With many children staying at home because of the coronavirus outbreak, maintaining reading instruction can seem like an overwhelming task for parents. Now, many parents are asking themselves how to help my child read fluently at home?
If children struggle with reading when they begin learning the skill, they will likely struggle with schoolwork later on. With the lack of traditional school instruction in place, thousands of children are now in danger of falling behind. Many kids who are behind or struggling with their reading level end up taking out their frustrations in negative ways such as avoiding schoolwork or acting up.
It is important for kids who struggle with reading, especially reading fluently, to receive intervention help as soon as possible. Most kids who struggle with reading but receive help learn to catch up to their reading level. Getting your child help with reading fluency while they are not able to go to school is important to ensure they are successful academically in the future.
How can I improve my child’s reading fluency?
Reading fluency is when you are able to read smoothly without stopping. Reading fluency is important because it leads to reading comprehension, which is being able to understand what you are reading. There are some strategies you can do at home to help them practice more so that they are ready when schools begin to reopen:
- Read to them – Reading to your children can give them a model of reading fluency. This also helps foster stronger bonds between parents and children. Children who grow up around books and reading are more likely to practice the skill themselves.
- Let them choose what they read – Often children might be discouraged to read because the reading material they are given is either too hard or too easy. Letting them choose the books they read can get them more motivated to read more often. This also gives them a chance to adjust their reading levels, so they can choose to read at a more comfortable pace or be challenged.
- Increase their phonemic awareness– Fluency has a lot to do with being able to recognize words quickly. Children with higher phonemic awareness are able to recognize sounds and put them together to form words. The better their phonemic awareness, the quicker they are able to recognize words in a text.
- Build their sight words vocabulary– Another way children are able to recognize words quickly is to build their sight words vocabulary. Sight words are commonly used words. Children should be able to recognize about 300 sight words by the time they are in third grade, which is when they should be able to read independently.
While these strategies can help your child practice their reading skills to build fluency, the best way to get your child to improve their reading fluency is to teach them using a platform they are already familiar with, technology.
How can I use technology to improve my child’s reading fluency?
Technology is education’s biggest and most important tool to use right now. Technology as a reading tool helps make reading practice fun for your child. There are also many different ways to use it to help improve their reading fluency.
- Audiobooks – Audiobooks is a great way to make reading multisensory. Children are able to listen to someone reading the book to them as they follow along. They are able to hear how words are pronounced and different expressions while reading.
- Mindmapping – Mindmapping apps are a great way for kids to check their reading comprehension as well as learn new vocabulary words. You can use a mind mapping app to help organize your child’s thoughts about something they are reading.
- Sight words building apps – There are several different apps that turn sight word learning into fun interactive games. Building their sight word vocabulary can help them to recognize words faster and be able to read more fluently.
- ABC Fast Phonics – This online program is great for getting kids to practice their phonics and phonemic awareness. Being better at phonics means being able to put together unknown words easier when reading a new text.
- E-reading – E-reading has been a controversial topic in education for many years. However, the benefits of e-reading are clear. It makes reading on-the-go easier and makes books more accessible. There are many e-reading apps that also make stories interactive and fun for young readers.
- Virtual reading tutors – A virtual reading tutor is the best help you can get your child who is struggling with their reading fluency. Apps like Readability provide a virtual reading tutor that your child can get help from 24/7. Readability has a collection of stories at various levels that your child can choose from. They have the option of reading the story aloud and the app uses A.I. and speech-recognition technology to give your child instant feedback to help them improve reading skills. Your child also has the option of having the app read the story to them and they follow along.
During these times, making sure your child is still getting the education they need is important for their wellbeing and also their learning in the future. Using technology to improve your child’s reading fluency can give them the boost they need to be able to read at their reading level. When your child is able to read fluently, they become more confident and motivated to take their education firmly into their hands.