How to Teach Children to Read Faster


Today there is simply too much reading that is expected of your child and there is no way your child can avoid it. In schools students are bombarded with textbooks to read, notes to make and take, massive information to remember and recall in examination. The stress level sometimes hits the roof and students and parents both become demotivated.

One of the key to success is studies is to teach your child to read faster. Of course, there is a tendency to think that if I read faster, will I be able to understand what I am reading? Much as it might sound improbable, when you train yourself to read faster you can actually understand better and not only that you will start to think clearer as well.

Reading faster is a not a soft skill. It is more like a hard skill and can be compared to the analogy of riding a bicycle. If you know how to ride a bicycle think a minute on the time when you first attempted to ride a bicycle. Was it easy? Were you able to balance yourself the first time you sat on the bicycle? Probably not! However you persevered and sooner or later your body simply aligned itself and next thing you know you are able to balance and riding the bicycle becomes a piece of cake. The interesting thing about your ability to ride a bicycle is that once you have learnt this skill it stays with you for the rest of your life. It’s almost like a new software program been installed in your brain and you never can erase this program.

Reading faster is very much akin to the skill of riding a bicycle. You have to know the techniques involved in getting your eyes to capture words faster and convincing your brain to process this information effectively. Is it easy? Well it depends on your level of commitment and whether you do have the positive mental attitude to put to practice the technique until you reach a level of unconscious competency.

So as a parent what can you do to help your child to read faster?

First, you need to understand that our eyes are motivated by movement. Try to stare at an inanimate object for an extended period of time and see what happens. You will notice that your vision will start to blur and you may see a double. The thing about the human eyes is that it is a direct extension of our brain. So whatever you see with your eyes travel through the optic nerves and eventually the information is processed in the brain. The good news here is that our human eyes has the ability to process an image in roughly one quarter of a second. Further the eye has a wide peripheral vision that allows it to capture information within an arc of 170 degrees. This means that instead of looking at one word by one word, you can actually see up to 4 words in a single glance by exercising your peripheral vision. Therefore if you want to read faster what you got to do is to try to get your eyes to move across the words in double quick time. The most effective way for you to do this is to use your fingers to glide along the words as you read.

The second thing is that when you are gliding your fingers along the page try to sync your eyes with the finger movement and visualize the words that you are reading. Initially this may look impossible and frustrating, but actually lots of things are happening in your brain when you do this. One of it being that your brain is now trying as hard as possible to process the information as quickly as you can.

This happens because, just like any other creature in the animal kingdom, our body is configured to survive. The senses that we possess are intended to keep us on high alert against predators and to capture or find for food. As such it would be impossible for your eyes not to be able to follow the movement of the fingers when you glide through what you are reading as this is very much a survival instinct.

Once your brain get used to the faster than normal movement of your fingers on the texts or articles that you are reading the brain will enhance its ability to process the information quicker. In fact impossible as it may sound now, when you start doing this you will realize that you can actually understand better by reading faster.

So as a parent if you want to motivate your child to read faster, what you got to do is to inculcate the habit in your child to use his or her fingers to glide through any text that he or she is reading. As this habit becomes entrenched, the child will slowly but surely develop the habit to process the information faster and learn to develop higher concentration when reading.

The earlier you get your child started in this simple and rewarding habit the longer the benefit that you and your child will reap. Not only that as the child becomes comfortable with this method of reading, they will become more enthusiastic and may want to experiment with different text and articles which will improve their knowledge base.


Source by Daniel Theyagu

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