Is Speed Reading Appropriate for My Child?
When teens and children first discover speed reading, they want to know how they can use it to fly through assignments and get back to being a kid. While we’re excited to hear they want to learn, it’s a common misconception of what speed reading is about. It may surprise you, but the number one reason professionals and college students contact us is because they want to increase their comprehension and memory. That is what you should have in mind when considering introducing a child to speed reading.
To understand more, let’s break the process down.
What rate should my child be reading at?
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck is a professor and researcher whose published works discuss reading fluency. Dr. Hasbrouck, along with her colleague at the University of Oregon, Dr. Gerald Tindal, created an assessment for teachers to have a baseline for how quickly kids should be reading. According to Hasbrouck and Tindal, the average reading speed of a first grader is 60 words per minute. By second grade, the number of words read per minute jumps to 100. As a child graduates sixth grade and heads off to middle school, they are reading about 146 words per minute.
What is reading comprehension
In short, reading comprehension is understanding what you are reading. When you easily absorb what you are reading, you are then able to form opinions and thoughts about what the text means to you. It also depends on your background or the emotions you are feeling at the moment. It is because of all of these factors that you can read the same book multiple times and have a different feeling about it. This also explains why not everyone likes to read the same genre.
When a child is first learning how to read, they also need to grasp how comprehension works. To do so, teachers help students visualize the characters and setting in addition to identifying word and sentence meanings. It’s only when a child grasps the basics of comprehension, should you add another element to the whole process.
What is speed reading
Speed reading is the skill that is used to increase your ability to read without sacrificing your comprehension of the text. The concept came about in the 1950s when an American educator, Evelyn Wood, taught readers her technique called “reading dynamics.” Wood’s method increases reading speed by using a guide (like your finger) as a pacer to help you read more words in less time. The intention of reading dynamics is that by systematically increasing your reading speed, you’ll, in turn, improve reading efficiency, comprehension, and word retention.
Speed reading takes discipline
As they say with any skill, practice makes perfect. Teaching a child how to speed read requires putting away the electronics for a short period so they can practice. Unplugging a child from their tablet or computer can be the hardest part for some kids, especially if they already dislike reading. More often than not, that dislike for reading stems from not being able to comprehend the material. A child can easily be deterred from enjoying books by the simple act of having to reread the text in order to understand things properly. After a child learns to speed read, they’ll find that they can get through the material quicker than ever. This is when they finally like to read! Now they’ll be thanking you as they will have more time to spend with friends.
Before you sign your child up for a speed reading course, try it for yourself. Our Speed Reading Foundation Course is ideal for professionals and lifelong learners. In this course, you’ll learn practical strategies to enhance your comprehension so you can remember more of what you read. Learn more today and find out how speed reading can help your child!