorged" as homework. R-1's graphic organizers (they can be printed) make it very easy for your tutor to quickly review the work at the next session.

What if my child resists?

Resistance is natural, and the amount of resistance you'll get depends on the child. The first couple of times you start asking questions about a story, it may not be pretty. Anger, frustration, and embarassment are all on the menu. Keep in mind, however, that you are helping him or her build habits of a lifetime, and it is important to persevere past the initial reluctance.

That said, once you have convinced your child to try R-1, perhaps by asking for the minimal amount of work in the list above, look at the graphic organizers and ask a couple of questions: "Why does this event take the protagonist farther from her goal?" or "Which character trait does the protagonist have in common with his best friend?"

Questions like these open a meaningful dialog, and allow you to quickly determine if your child is following the story. If you meet resistance to these questions, it's almost certainly because he or she doesn't understand the story, in which case you should patiently but firmly suggest that your child quickly scan the text to find the answer to the question. After a few tries your child will learn to ask and answer these questions while reading and without your prompting. And this is exactly what you are looking for.