“5th Grade Class Jumps Forward 2 Grade Levels in Just 2 Months”

(Why is it important for kids to continue to Speed Read each day for 20 minutes?)

According to a recent national assessment (2015), about 66% of all 8th graders in the United States are reading below grade level. That’s about the “state of the union” for all of our public schools nowadays.

That makes Tens of Millions of American children who are reading below grade level.

Yikes. That’s very sad. Over time, more Americans are falling into this category.

Is there a way to correct this deficit?

I believe there is.

Most people think of Speed Reading as something that is only appropriate for College Students and other adults (business owners, executives, etc.) — but not for children. This is primarily because of the following two misconceptions:

1. They believe that Speed reading is too difficult for young children to learn. The opposite is true: Speed Reading is EASY for children under the age of 12 to learn. Just like foreign languages. (In fact, if you want your child to speak a foreign language like a native, you’d better start teaching them that language before they’re 12 years old. Younger would be better.)

The truth is this: If you wait until College to start Speed Reading, you’ve waited too long. Languages and Speed Reading are more difficult to learn the older you get.

2. The belief that you’re wasting your time and effort to teach a 3rd grader to speed read. (ie. “There’s no value in reading The Cat In The Hat fast.”)

I’ve been teaching 3rd graders (and above) to Speed Read since 1997. I can assure you that there is great value in children being able to Speed Read. Children gain greater confidence, they have a greater love of learning and they often improve their Reading Grade Level at a much faster rate than normal.

And, experience shows that in many cases, when children follow the advice to keep using the Speed Reading skill for 15–20 minutes per day, their other reading and learning skills continue to improve at a better-than-normal rate.

Here are a couple of examples:

One 5th grade teacher proceeded to teach her class of 5th graders to Speed Read, starting in late October, one year. By Christmas time those who participated had gained one to two Reading Grade Levels in only two months!

Here is what the teacher wrote: “..in fact, another assessment tool we use…has shown amazing results of reading gains in the range of one-to two GRADE LEVELS in just a couple of months!!

“Some of my lowest level students (who began reading about second or third grade level) are now reading near grade level (5th grade). Those who were reading on grade level have jumped to 7th and (in one case) 8th grade level. I am very impressed.

A high school principal in Michigan and his wife decided to teach their 4th grade daughter, Anne (not her real name), to speed read. They started their project in February (and Anne had just recently been ranked as being able to read at 7th grade reading level, using the Star Reading Assessment). After 6 weeks of daily practice, she was reading 6,000 words per minute.

Anne got into the habit of Speed Reading for 15 minutes every day, just before going to bed.

In May, shortly before the school year ended, the students at Anne’s school were put through the usual end-of-the-year standardized tests that all of the students were required to do. On the Star Reading Assessment, Anne now suddenly got ranked at 10th grade reading level.

The educator who conducted the Star Reading Assessment was totally shocked. He asked Anne’s father (the high school principal) what Anne was doing differently. In the 18 years that he had conducted detailed reading assessments for the school, he had never before seen a better-than-average reader jump 3 grade levels in only 3 months.

The only thing that Anne had been doing differently was that she was Speed Reading for 15 minutes each day, just before going to bed. But think about it — in 15 minutes, Anne was reading enough (15 x 6,000 wpm = 90,000 words) to be able to finish two complete 200-page books each day! Even if she were “taking it easy,” and was only reading one book per day, she could still easily read 90 books in 3 months.

No wonder Anne jumped 3 grade levels in 3 months!

Speed Reading is a powerful engine for an educated mind.

As a Speed Reading teacher, I have seen similar patterns of improvement with other children.

I’m not a part of the School System, and I generally don’t get vocal about Speed Reading when I’m around schools. Professional teachers have a job to do. And they do the best that they can, within the system where they work. I never try to upstage anyone.

But, the truth is the truth. Children can accomplish some amazing things when they are just allowed to learn this one new skill and run with it.

So you can imagine that I was pretty happy when I stumbled upon an article where the mother (Ashly) of two daughters (ages 7 and 9) was interviewed. Ashly improvised a method for teaching both of her daughters to Speed Read at the age of three (I have posted two lesson plans based on her experience. See both links below).

Ashly’s children followed the following pattern:

1. Ashly’s children learned to read, starting at age 1 or 2.

2. Eventually, they were able to read independently, and were shown how to Speed Read.

3. After learning to Speed Read, they continued using the Speed Reading skill on a daily basis for at least few minutes each day.

4. After a couple of years of regular, daily Speed Reading, they were able to read “beyond College Level” books. They were formally tested. (Obviously they were improving their reading ability by one “Grade Level,” every month or two).

The only difference is that these two children began to Speed Read when they were just THREE YEARS OLD. And that was only possible because their mother had taught them to read at a much younger age, so that they were ready to be shown how to Speed Read at the age of three.

The point here is not that all children must learn to read at College level by the age of five. I don’t believe that that is necessary. (But it’s not forbidden, either).

The point is that there is no reason for any normal child to be reading below grade level at all. Every child should at least be shown how to Speed Read, and shown this when they are pretty young.

Third grade, or Preschool, it’s up to you.

It can help prevent a whole host of “learning disabilities.”

Just show them.

One “ounce of prevention” here, can be more valuable than a “pound of cure” later on.

If young children are simply shown how to Speed Read, they should never fall behind in their reading grade level. Instead, they will likely move ahead to a much more advanced reading level. Perhaps even advancing at a rate of one Grade Level per month, as some other children are already doing.

IF YOUR CHILD HAS FALLEN BEHIND in his grade level, in reading, try teaching him to Speed Read. Then have him use the Speed Reading skill for 15–20 minutes per day, in FUN, EASY “chapter books.” After that, have him continue doing this for at least 3 or 4 months, or more.

You’ll be amazed at the results.

IF YOUR CHILD IS A PRE-SCHOOLER, start teaching him/her to read TODAY. Why waste another day? Time is ticking. (Soon your child will be grown up and out of the house.)

Then, after your child is able to read independently on some level (could be 2nd grade level or late 1st grade level, or so), start showing him how to go faster when he is reading quietly to himself, by using one of these two FREE lesson plan that I have linked below:

For 3-year olds:

https://medium.com/@georgestancliffe/lesson-plan-1-teach-your-3-year-old-child-to-speed-read-c596000f5336

For 4- to 7-year olds:

https://medium.com/@georgestancliffe/lesson-plan-2-teach-your-4-7-year-old-child-to-read-first-then-to-speed-read-658d2ba267a1

At the ages of 3 to 7, it only takes a couple of minutes per day to show your child how to Speed Read, once they already know how to read. It’s pretty easy.

And for children from age 8 to 18, it takes a little bit different approach (though still pretty easy). Seek out a teaching manual for teaching children (ages 8 to 18) how to Speed Read. Then just do it!

— George Stancliffe, author of Speed Reading 4 Kids

George Stancliffe is the author of Speed Reading 4 Kids, and has taught Speed Reading for over 25 years to children from ages 7 on up.