Speed Read: Increase Your Child’s Reading Rate

Enrichment Therapies

February 27, 2017

girl reading outside in the grass

Speed Read: Increase Your Child’s Reading Rate

By Megan Hughes, M.A., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Is your child having difficulty reading at the same speed as their peers? Being able to read quickly and accurately is an important skill needed to become a successful reader! Check out these reading rate tips and activities to help your child increase their speed!


It’s very important that your child is relaxed when working on their reading rate. Tell them to relax their shoulders, neck, and eyes.  When students are relaxed they are more likely to keep reading through a passage instead of starting and stopping.  We want students to read all the way through without stopping or repeating words!

Echo Read

Help your child incorporate reading sight words into their vocabulary through echo reading. Initially, read a sentence aloud to him and have him read it back to you. As your child becomes proficient at reading a sentence back to you, increase the number of sentences he echo reads. When you are reading, make sure to model good expression as this is what the child will model back to you.

Repeated Readings

Challenge your child to beat his own reading time through repeated readings of the same passage. Choose (or have your child choose) a short paragraph. The selection should be just difficult enough that your child can understand it, but cannot yet read it fluently.  Record your child reading the passage the first time. Then, ask your child to read the passage several times until he is able to read it fluently. (You can relate this to an athlete practicing the same movements until they develop speed and effortlessness.) Last, record your child during a final reading of the passage. Listen to the difference between the two readings!

Metronome Reading

Set a timer and tell your child to read for one minute. When the timer goes off set a metronome to the number of words read in one minute.  For example, if a student read 70 words per minute, you would set the metronome to 70 beats per minute. Ask your child to read one word for each beat on the metronome. Once they get used to this, increase the number of beats per minute on the metronome. Do this 2-3 times until the student is able to read the passage at an increased rate! Check out this great metronome application!


When reading ask the student to tap on their lap when they get to periods or commas.  This will help them acknowledge the punctuation in a passage and will help with their phrasing and expression.

Tracking Activities

The ABC and line tracking activities increase accuracy tracking from line to line. It is important that your child not move his head when doing the tracking activities – this is an activity just for his eyes!  For abc tracking, have your child put the felt square beside the paper on the same side that he writes. The felt piece will be the home base to rest his hand so he doesn’t use the pencil or his fingers to track. He will start at the top of one of the paragraphs and circle each letter starting with “a,” then “b” then “c” and moving all the way to z.  For line tracking, have your child start at the top of any paragraph and state the first letter of the first word in the line and the last letter in the line. Then go to row two and say the first and last letters of that line, and so on. Move as quickly as possible from line to line. Check out this blog for more details and materials!

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


Related Posts