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Parents Improve Your Kid’s Reading Over the Summer

June 5th, 2010

Can you as a parent really improve your child’s reading fluency over the summer? Reading fluency training is one of the easiest things for parents to do to improve their child’s reading and it can be done in just 5 minutes a day.  Summer is the perfect time for parents to implement a reading fluency program and make a real difference with their child’s reading. Sally Shaywitz, author of Overcoming Dyslexia states, “I urge parents of dyslexic children [or any child] to make fluency training – repeated oral reading – their number one priority. Because it involves reinforcement rather than teaching a child a new concept, it is ideally suited for the home.” Here is what April from has to say about Bonnie Terry’s reading fluency program Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills. We received  Five Minutes To Better Reading Skills to review from Bonnie Terry Learning. I’ve been using the Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills with my 8 year old son.  He’s reading, but still lacks confidence and speed.  He loves doing the speed drills in the book!  He’d rather do that than try to read a book, actually.  It’s partly because it is instant success.  He looks at a list of short words that he can read with over 90% accuracy. Too many beginning reading books throw in harder words every now and then that discourage him. The goal of Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills is to read a list of words (from left to right)  as quickly and accurately as you can within 5 minutes.  The teacher keeps track of how many words are missed, and how many are read within the 5 minutes.  That is used to calculate the “words per minute” rate, and the student’s accuracy.  There is a helpful chart at the beginning that shows what speed different grades should be reading at, so you can judge your child’s reading ability and their progress. A student cannot move onto the next list until they have improved their speed and don’t miss more than 4 words per page. This reading drill helps them begin to “recall” their phonetic sounds more quickly and blend them together quicker.  The drill helps their brain establish better retrieval of words, which helps them read faster, which helps them stay focused on and remember what they are reading.  Reading speed increases reading comprehension.  The harder your brain has to work to actually read the words, the less your brain can remember what you read. Five Minutes to Better Reading Skills includes a spiral-bound softcover teacher’s book and a student book. The teacher uses a plastic overlay and a write-on/wipe-off marker to keep track of the student’s progress.  The books are totally reusable, non-consumable.  The teacher’s manual includes helpful charts for tracking your student’s progress.  The student book and teacher’s guide are sold for $60.00.  This is not a complete phonics program, but is phonetically based and should be used to supplement other phonics programs. He has been doing well, and we will continue mixing the reading drills in with reading practice from books to continue to improve his reading skills. __________________ So,  parents, spend five minutes a day and improve your child’s reading skills.

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

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