Have you ever seen an early learner that doesn’t point at the words? I don’t think I have. It is like it is an innate skill the minute our children start to learn to read we start pointing at words and they start copying. Well here is a simple little habit you can promote for your child that will help them with there reading. Rather than using one finger under the words that are being read use three!
2 Reasons To Use 3 Fingers
- 3 Fingers encourages our eyes to scan more words. Good readers don’t just focus on one word, they scan the words ahead. Try it, sit down and read something. When you consciously think about it you will realise that you are scanning the words ahead. Even scanning chunks and phrases of words. Scanning helps with our fluency and this in turn helps with our comprehension. We are traditionally taught to use one finger to help us track words because it helps us to focus on where we are on a page, it means that we know where we are up to as well as the person hearing or helping us read and it was thought that it would help us not lose our place or skip a line. One finger attracts our eyes to one word and as we know that good readers scan then teaching children from an early age to focus on one word may not be the best habit for them to develop. That’s why 3 fingers are better. Simply using three fingers encourages our eyes to look at more than one word. Because three fingers is wider than just one word of text.
- When we use three fingers we naturally cover the words below the line we are reading. As to use three fingers our hand will naturally cover the text below. This decreases the visual information our eyes are receiving and helps us focus/ scan the line of text we are reading. For many children who are struggling with reading it is often found that they have reduced focus capabilities. Reducing visual information such as the lines of text below the ones we are reading basically makes it easier for the eye muscles to focus.