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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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Michele

says:

My 8 year old constantly ignores periods, instead reading in long breathless sentences. Hoping some of these strategies help. : )

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

In addition to the tips in this blog post, check out our Reading with Expression: 5 Teaching Tips and a Free Printable and How to Develop Reading Fluency blog posts for more tips and helps.

One very effective activity not mentioned in detail in any of these blog posts is a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression and appropriate pauses with punctuation, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as close as possible. Do this for approximately five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

Beka

says:

Thanks for the advice!

Kris

says:

I like the idea to read fast and/or slow and then normal and see which sounds the best to them, sounds like good option to let them hear how they sound and let them figure it out.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad you like the idea, Kris! Yes, kids usually catch on pretty quickly when they can hear the difference themselves.

Charity Joslyn

says:

This is very helpful! Thank you

Laurel

says:

I love the kinesthetic reminder for punctuation idea. ?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Glad you like it, Laurel!

Angelique Welsh

says:

These are fantastic and really useful! Looking forward to trying them!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great, I’m glad this will be helpful for you, Angelique. If you have questions or need more help, just ask.

Cyn T

says:

Thank you for this post. Helps me confirm and give more information on what I thought was going on.

Erikamari M

says:

Oh my goodness this is too funny! I was just talking with hubby how our 7 yo (who I feel is right where she needs to be level wise) will read and sometimes “know” what the word is going to be. And if it has a similar letter sequencing she will just assume thats it and stick it in there even if it doesnt make sense because she just wants to be done. Maybe she would benefit from being recorded….hmmm…We also sometimes have issues with her and remembering to use the punctuation so I LOVE the idea of her pinching her fingers when she gets to it. We will try that for sure. Thank you for these tips.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad these will be helpful for your child, Erikamari! I’ve seen the sorts of things you described when a child is starting to get good at reading. It’s usually a good sign, but it can lead to other issues too, especially word guessing.

Tammy

says:

Very good advice!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Tammy!

Jessica Morton

says:

Sounds like my son. I am going to try these tips out. Thanks so much!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jessica! I hope these tips help him, but if you need more ideas or have other concerns, please let me know.

A Nana

says:

Even the 2nd video sped up after the first sentence. I could not understand any of the rest of it. Kids need to speak more slowly, ennunciate, and project too.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, good points. It is important for readers to read at a pace that allows full understanding.

Michelle

says:

Thank you for these tips! I definitely need this with my oldest child.

Rick K.

says:

I think the main reason kids can tend to read too fast is that they are over-excited about finding themselves able to read. I’ve been tutoring kids for 40 years, and that’s what I’ve always seen when kids read too fast. When that happens, I correct them and make them go back when they’ve made a mistake, but I have never done anything to try to get a child read more slowly. I’ve always found that, over time, that excitement settles down, and then they read at a speed they can maintain without constantly making mistakes. I think things work out much better when you just wait for a new reader to settle down naturally. That’s always worked for me.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your approach, Rick. Good point.

Steph

says:

So many great ideas! I have one child who reads really fast and I wasn’t sure what to do. Thank you for these tips!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad these will be helpful for your child, Steph!

Kristin Donley

says:

Love the code word idea. Thanks for sharing these tips.

Danielle

says:

Really enjoyed the read, thank you for the very useful information, my son currently does this and it’s nice to read he’s not alone. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Danielle. Your son is definitely not along with this problem.

susan okeefe

says:

Yes many of my students think that reading fast means that they are good readers!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, it is such a common misconception that students have, Susan.

Carolyn Boucher

says:

So many great ideas here. I see students rush through text all too often!

Michele

says:

This is a good thing to watch out for. Sometimes even slower readers can read “too fast for them” and end up making the same mistakes by skipping or adding words.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

So true, Michele! Thank you for pointing that out.

Heather

says:

This was really helpful. I’m an SLP and working on reading and spelling skills with a few students, who like to rush. Great tips! Thank you!

Stacy

says:

I discovered this resource at the perfect time. A group of us were talking about reading rate recently, and discovered we had a few students that just loved to race through. The children’s thinking was that faster was better. This resource helped to frame my thinking around how to approach the discussion with my students.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was so timely for you, Stacy!

Simi

says:

Exactly what I needed, Thank you!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Simi!

Stacey

says:

Thank you this was super helpful. I have a son who is a fast reader

Celeste

says:

So helpful! Thanks!

Melody

says:

Thank you for the tips and great examples.

Pua

says:

Insightful read! Just discovered AAR/AAS after reading so many good things. Hoping to add both into our homeschool curriculum soon!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great, Pua! Let me know if need help with placement or anything else.

Katie Groves

says:

This is very helpful!

Julia Baer

says:

This is very helpful… As my daughter often skips words! Thanks a lot!

Sara Poffenroth

says:

Thanks for the tips !

Kim Mapes

says:

Great tips!

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