Parent
Question:
How do I help my child to read fluently?

Ms.
Burnim:
To read fluently means to read words expressively and
smoothly. Children who are not fluent read choppily and word-for-word. This can
affect their comprehension, because they don’t remember what they have read by
the time they reach the end of a sentence. Reading fluently is an important
skill.

To help your child learn to
read fluently, one of the most important things you can do is to regularly read
aloud to your child so that you’re modeling the type of reading you want your
child to do. For example, if you’re changing your voice for different
characters, your child will know that he or she needs to do the same. If a book
that you’re reading has text features such as bold print, and you decide to
read a bolded word loudly, you’re modeling that they, too, can do that while
they’re reading. Another way to develop fluency is to have your child read a
book over and over again. Children tend to become fluent readers after reading
the same thing many times. They know when to pause, when to speed up, and when
to slow down.

As they listen to themselves
read more and more fluently, this also helps to build their confidence.

— Kimberly Oliver Burnim is
a former National “Teacher of the Year”