Children who read well are building a bridge to a successful future. This means better grades, reading more, learning more, and performing better in school, college and university. Children who enjoy reading develop a powerful love of reading. They read after hours. They read books on the weekend. They simply love reading.
Children who read slowly and with difficulty are trapped another world, the world of the "slow reader". They read the bare essentials; only what is absolutely necessary at school. They are unlikely to read after hours. Reading is tiring, difficult, frustrating, and slow. They often have low confidence when reading. It is well known that children who fall behind in their reading, fall further behind later on. A study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that most of the children who had reading problems in the third grade continued to have problems in the 9th grade. Children with reading problems grow up to become adults with reading difficulties as well. The chance of completing a four year college degree is around 2% for a student who has suffered lifelong reading problems.
These are two different worlds, the world of the slow reader and the world of the fast, accurate and confident child. So, how do we build reading confidence and transform a problem reader into a fast and accurate reader? We reveal all in this newsletter, and present some practical tuition techniques that make a huge difference to young readers.
Many people suspect that children who read poorly are somehow lazy. This is often incorrect. A child that reads slowly and with difficulty is often doing around four times more visual and mental work to read the same amount of information as a good child reader. When you put a lot of work into an activity, and you get very little out of it, tiredness and frustration sets in. It's very hard to persevere when you are frustrated and tired. Let.s consider an example with the following sentence.
"The naughty dog sneaked up and made away with a cup cake."
The slow reader may require 15 eye movements and 15 eye fixations to absorb this sentence. If their eyes skip back to earlier words, then this skip back may cause additional eye movements and fixations, eg a total of 25 eye movements and 25 eye fixations. This is equivalent to 50 eye operations just to read a simple sentence. A fast and accurate child might read this sentence with just 7 eye movements and 7 fixations with no skip back. This is 14 eye operations which takes a fraction of the effort. And because the faster child can read a sentence much quicker the ideas in the sentence are fresh, and they can often understand it thoroughly. However, slower child may have forgotten the ideas in the first half of the sentence by the time the read the second half, because they are working so hard, and it is taking much longer. Hence the slower child is much more likely to understand less of what they read.
Children are under a lot of pressure. By the second and third grade, already they are expected to learn to read story books and become fluent and comprehend what they read. A child that can see that they are not as well as the others in their class can quickly become demoralized. This adds to the problem.
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So what practical steps can we take to transform children into powerful readers?
- Children should be assessed for visual, hearing and learning disorders. Disorders such as low vision, dyslexia and ADHD may require a specialized reading programme to get best results. Specialists can help greatly here.
- Role models are vital. If parents switch off the television and make time to read at home, the children respond to this by reading more too.
- Provide an abundance of reading materials that is fun, appropriate to their level of ability, and accessible.
- Harness different reading mediums. Have paper books, plastic bath books, computer e-books, computer reading software, and books narrated on DVD movies. This adds excitement and variety and provides more reading opportunities to the child.
- Tap in to the interest the child. If the child is interested in extreme snowboarding, then find a story about extreme snowboarding or extreme sports or something related.
- Allow the child to garner reading skills as fast as possible. There is no such thing a child that knows how to read "too well". If a child is reading quickly and accurately for their age, this will set them up for great things later on.
- Remove or limit the competitors to reading. If computer games, the television, or other activities are preventing sufficient reading practice, then control access to these items and dedicate quality reading time every day.
One-on-one reading. Make time for your child. Read to them. Let them read to you. Help them with their reading.
- Build vocabulary. A good vocabulary is a powerful factor in fast and effective reading. Vary your language when you talk to your child to include a rich variety of words. Teach the child new words each day. Create a book with new words, and review the words every few days until your child knows them.
- Build confidence. Praise the reading achievements of your child. Congratulate them when they spend out-of-school time reading. Tell them how they are improving.
- Reward the child with reading-related related gifts. Ensure that for important occasions such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and birthdays you provide at least one reading-related gift such as a book, a narrated story DVD, or reading software. If the child achieves in special ways at home or at school, a reading-related gift helps associate achievement and winning with reading. This powerful association will build an excellent bridge to the future.
The RocketReader speed reading software is used by schools and colleges throughout the USA to train child readers in reading proficiency. RocketReader provides hundreds of carefully graded readings from basic reading level to adult level proficiency. The readings capture the imagination of youth; They are packed with action: dirt biking, extreme sports, snowboarding, Nascar, rap, monster trucks, heavy metal, pro surfing, game fishing, radio controlled cars, dungeons and dragons, baseball cards, Lego design, football sensation David Beckam and Tony Hawke landing the 900 , and much more! Each of the stories is fully comprehension tested. RocketReader trains children to beat the three bad habits of reading, and to develop a fast and accurate reading style. Read more