In the last two posts I talked about the value of understanding the Stages of Reading. As I noted, knowing where your child is in his/her stage of reading development provides you with a road map as to what you need to focus on with your child at any given time. Like the skill of riding a bike or learning to play the piano, one can quickly size up where a person is in their skill mastery. The same is true of reading.
Having discussed Stages 0 – II previously, today’s focus is on Stage III. Stage III typically corresponds to the third grade through middle school. A Stage III child has mastered word decoding and reading fluency is not an issue. From my point of view reaching Stage III represents the Promised Land because at this stage you are no longer “learning to read.” In fact the vast majority of print, whether in magazines, books or online is available to a Stage III reader in terms of the readability. A person who has gotten to Stage III joins the ranks of people who have fundamental literacy skills.
As a parent of a Stage III child, you should concentrate pm developing your child’s broad array of comprehension skills, such as with higher order reasoning, inferencing and drawing conclusions, along with enhancing his/her reading and speaking vocabulary.
What’s exciting about Stage III readers is that they’re no longer hampered by the more mechanical aspects of the text as they were in Stages I and part of Stage II. Mental energy is no longer bottle-necked with issues of decoding or reading fluency.
As a parent of Stage III child phonics, decoding, and reading fluency are a thing of the past and you can now encourage broad reading with an array of different subject matter.