For young kids, one of the first subjects they will learn in school is reading. Reading is a good way for kids to learn new words and concepts, as well as build up their imagination.
However, reading is not a simple subject.
One must be able to read without having to stop to understand every single word in the sentence or stumble on these words. One must also be able to understand the concept behind what they read.
So, what should we do to help our kids become fluent readers?
What is Reading Fluency?
Reading fluency is a person’s ability to read quickly, accurately and with the right expression. If a person needs to stop every word to read or reads without pause, their reading fluency needs more practice.
Reading fluency is important because it allows people to understand what they read. It also helps build vocabulary and confidence.
If you want to help your child learn how to read faster, here are some ways that can help:
Read aloud to give your child a guide on how to read fluently
Children often mimic what they see, especially their parents or teachers.
When it comes to reading, it is common to see both parents and teachers read books aloud to children. However, as students become older, reading books aloud does not happen often because there is no more time left to do so.
Set aside some time to read out books to kids to help learn how to read fluently. Show them how to read each line, how the proper expressions and voicing is done and help them with the pronunciation.
Start off with easy passages and slowly introduce longer passages as they get used to it.
Let them listen and follow audio recordings
If you do not have the time to read to your kids, why not get the audiobooks or record yourself reading the books out loud?
Audiobooks are very affordable and allow kids to listen to books wherever they go. It comes in various genres to fit every type of reader.
If you do not have extra funds to buy audiobooks, record yourself reading the book and give your child a copy so they can read along.
Use games to teach them sight words
Children often memorize words as they see them. But, they will not be able to read it perfectly for the first time.
Use flash cards to help kids learn new words and how they are spelt. Read out the words and let them read it after you.
You should also make it a point to show an example so they can use the words in their daily conversation. You can also discuss the definitions with them and provide alternative words when they ask for it.
Do paired reading
At home, why not allow your kids to read with their siblings?
Pair reading or buddy reading can help your kids practice their reading skills. Let them take turns in reading each sentence or page and gently correct them if they have problems.
You can also do paired reading with your kids at home. Make sure that you answer their questions if they are having trouble reading certain words and explain their definition.
Echo reading is another great way to help with reading fluency.
In echo reading, adults will show a large text which they read out loud to students as they follow along. As they read, adults would point out keywords for students to mimic how they read it.
For older readers, you can introduce them to other literary words to test their reading fluency. It could be a poem, fable or a speech.
When your child is already familiar with reading, why not ask their teacher to do a choral reading with the entire class? Or why not do it with their small group of friends?
During the choral reading, a teacher or adult would read a certain text several times until the child is familiar with it. The child would then read along with the adult as they read the text together.
To begin choral reading, you can start off with songs, poems and nursery rhymes. As they get used to it, you can introduce advanced texts.
Both echo and choral reading are considered repeated reading. But, it can also be done individually if your child is at home.
To do an individual repeated reading, pick a short text with 100 to 200 words. Have the child read the passage several times and check their improvement.
A good way to see their improvement is by timing how fast they read the passage and how much words they manage to read during that time.
A great way to help your kids enjoy reading is by hosting a reader’s theatre.
During this activity, your kids can take turns reading passages for the characters they play. They can practice their acting and reading skills through the theatre.
If you do not want to use classic stories your kids love, why not make your own? Of course, make sure that your kids will understand the story so they will be able to understand it.
When we start teaching kids how to read, we often point out each word to them as we read it to them.
But, we should not always do this for our kids because it will disable them from learning on their own.
Scooping phrases are a good way to wave your children off the word-by-word reading. To do this, write one passage on the paper and guide your kids per phrase to get a hang of it.
Practice is the best way to become proficient with reading. The more we read, the better we become. Encourage your kids to read as often as they could and guide them as they practice.
With time, your child will become fluent readers and pick up things easily.
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