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Improving your Reading Speed - Ka-chow!

You've heard us say time and time again that reading is the key to developing vocabulary, spelling, comprehension and creative writing skills - but reading a lot of books requires dedication, and not all of us have Lightning McQueen levels of reading speed. However, if you take some of our tips on board, within a matter of weeks your child can go from reading a book or two a year to several books every month (or more! We know how nerdy some of you are, and we love it).

People tend to read at a slower pace because of 'subvocalisation', where you read passages in your head at the speed you can speak. There are a number of ways to mitigate this;

1) Using an RSVP (rapid serial visual presentation) program to train your brain to read quicker. Programs like Spreeder, Accelareader and SuperBrain train your child using interactive technology, and apps like Spritz and Reedy are free.

2) Using your finger to guide your eyes across the page can help you focus if you find yourself overwhelmed by a wall of text. Gradually increasing the speed at which your finger glides across the page will gradually increase your reading speed.

3) Listening to music whilst reading will make it harder to hear yourself think, which in this case is a good thing! Other things like the TV, a white-noise machine or a podcast also make for good background noise.

4) Chew chew! No, we aren't talking about trains (although a train crashing through your sitting room would certainly be distracting). Chewing sugar-free gum whilst you read will trick your brain into thinking your mouth is too full and busy to 'speak' the words, therefore making subvocalisation near impossible. You can also try reading whilst you are eating a snack or enjoying your breakfast if you aren't a fan of gum.

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