Holly Shannon, M.A.T., Elementary School Teacher

Fluency; Helping your child become a fluent reader

Fluency: How Can I Help My Child Become a Fluent Reader? 

Yeah! Your child is finally an independent reader! Now what? The first step in reading is figuring out the decoding process. Once children learn how to decode unknown words in grade-level appropriate books, they are able to start reading on their own. But, as you may have noticed, they sound very “choppy,” to say the least.   

The “choppy” sound lets you know that your child is able to decode the words, yet needs help with his fluency. 

Here are several ways to help your child gain reading fluency:  

  1. Children gain a sense of ‘how sentences should sound’ by having a lot of exposure to good readers.  Read aloud daily to your child.  Point out punctuation and how you change or stop your voice.


  1. When your child brings home a homework book, make sure she re-reads it to sound “smoother.”  We do this in our reading groups daily.   Once children have had the opportunity to decode the book and read it a couple times, they go back and read it to sound ‘fluid.’


  1. If your child has read his homework book, yet needs to work on fluency, model reading a page or two with expression.  This may feel silly at first, but children will copy the expression you use when reading the text.  In time, your child will recognize to look ahead at the punctuation and change her voice, based on the print. 


  1. Lastly, record your child reading.  He may be surprised to hear that his voice sounds monotone or that doesn’t stop his voice at the end of a sentence. While listening to the recording, he can follow along in his book, noticing where his voice does or doesn’t match the punctuation of the story.


These tools will help your child sound like a smooth, fluent reader and you will love the new and improved fluent reading when your child practices at home.   

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Posted 10 Years Ago Thanks for the terrific advice!

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