Reading fluency is one of the five core reading skills. Fluency involves the ability to quickly sound out or automatically recognize words by sight at an appropriate pace for the type of reading being done. Fiction can usually be read faster than nonfiction informational text. More difficult text that contains many specialized terms needs to be read more slowly for full comprehension. An appropriate pace for reading a short story is different from that for reading an essay, a poem, a play, or a textbook.
Reading fluency includes reading smoothly and with good expression. This is essential for reading aloud, but also carries over into the phrasing and pace of silent reading. Reading with natural expression and pacing often indicates that the reader is fully comprehending the text; but many dyslexics are much better silent readers than they are at reading aloud, so this definitely should not be seen as the only indicator.
There are other causes for fluency difficulty besides dyslexia. One physical cause can be weak ocular muscles. There are six muscles that control eye movement. A person might notice a temporary difficulty with visual tracking after reading for a long period of time. Eye muscles can become fatigued. While this is a normal experience, a developmental optometrist or ophthalmologist can help identify whether or not vision therapy is needed. Programs that help build visual-tracking efficiency can also help if this is the cause of a student’s reading not being fluent. (If concerns in this area are suspected, please refer to this article on visual tracking.)
The reading fluency strategies in this article can be used at home to help to build their reading speed (but never at the expense of comprehension).
At Wings to Soar Online Academy, we work with you to create a customized package that includes the programs that are just right for your unique situation. If you have curriculum that is already working for a particular learning area, we respect that and don’t want you to feel you need to enroll in more than you need with us. We want to come alongside you to help you fill in the gaps of what isn’t working. Please explore the following menu of possible online programs that we offer at Wings to Soar that we could include in your child’s Path to Success™ Personalized Learning Plan.
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