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Remediating slow reading speed before high school? (x-posted)

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(I posted this on the Chat board before it really occurred to me that I should post here as well.)


We just had evals done here, and my DD14 did extremely well (college-level) on the reading/comprehension tests (which did, in fact, change the way the evaluator spoke to me as a homeschooling parent, but that's another post  :glare:). However, she is an EXTREMELY slow reader, and I'm starting to worry about what that means for high-school- and college-level work. For example, earlier this week, she needed to finish six pages of a History of US book section before we could begin to discuss, so I told her to call me when she was done. 40 minutes later, I finally called to her, and she was just getting to the last page :(


I don't know whether this is an attention issue or not. She does have a hard time focusing on what she's reading, it seems, even when she reads for pleasure (which is rare). She rarely finishes books, even when she's enjoying them. But the evaluation results didn't support an LD diagnosis even a little bit, and I know that her comprehension is strong from talking to her about books that she has read. She often understands and remembers details that I don't because I'm a fast reader and tend to skim as I go. 


So I just came across reading classes for all ages/grade levels at our local uni (my alma mater, so I know my way around), and for her age level, they claim to help students "double reading speed, improve comprehension in fiction and nonfiction, learn to study and read textbooks, and enjoy reading more." This "institute" part of the university has been around for a long time, so it's no fly-by-night operation. I just never looked at their offerings before because it never occurred to me we might need them! And now I'm wondering if this might be a solution.


Has anyone used a class like this before and had positive results? Are there other options for improving reading speed besides locking in her room without music or devices and not letting her out until her reading is done?! I just don't see we'll get high-school work done this way, let alone the amount of reading awaiting her at college *sigh*



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First, understand that I have a very slow reader, too.  I wish I'd signed my dc up for a similar class, if nothing else than simply to know we'd tried it.  However, before you sign her up, get her opinion about what she thinks the problem is.  Even though she is a slow reader, part of the problem may be that she is texting with friends or going on YouTube or daydreaming for an hour at a time.  The solution may not be a class or locking her in her room with no devices; it may be sitting her at the kitchen table with a timer for each subject and with you present to keep her on track.  In traditional schools the teachers often walk around the room and redirect students who have gotten off track.  She doesn't get that locked away by herself in her room.  Please take all that in the spirit in which it was intended - I need to go pull my own slow reader out of the bedroom right now....







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I agree with klmama - if she's truly a slow reader, then the class might help, and I would certainly try it. But I would also see if she does better sitting at the table with me in the room. 


fwiw, youngest dd and I do a fair amount of reading aloud for history and science, and just do the discussion as we go. For me, it's easier than finding one time to read it and another time to discuss it. It's slower than silent reading but definitely quicker than distracted reading, lol. There's also the benefit of discussing what catches their attention at the moment, and it's also more likely that they will ask for clarification on something they don't understand. Unless your daughter is very different from mine, she is not going to stop her silent reading to ask questions. She is much more likely to do so in the moment. 


If there were no signs of a LD, then nearly seven minutes per page sounds a lot like distracted reading to me. Read and discuss together, and then take it from there. She might always need the reading out loud to keep her on track, so it's good practice, and she can't read out loud any slower than she's reading silently. You are correct that she will not get through high school work at that pace. 


You do have plenty of time to work on it, and for some maturity to kick in. However, some people always do need to read out loud when it comes to difficult or uninteresting material. I am one of them, and my youngest is likely another.


I will say that reading out loud and discussing as you go may seem to take more time upfront, but it doesn't seem to translate into taking more time overall. For dd, it's as if she is studying as she goes, and she doesn't need much additional study time when done with the chapter. She is using college texts for history and science, and chugging right along on schedule with good results.               


Edited bc I can't divide today.

Edited by katilac
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I would first have her vision checked by a developmental optometrist.  Vision problems may be causing her to read inefficiently and/or slow down due to fatigue.


Assuming that all is well with her vision, I would have her read aloud every day, working up to reading continuously for 20-30 minutes.  Start with materials she can read easily and then slowly work up to high school level.  You want her to be able to read aloud comfortably at a rate of about 200 wpm.


Finally, she needs to learn where she can skim (and how to skim) and where she needs to slow down. Perhaps one of those courses could help with that.

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I forgot to mention the eye exam.  We didn't go the developmental optometrist route, but seeing a regular one got dc a prescription for reading glasses.  Dc's eyes have always tested 20/20, but apparently one can still be far-sighted with that, which can cause blurred vision when reading. Glasses sped things up significantly, although it didn't completely fix the slow reading issue. 

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I have a slow reader, too.   He also has excellent comprehension. I know he frequently pages back in the book to check names, locations, events, etc., and I'm sure that slows him down.  However, a student just can't take such a pace in high school and college, so I appreciate the suggestions on this thread as well.  I wish we had one of those reading classes around here.   Well, maybe I should look for one.  :-)

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