My Child can Read, now What?


You’ve done all of the pre-reading work from the time they were in the womb. They started school and can read! For some of us are kids are reading above their expected rate. So, what do you do when your child has their phonics and decoding skills but their fluency, comprehension and or desire to read is not meeting yours or their teacher’s expectations.

This is my current dilemma with my soon to be 1st grader. She has excellent phonic skills, however, her fluency, confidence and desire to read at home seems to be dragging. I do confess, this SLP who knows what to do sometimes find it difficult to apply with my own kids and have probably added some needless pressure to her reading and practicing her reading. I know it’s wrong and I have completely pulled back. I know my child and no that pushing doesn’t work for her praise, hugs, and high fives gets all the results. I know what you are saying, just continue to motivate her with positive reinforcements and encourage her to read on her own. Yeah, but can I risk her not maintaining the gains she has made. What if (one of my worse nightmares) she doesn’t love reading and doesn’t initiate pleasure reading.

Putting all the professionalism aside I’ve jumped in “mommy mode”. I am lucky enough to have a best friend who is a third grade teacher. While shopping together I picked up a reading program that I like and was telling her about our new dilemma. She suggested working on her fluency, which in turn will increase her self confidence in her reading which will hopefully lead her towards loving to read. Wow that really makes sense and I had never lined those dominoes.

I am not sure if we will get to these by this Summer but here is the Plan:

  • Searched reading fluency and found multiple sites for fluency and comprehension with FREE materials! One really good one was from the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR).
  • read site words list (which she knows well but struggles with while reading to me). Time her and allow her to chart progress.
  • read short phrases, time and chart
  • read sentences and match them to pictures
  • practice word chunking
  • read paragraphs, time and chart. Answer random questions about paragraph.
  • Read stories to her allowing her to read along at times (hope this will reduce the anxiety)
  • allow her to pick books she can read and allow her to read those to me without pressure.
  • Reinforce, encourage, praise, praise, praise a

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