The rule of thumb for a child’s reading speed is that children should be able to read aloud an average of between 25 and 40 words per minute by the halfway point of the first grade, between 60 and 85 words per minute by the halfway point of the second grade, and around 105 to 120 words per minute by the halfway point of the third grade. In the course of the fourth grade, the threshold of 140, or better 150 words per minute should be reached. Only at this speed is reading sufficiently automated to be able to understand the text correctly in terms of content.
Some children have difficulty with reading acquisition, and parents should take special care not to frustrate them unnecessarily and make sure that the texts are not too difficult, that the text is slightly enlarged and has adequate line spacing, and that the words are segmented into syllables by color, if necessary. Reading practice should be limited to 10 to 15 minutes per day and care should be taken to create a relaxed atmosphere, with the time before bedtime being a good opportunity to read with the child in a quiet and comfortable environment.
It is also important that children are given a model for fluent reading, i.e., that someone reads a passage to them, which they then read again themselves. that familiar texts are read at least three times in succession until a certain fluency is established, on which they receive immediate feedback by immediately being told the correct word aloud if they misread it. It is also important that children are given practice texts where they can read the majority of the words correctly. The level for reading texts is optimal when the child makes fewer than five reading errors (mixing up letters, omitting letters, etc.) per minute. If the number of errors is higher, easier texts should be chosen.
To encourage a child’s motivation, you can alternate reading aloud during the reading exercises and have the child read larger and larger sections over time. If your child is still reading very slowly and with difficulty, it makes sense for the parent to read out loud the section the child has read, so that the child understands the content and can continue to follow the story.