Interest in reading is once again spreading among young people, thanks to the increasing popularity of new children’s, middle grade and young adult books. When it comes to early literacy, we know that encouraging a love of reading in children at a very young age improves vocabulary, increases academic success, and improves critical reasoning, problem solving and imagination. Teaching your child to read faster, however, carries its own benefits. Here’s a few tips on how to increase reading speed.
Benefits of Fast Reading
Being able to read faster carries very obvious benefits. First of all, you can read more when you read faster. This means that as your child ages, not only will they increase academic success, they will complete their schoolwork faster while retaining comprehension of what they learn. This can help reduce their stress levels and increase their time relaxing and recuperating from the stresses of the day.
The key, however, is increasing reading speed while retaining comprehension. This is a little easier said than done, but there are ways that it can be accomplished in just a few minutes per day.
Teach your child to be aware of their reading habits. Talk to them about the difference between understanding a subject and comprehending what they read. Sometimes it can be worthwhile to do a bit of homework about general background issues to prepare for reading time. Discuss the themes and ideas of a book with your child before they begin reading. This will enable them to absorb the details more quickly.
Encourage your child to find areas that are quiet and distraction free. The fewer distractions, such as radio, television or other people, the more the child will be able to increase reading speed. Even if the child feels like music helps them concentrate, the truth is, the distraction requires them to split attention between the background noise and the text on the page. Slower reading will result.
Skimming is an important skill to learn. Many books include lots of fluff to make the text more interesting or fill out word count. Work with your child to teach them how to skim over the fluff and recognize the most salient points. These are often found in the opening and closing lines of paragraphs, or in areas where there are numbers and statistics. This part of fast reading takes a lot of practice, but once it clicks, the speed and comprehension of reading will increase dramatically.
Tips for Speed Reading
Teaching your child to read faster can avoid passive daydreaming, where you read a passage and forget what you’ve read. Using an index card or ruler can help to keep place, moving it down the page as the child reads. If the child tends to move their mouth while reading, work with them to stop the habit. It limits reading speed to speaking speed, which is much slower.
These are just a few tips to help your child read faster. To help them build a love of reading and literature, try starting with one of our interactive eBooks, like Auntie Ant and Granny Grasshopper, then look at the premium services we offer!