Does reading grind to a halt as your child struggles with one word after another?
Many children have poor fluency, and here are some of the causes:
If your child has weak phonics skills, the practice of daily reading becomes torture. Just sound it out can provoke tears or worse. There are easier ways to teach phonics than stopping your child to sound out every word. When a mistake is made, use a quick correction procedure. Give your child the first sound in the word and wait a couple seconds. If he still can’t figure it out, say the word and have him repeat it and continue reading. Write down the word to work on later. Phonics can be worked on separately in word study games and activities. As phonics improves during the games, sounding out words during reading will become easier.
Poor sight word vocabulary
Sight words are words your child recognizes instantly. Your child needs a large sight word vocabulary to read fluently. Games are one of the best ways to quickly expand your child’s sight word vocabulary.
This problem is obvious when your child visits the book fair and comes home with an armload of favorite books. The reading level is too difficult, so what do you do? It depends. You may want to use the books for shared reading or you might look for the audio book online or at the library. Then your child can follow the text as it is read aloud. Audio books are always a good choice when working on fluency.
In addition to library books, special readers can be used which are designed for children with reading problems. These books are written for the sole purpose of teaching reading and can be very useful.
Reading by Design shows you how to develop your child’s reading fluency. You will learn how to select special readers, audio books and phonics programs. Combine these materials with easy word study games. Let your child’s interests guide you when selecting from among 35 games and activities. Learn the best way to use these resources to design a program specific to your child’s needs. You will also learn several effective correction procedures that take the stress out of daily reading. A lengthy discussion on techniques for promoting fluency is in Chapter 10.