The Simple Technique to Help Your Child Read More Fluently
Many elementary school children have no problem recognizing words, but their reading fluency could use a bit of help. Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly, accurately, and with the right expression. When a child has trouble with fluency, you can hear it as they read aloud. They sound more chopping and robotic, as it is harder for them to understand what they read at an average rate. One teacher found the perfect solution to remedy the situation to help kids increase their reading fluency. By practicing this one simple technique, your child will begin to read through passages and books more smoothly than ever.
How to practice this simple technique to help your child read more fluently
Begin by finding your favorite passage from a book at your child’s reading level. For this example, we’ll use a passage from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Once you’ve settled on a piece of text, draw a slash mark between meaningful phrases. Use a double slash mark where punctuation is used to indicate to the child where there are longer pauses. In this instance, this is where you’d draw the slash marks:
“She did not shut it properly / because she knew / that it is very silly to shut oneself into a wardrobe,// even if it is not a magic one.//”
With slashes in place, have your child read it aloud a few times to get the feel of where they should chunk the words and where they should pause. Once they get a feel for how to read that piece of text, try something more challenging. Find something even longer, and again, make the slashes indicating where they should pause. This time, we’ll use a scene from Roald Dahl’s classic, Matilda.
“Both Matilda and Lavender were enthralled.// It was quite clear to them / that they were at this moment / standing in the presence of a master.// Here was somebody / who had brought the art of skulduggery / to the highest point of perfection,// somebody,// moreover,// who was willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of her calling.// They gazed in wonder at this goddess,// and suddenly / even the boil on her nose / was no longer a blemish / but a badge of courage.//”
Additional techniques you can use to help your child read more fluently
You can also increase your child’s reading fluency with the following ways that make reading more fun:
- There is nothing more enjoyable than spending time with your child exploring a book together. Take turns reading passages to one another and use your finger to help them follow along with the text as you read.
- Have your child listen to a book at a higher skill level while they follow along with the book.
- Have your kiddo perform passages from books that are meant to be speeches, jokes, or poems.
- Keep a graph of how many words your child gets correct while reading aloud. Seeing their improvement visually will encourage them to keep reading.
Praise your child for a job well done
Don’t forget to congratulate your child when they get all the words right. A simple, “Great job” or “I know you could do it” can boost a student’s self-esteem when it comes to reading fluency. If there is still room for improvement, offer praise, and then tell them what they could improve on. Say something like, “You got all the words right, but I could understand some of what you were saying because you were reading too fast.” This way, it is clear to the child what they need to work on. You were once in their shoes learning how to read. Keep that in mind as you practice together.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to reading. Even as an adult, you can practice some of the same skills you are teaching your child, like chunking, to increase your reading speed. Our Speed Reading Foundation course explains how to use chunking and other techniques to help you comprehend text while reading at faster speeds. Click the link to find out more!