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10 Solutions for Kids Who Read Too Fast

It can be challenging for young readers to read at the right pace. Some kids read too slowly, while others read too fast.

Reading too fast may seem like a somewhat unlikely problem. Having a child who reads too slowly can throw up obvious red flags, but parents and teachers aren’t always as concerned when a child reads too quickly.

There are some definite problems with reading too fast, though.

Kids Who Reads Too Fast--a few problems they face

Children who read too quickly tend to think that “good readers are fast readers.” Listen to the example in the video below. What do you think—does this sound like good reading to you?

As you can imagine, it’s important for students like this to slow down so they can read accurately and comprehend the text. So let’s move on to the solutions!

Solutions for Kids Who Read Too Fast Quick Guide Download

10 Ways to Help a Child Who Reads Too Quickly

  1. Explain that reading should be at the same pace as regular talking—not too fast and not too slow.
  2. Read a paragraph aloud to her twice and ask her to tell you which one is easier to understand. The first time, read it extremely fast with no expression and without stopping at punctuation. The second time, read with meaningful expression at a normal, understandable pace. Can she hear the difference? Was one easier for her to understand?
  3. Acknowledge that she’s a good reader and can read very fast, but that you want her to slow down when she reads because you want to understand the words she is saying.
  4. Record your student reading at a fast pace and then at a regular pace. She can listen to the recordings to hear the difference.
  5. Instead of asking your student to point to each word, try having her use a piece of paper as a guide under the line she is currently reading. See if the physical reminder of a piece of paper—and the act of having to move it as she reads—helps her slow down.
  6. You could have a code phrase to remind her to slow down, such as “speedy bunny.”
Some children read quick like a bunny.
  1. Read a page to her at a normal pace, and then have her read it at her fast speed. See if she can hear the difference. Then read the next page to her, and have her match your reading pace.
  2. If your child ignores punctuation, teach her to pinch her fingers together when she hits punctuation at the end of sentences. This is a good kinesthetic reminder to slow down for punctuation.
  3. You can also try assigning a shorter amount of reading. Start with whatever amount she can cheerfully read at a good pace—then end there. Praise her for reading at an understandable pace or with expression, or for any part of her reading that went well. It may be that she looks at the length of reading and just wants it to be over fast, so focusing on a shorter passage done with expression will reinforce the right habits.
  4. Try buddy reading. By taking turns reading each page of a story, you have the opportunity to demonstrate proper pacing for your child to emulate.

Remember that child who reads too fast? Listen to what a difference it makes when that same child slows down to a normal pace.

How about you? Does your child read too fast? Have you discovered any helpful tips?

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Carol

says:

Thank you so much for your quick guide. Children do rush as they read. I notice this in my grandson. He needs to slow down and not rush. This takes practice and doing more reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carol,
Yes, it does take practice to break the habit of reading too fast. I hope the tips here help your grandson. I’d love to hear how it goes!

Mercy

says:

Thanks it was really helpful

Kelli

says:

Thank you for these suggestions. I’ve tried explaining to my daughter, who is a strong reader thanks to your program, that fast makes it harder to comprehend. She will initially slow down but speeds back up again and gets frustrated when I continually remind her to slow down a bit. Her father speed reads aloud as well when he reads to the kids. I’m sure that example doesn’t help.

I will try to implement some of these ideas. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kelli. I hope you find these tips helpful, but let me know how it goes or if you need more ideas.

Tiana Seal

says:

it was good i learnt something that was helpful and will not read anything fast again even if it is a speed read.

Selena Cornwall

says:

Mine in the 4th grade is a excellent reader. She may be better than I am because I always struggled with reading in school. But she is reading very large books that are above the average 4th grade reading level in only 2 or 3 days. When I ask her to tell me about the book she seems to have a strong retell. I’m go use some of the suggestions here to slow her down but I am wondering if it’s even a problem for her to read so fast. I can’t believe I was so proud and now so worried that she is developing bad reading habits. But I don’t force her to read so there is no reason to try to get though the books so fast. I has me buying books twice a week.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Selena,
Instead of trying to slow her down, consider allowing your daughter to read for pleasure as she chooses but have her read aloud to you for 10 or 20 minutes most days. And when she reads aloud to you, require her to read well, speaking each word correctly without skipping words, guessing at words, or skimming sentences (all things fast readers may be doing, although not all faster readers do).

By listening to her read aloud, you will be able to be confident that she is reading very well, or know that you have a reason to be concerned and know what issues to focus on.

Let me know how it goes and what you find.
Robin E.

Lina Gao

says:

My daughter is just 6 years old, she likes reading fast, and doesn’t like to check the new words. Thank you for your information!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Lina. Reading too fast is a somewhat common problem, but thankfully it’s not too hard to correct either. Let me know if you need further help.

Ana

says:

Thanks for the information
Hi

palash

says:

me to

Lionesse

says:

Thanks for these tips. Our 3 year old reads too fast, sometimes skipping words or adding words. Telling him to slow down hasn’t been very effective, but we will definitely try some of the techniques suggested. Thanks again.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope these tips help, but let me know how it goes or if you need further help. It’s uncommon for 3-year-olds to have this problem (mostly because most 3-year-olds aren’t reading yet), but it will be important to develop a habit of a more steady and smooth reading pace.

Carol

says:

I like you guide on reading too fast. No matter how many times I tell the kids not to read to fast, they still do. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Carol. Try out these tips, but if your kids are still having difficulties with reading too fast, let me know so I can help further.

Verona

says:

Robin, your suggestions have been helpful with my rising 4th grader. She has done very well with the Level 4 Reading program. She decodes all of the words with no problem. I play a game with her by putting the words down and have her pronounce quickly. She does very well with that. I have been focusing on fluency, using timed reading, both orally and silently. I would like for her reading to be more accurate. My concern is when she is reading, sometimes she gets to a word that needs decoding and pauses rather than attacking. She is also working on reading phrases rather than word by word, sounds much better, less choppy.
She still skips articles, calls these, those, flips words by reading the last word first. The mistakes that she is making does not affect her comprehension at this point. . Wow, this is a lot to focus on but she is making progress. Please advise.
Thanks for your help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Verona,
It sounds like your granddaughter made good progress over the last six months! Way to go, both of you! I’m pleased to hear that working on phrasing in her reading has helped.

It is fine, even expected, to pause before decoding a word when you are otherwise reading fluently. I have been doing it myself this last week, as I am reading aloud the book The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell to my kids and it is full of Spanish words that are unfamiliar to me. Even though I am well practiced in reading aloud, those unfamiliar words trip me up every time. If, after pausing, your granddaughter can decode the word without difficulty, then I wouldn’t worry about her pauses at all.

I previously gave you the link for our article Help! My Child Skips Small Words When Reading, but here it is again for easy reference. While you want to encourage her to pay attention to all words in reading, please don’t expect perfection. It is human nature to make mistakes and it sounds like this small word skipping is caused by your granddaughter reading the word (so her comprehension isn’t affected) but not actually saying the word aloud. This can happen when a child is reading so well that she reads faster than her mouth keeps up. With practice, she can learn to slow her reading down to match her mouth’s pace better but there will always be the occasional mistake in reading aloud. I know I make them when I read aloud daily.

Keep in mind that All About Reading 4 is the final level of the reading program and at the end of AAR 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words (though they may not know the meaning of all higher level words yet). Working in AAR 4 before even starting 4th grade is a great level to be at and it sounds like she is doing very well in it! Be pleased with how well she is learning and how well you are teaching!

As always, I’m happy to help further, but I do think your granddaughter is doing well.

Jackson Treimer

says:

reading to fast is no issue as long as you can control verbally reading. i read twice as fast as the average adult and im 14 soooooo. just try to get them to speak slower but don’t try to slow them down. then they just get upset and stop listening. I know i did

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for your input, Jackson. It’s great that you are able to read so quickly.

However, reading too fast can be a problem for many students. When students read too quickly, they often skip works and skim the content, which can make the student have difficulties in understanding what they are reading. The ultimate goal of reading is not just to get through the words; it is to fully understand and comprehend what was read at a high level. If a student’s fast reading is causing problems in his or her understanding, then it is better to slow them down so they can fully comprehend the reading.

susan donato

says:

Absolutely. I have a fast bunny and I sit with her to slow her down and remind about the punctuation.

Heather

says:

My 10 yr old has grown leaps & bounds in his reading since we started using AAR. I’m blown away by how much his reading has progressed, but I was just realizing the other day that sometimes he reads too fast. He starts guessing at words or reading what he thinks it should say instead of what it does say. Thank you for these tips to help slow him down! And I really appreciate the idea about breaking up a reading assignment that may be too long. He’s become very focused on how many pages he has left & he gets discouraged if he has too much ahead of him. I need to give him & myself permission to not finish the lesson every time. :-)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Heather,
Thank you for letting us know how much your student has grown in reading! Reading too fast is a common problem as students become better readers, so while it can cause problems it can also be a good sign. It’s great to know that this blog post has been helpful to you. Please let us know if you have further questions or need anything more!

Angelina Vickers

says:

Thanks for this

Faith

says:

Somehow mine skips words, flips letters, messes up words regularly when reading aloud, yet can tell me everything single detail correctly. I don’t get it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Faith,
It might be that your student is reading faster than normal speech allows, which can do all sorts of things to how we sound when we read aloud. Once a student is reading faster than a regular speaking speed, it can take some practice in order to be able to read aloud well. On the other hand, it could be that your student is having difficulty with reading but has excellent comprehension so can make up for the difficulties. Either way, consider having him or her read aloud to you daily for 10 minutes or so and focus on reading smoothly, at a steady speaking pace, and aim for a high level of accuracy in reading.

Please let us know if you have further questions or if things don’t improve after a few weeks.

Alecia

says:

Love the idea of buddy reading!!

Melanie W.

says:

Thank you! This is just what my family needed to hear! The punctuation tip (#8) is such a great idea!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Melanie. Please let us know if you have further questions. We love to help!

Terri Baehr

says:

My daughter has numerous issues with reading and tends to rush ahead over words she does not know. This has helped me to understand a bit more on how to help her in her reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Terri,
I’m pleased to hear you found this blog post helpful. However, if you have further questions or concerns, we are available here, by email at support@allaboutlearning.com, and by phone at 715-477-1976.

Having them read it in character voices also helps them slow down as they “act” out the story.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandra,
Great idea! Plus, stories are always more fun when you do voices.

Patsy

says:

This is a great resource. Thank you. Now that my 11 yr old daughter is able to read fairly well (thanks again to AAS & AAR), she has been speeding through her reading. I believe because she’s excited to finally be able to comfortably & confidently read. This article is yet another great resource to use. Thank you!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Hi Patsy,

That’s so exciting that your daughter is enjoying her reading now! I’m glad the article is helpful.

Kaitlin

says:

All helpful! Thank you.

Priya Uchila

says:

Very helpful tips in managing kids….i hv 2 fast readers n this has helped me bring down their pace n not skipping words.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Priya,
Thank you for letting us know that these tips have helped your kids!

Rachel

says:

Thanks so much for these tips. My son went from not reading, to blazing through a passage. I definitely agree that he thinks fast reading is good reading so I will try these ideas!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
Hopefully these ideas will, but if not please let us know.

Shirlee

says:

Thank you for this post!! My son struggles with this can’t wait to give these a try!!

Rachel R.

says:

Great tips! I’ll have to give them a try with my son.

Mary M.

says:

This helped, thanks!

Batmom

says:

These suggestions are so helpful. I can’t wait to try them with my son.

Christine

says:

Great suggestions!! I have a friend whose daughters read quickly and might really benefit from this list!

good suggestions. Thank you!

Melissa

says:

Nice article.

stacey

says:

my oldest had this problem when she was younger. I had her read out-loud because it made her slow down

Judy Dickson

says:

I like the pinch your fingers together when you come to a period idea! I bet that will really help.

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