Few people realise that many young people (and old!) do not have a reading age that is in line with our chronological age (the age you are today). Reading comprehension (the extent to which you understand what you read) is vital for ensuring young people are able to access lesson materials. One skill that may affect the ability to understand text is the speed at which a young person is able to read. The more efficient the reader, the more fluent and therefore the better the level of understanding is likely to be compared to someone who reads slowly.
‘But how do I know how fast my child reads and how do can speed be improved’? I hear you ask.. This is easy. Check out www.spreeder.com . It’s a free online speed reading tool and is one of the best finds I have stumbled across. It’s great for many reasons but more so because it’s free. Here is what the tool looks like. Simple design and simple to use. Just click Spreed and off you go. But be careful! This tool is set to a default of 300 words per minute which is fast. If you click on the settings tab at the bottom right, you can change this to start with something less swift. Maybe start at 80 wpm and keep increasing until you feel out of your comfort zone. When it becomes easier, simply increase the speed some more.
The beauty of this tool is that you can also copy and paste your own text into the box so that you can ensure that what is used to practise with is either of interest or of relevance. It therefore means that this tool can be used for any age and ability (added bonus!!) If this is done regularly reading speed will improve over time and comprehension will too.
Such a simple way to make a big impact. Keep a record of the young person’s achievements using a chart or graph and let them see their progress grow and grow as the weeks pass.