For many early readers, reading fluency can prove to be a challenge. Fluency refers to the ability to read out loud at an appropriate pace with accuracy and intonation. While the importance of reading fluency only becomes more apparent in the later years, it is never too early to prepare your child for reading success.
Being equipped with reading skills can be particularly helpful for your child as they transition from preschool to primary school. When your child reads confidently, they are better able to grasp the ideas within the text, which facilitates more effective learning in the various subjects.
Here’s what you can do to help your child achieve reading fluency.
1. Listen to models of fluent reading
Letting your child listen to examples of fluent reading can help them grasp the requirements of fluency and understand how it can be applied to their reading. Read aloud to your child regularly and make sure to enunciate words and pause at punctuation marks that indicates a break, such as a comma, semicolon or dash. Playing audiobooks is also a great way to help your child achieve reading fluency.
2. Master sight words
Sight words, also known as high-frequency words, are common words that children are expected to recognise instantly without sounding them out. Examples of sight words include “but”, “what”, “with”, “because”, “better”, and “own”. When your child masters sight words and can instantly recognise them, they no longer need to pause to sound them out, resulting in quicker reading and better fluency.
To help your child master sight words, consider using flashcards to reinforce their memory.
3. Start with simpler texts
If your child is struggling with reading fluently, start by practising with easier passages. Make it a point to record your child’s reading and listen to it together afterwards. Point out the areas that your child has done well and what could be improved, then set a goal for the next reading session. As your child builds confidence in reading, you may progress to more challenging texts. This way, your child can progressively consolidate their reading skills without losing motivation along the way.
4. Practise reading aloud together
Pick a storybook that your child is already familiar with and get them to read aloud with you at the same pace. Instead of figuring out new words, this reading technique focuses on helping your child understand the pacing and accuracy of fluent reading. Over time, your child will build more confidence and motivation in reading.
5. Consider kids’ reading enrichment programmes
To nurture a passion for reading in your child, consider enrolling them in kids’ reading enrichment programmes, such as the MindChamps Reading Programme offered by the MindChamps Enrichment Academy. Designed for children aged 3-7, this programme not only focuses on how to sound out words but also emphasises reading with understanding – the ability to comprehend the meaning of words or sentences and relate them to their everyday experiences.
Book a centre visit now to find out more about our kids’ reading enrichment programme in Singapore!