The Process of Reading Fluently
I don’t think we ever stop to realize how many components are involved in teaching kids how to read. It’s like with any job that adults have to learn to do, children also have to go through various phases and steps in order to learn to read correctly and efficiently. One of these processes deals with being able to read fluently, also known as Fluency Based Reading.
What is Fluency?
You may be asking, “Ok, now what does this mean, exactly?” Very understandable! Basically, once a child begins to put words together or even memorize sight words, he or she will need to do more than just “word call.” Many children can read the words, but they need to be able to do so with accurate speed, and usually, with some expression in order to understand what they are reading.
If a child’s reading is extremely slow, he/she will completely lose the meaning of what is being read. No meaning? Hence, no actual reading is taking place. Soon thereafter, frustration usually follows.
I have worked with so many children over the years who are able to “word call,” but since their reading is so slow and choppy sounding, they are not able to summarize what they have just read. This really has a major impact on kids, especially those in the upper grades. They are usually given assignments, whether it be in their reading class or another class. They are then given a certain amount of time to complete the classwork. If they aren’t able to read fluently, they will not be able to complete the work on time. This leads only to lower grades, and extreme frustration and despair for the child.
I know in Texas, beginning in the 3rd grade, the students are given a standardized reading test every year. They have four hours to complete the test, but for many kiddos who cannot read fluently, this is not nearly enough time. As a former teacher, I have witnessed children sobbing uncontrollably due to the fact that they could not read fast enough to finish the test. It’s not fair, but that’s the way the system works.
Later in their education, many children tend to give up. They may belittle themselves, or even think they are not as smart as many of the other children in their classes. This is absolutely not true. They have just never mastered the art of reading fluently.
Learning to Read Correctly Can Take Place at Any Age! There is Hope!
If you’re reading this, I know you want the best for your child, and that you won’t stop until you see your child achieve success! Hats off to you, as concerned parents! There are many wonderful reading programs available to help your child become a successful reader. In the pages and posts of my site, I will be sharing many of these with you!
For now, I want to leave you with a few things you might want to try at home, if you haven’t already! Read, read, read! I can’t say this enough! It doesn’t matter if your child is 4 years old, or if they’re in high school. I still read to the high school kids that I tutor, and they love it, believe it or not!!!
For your younger children, point to the words as you’re reading them aloud. Then, have your child read the same sentence or paragraph back to you as they point to the words.
You might want to also visit your local library or book store and find a few books that seem to “ignite” a spark of light in your child’s eyes! When I take my niece to the book store, her entire demeanor seems to change! We can spend hours opening different books and reading portions to see if she thinks she will truly love reading a particular book! This is what makes me truly happy!
If you’re interested in checking out some terrific online bookstores, please click on one of the banners below. This is where my family buys wonderful new and used books at unbelievable prices. And, to top it off…both of these companies are tremendous philanthropists, putting books in the hands of those who would, otherwise, not have the advantage of owning their own literature. This is what it’s all about!
I would love to hear from you! If you would like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below, and I will be more than happy to get back with you! And, as always…Happy reading to you and your child!