This is essential in this modern age of nonstop information, reading skills take on a greater urgency.
This is especially true for an underpriviledged child.
In 2011, nearly 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty.
Children living in poverty have a higher number of absenteeism or leave school all together because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members.
Children that live below the poverty line are 1.3 times more likely to have developmental delays or learning disabilities than those who don’t live in poverty.
Learning to read with greater skill is a pathway out of poverty.
The steps to achieving this are well documented, you just have to practice.
Get rid of distractions. Even if you think you read better when you have music playing or when you’re in a crowded coffee house, you can probably increase your speed if you reduce distractions to a bare minimum. Try to find a solitary place to read, and turn off the TV, radio and cell phone.
Even being in a room of people talking is distracting. If no solitary place is available, try using earplugs to block out any distractions around you.
How tough is the material?
If you’re reading a newspaper article, chances are you just want to get the main ideas, and you can skim through the passages quite rapidly.
If your reading a math textbook, you may need to slow down to understand the material.
Before you begin a chapter or book, look over the entire piece very quickly. Try to find patterns of repeated words, key ideas, bold print and other indicators of important concepts. Then, when you actually do your reading you may be able to skim over large portions of the text, slowing only when you come to something you know is important.
Most people frequently stop and skip back to words or sentences they just read to try to make sure they understood the meaning. This is usually unnecessary, but it can easily become a habit, and many times you will not even notice you’re doing it.
Stop reading to yourself.
As you read you probably subvocalize, or pronounce the words to yourself. Almost everybody does it, although to different degrees: some people actually move their lips or say the words under their breath, while others simply say each word in their heads. Regardless of how you subvocalize, it slows you down.
Practice reading blocks of words.
Nearly everyone learned to read word-by-word or even letter-by-letter, but once you know the language, that’s not the most efficient method of reading. Not every word is important, and in order to read quickly, you’ll need to read groups of words – or even whole sentences or short paragraphs – instantaneously. The good news is you probably already do this to some extent: most people read three or four words at a time.
Practice and push yourself.
While you may see some gains in speed the moment you start using these tips, speed reading is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Always push yourself to your comfort level and beyond – if you end up having to reread a section, it’s not a big deal. Keep practicing regularly.