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Learning to Go With the Flow

July 26, 2017
By Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts - Dear Teacher , OVParent

DEAR TEACHER: My child will be going into third grade next year. He hesitates a lot and reads slowly. The teacher says he is not as fluent a reader as he should be. I'd like to help him improve this skill during the summer, and he is willing to work with me.

What should I be doing to help him become a more fluent reader? - For Fluency

Answer: Fluency has been defined by the National Reading Panel as reading text aloud with speed, accuracy and proper expression. It is important for understanding the meaning of what is being read.

Your son may not be a fluent reader because he cannot quickly decode words, which is largely knowing phonics and word patterns. If your son's reading problems appear to be quite serious, then working with a reading teacher or clinic would be more appropriate than simply trying to improve his fluency. Nevertheless, improving fluency will improve his overall reading skills.

You can improve your child's fluency; however, you will need to work on it every day. Here are some steps that you can take:

1. Read aloud frequently to your son so he knows what fluent reading sounds like.

2. Choose fun materials that he will enjoy for reading practice. Consult with librarians or use reading lists to find materials that are on the second grade level or lower, if necessary.

3. Have the child read the material - 100 words is sufficient. This will give you a handle on what is causing him to have problems with fluency.

4. Read the material together several times.

5. Have your son read the material by himself.

6. On our website, under Skill Builders Reading, look for "Improving Children's Reading Skills with Techniques that Work at Home." This will give you several effective ways that you and he can read together, especially the Neurological Impress Method.

Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, in care of OV Parent, 1 N. Illinois St. No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or log on to, or email



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