Fluency is the ability to read accurately, smoothly, and with the appropriate expression. Some children develop fluency skills on their own, whereas others struggle even after receiving extensive instruction. If your child is struggling to read fluently, it’s important to help them improve these crucial skills.
There’s no better time to work on reading fluency than the present since millions of children are at home due to coronavirus school closures. If your child is in grades K – 4th, it’s a great time to strengthen your child’s reading ability.
If you’re the parent of a struggling reader, you may be wondering, “How can I help my child read more fluently?” Here’s what you need to know to improve your child’s fluency skills:
When Should A Child Read Fluently?
Every child is unique, so some children may learn to read fluently faster than others. But there are some important milestones that your child should reach on the path to becoming a fluent reader, including:
- 4 to 5 years old: At this age, your child should be able to pronounce basic words, write some, if not all, letters, and understand rhyming patterns.
- 6 to 10 years old: Kids in this age range should be able to read a wide variety of texts, sound out words they aren’t familiar with, and understand the sounds that each letter makes.
- 11 to 13 years old: By this time, kids should not be learning to read, but rather reading to learn about things that interest them.
Ideally, kids should be able to read fluently and independently by third grade.
How Can I Spot Reading Fluency Issues?
Many parents are taking on the role of teacher in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But if you’re not used to this role, it may be difficult for you to spot the signs of a reading fluency problem in your child. Here’s what to look for:
- It takes your child a long time to read passages or stories silently.
- Your child reads a passage or story without any expression, which means they do not change their tone at all.
- Your child’s reading sounds choppy rather than natural and conversational.
- Your child stumbles a lot when reading aloud and loses their place.
- Your child doesn’t pause at the appropriate places, such as when there are commas, dashes, or periods.
If you spot any of these signs, it’s possible that your child has poor reading fluency skills. But fortunately, there are ways to help your child improve these important skills.
How Can I Improve Reading Fluency?
There are several strategies that have been proven to improve reading fluency in children, including:
- Adult Modeling: To implement this strategy, read a passage of a story out loud to your child. Then, ask your child to read it back to you. This strategy helps your child master the correct tone, expression, and phrasing.
- Choral Reading: Both you and your child read the same passage out loud at the same time so they can mirror your tone and expression.
- Assisted Reading: This strategy involves reading along with a recording of the text. The recording will model how the passage should be read so your child can learn as they go.
- Repeated Reading: Find a passage or story that your child likes and ask them to read it over and over again. Studies have shown that repeatedly reading the same passage can help children increase speed, comprehension, and fluency when reading other passages in the future.
- Theater Reading: If there is a lot of dialogue in the text, have your children act out the events of the story. Acting as one of the characters in the story will help your child improve their tone and expression.
Since kids will be home for the foreseeable future, now is the perfect time to try to implement one or more of these strategies. By working on these skills now, you can ensure that your child will become a more fluent reader by the time the coronavirus crisis has been resolved.
Help Your Child Become A Faster, Fluent Reader
Kids may not be able to meet with a teacher or tutor in person, but they can still get the help they need to become better readers thanks to the Readability app. Readability is the only app that is designed to improve both reading fluency and comprehension skills. This fully interactive app listens to your child read and provides immediate feedback and pronunciation correction to help them become better readers in as little as 90 days.
Your kids can improve their reading skills from anywhere, at any time using the Readability app. Download it today to start your free 7-day trial.