Babies and children start imbibing knowledge or rather skills from birth. They use these skills in reading as they grow up. That means your kids might be left behind if you plan to teach them reading when they start school.
That brings us to the most debatable question among parents-
When exactly should kids learn to read?
Most children learn to read by age 6 or 7. But, the instructions begin earlier. AnnMarie Sossong, the reading specialist at Ocala Preparatory Academy in Florida, said, “Some children are ready to learn at age 3. Some take much longer, like by the age of 12-13. When they are ready, they are ready, and everything clicks.”
Children can be anywhere on the reading spectrum. Let’s see what experts, parents and teachers have to say about the right reading age so you can pick the best time for your kid to teach reading.
When Should Kids Learn To Read?
The basis of reading is language. The best age for children to learn to read is when they are able to identify letters or a combination of letters and can connect those letters to sounds. But, as mentioned earlier, it depends on where your child is on the reading spectrum. So, let’s see the most popular opinions regarding the right age for kids to learn reading. For getting the right information read Totalassignmenthelp Review
- According to studies, even nine months old children can imbibe reading skills if you provide them with formal reading instructions early. Thus, federal government programs such as Preschools and Head Start focus on introducing pre-reading skills like sounds and letter names to young kids from low-income families.
- As per current research, age six to eight is the optimal time for kids to start learning how to read. There are some children who learn to read at age three or four. You have to understand children follow their own developmental track. Identify the track of your kid and give them instructions accordingly.
- According to the US Department of Education, children should learn to read by age eight or rather third grade. Learning to read transitions eventually into reading complex subjects and even solving calculations soon thereafter.
Learning how to read is a process. From being able to recognise print on streets to reading the address posted on your home, the child crosses several milestones by the time she/he is an efficient reader. Your child has its own developmental track. Identify the track. See if your kid is able to identify letters or connect letters to sounds. If yes, go ahead and set up some crucial milestones along the way.
What are the reading milestones for children?
Children need to cross certain reading milestones to become efficient readers as they grow up. Some of the milestones are mentioned below. Give them a read and keep track of how many milestones your kid has covered.
- The first reading milestone a toddler crosses is pretending to read. We have often seen kids turning the pages of a magazine or any book with pictures in them and pretending to read. Toddlers may even ask you to read out a favourite book every time.
- By the time the kid is in early preschool, she/he is expected to sing the alphabet song along with cues and prompting. The kid may explore books independently and even is able to recognise the first letter in their name.
- The kid could match letters to sounds and develop an idea about syllables in late preschool. This is also when the kid understands that print is read from top to bottom and left to right.
- The milestones in kindergarten include matching spoken with written words. They might also be able to read simple words on their own and recognise unfamiliar words in print.
- The first or second grade is when the kids are expected to decode unfamiliar words. They should be able to self-correct during mistakes and read out loud after getting a good grip on common capitalisation and punctuation.
- They can read longer books independently in second or third grade. They can read out loud properly with the right expression and emphasis.
Key Reading Activities For Ages 3-5
Now that you know the right age for kids to start reading, let’s take a look at the right methods to teach reading. Some emphasise word recognition, while others may focus on helping the children understand the meaning and proper usage of a word. Here are some fun reading activities you can do to encourage reading among children.
1. What do words start with?
It is important to establish the letter-sound connection right from an early age. So, play a guessing game where you ask the kid about her favourite words. Let’s say the kid says her favourite word is apple. Now ask what letter ‘apple’ starts.
2. Your kid is the author
It is very difficult to get a word in edgewise by the time kids are four-year-olds. Three-year-olds are usually quite chatty. So, take advantage of this situation and write a book with your kid. Make your kid the author and trigger her imaginative skills. A reader, after all, should be able to think, imagine and be creative. Start the book with something simple and encourage the kid to add a few sentences to complete the book. Finally, read the story once it is complete and let her illustrate it.
3. Have fun with letters
It is normal for kids to copy words onto paper for fun. You can write your kid’s name and encourage her to use alphabet stamps and copy the same on her own. Then encourage her to write the words using those letters. Things might not go as smoothly as you would expect. The child is most likely to write the letters backwards or spell randomly. But that’s fine. It’s all good as long as the kid shows interest in communicating via the writing of any kind.
4. Try out a different way to read
Reading out bedtime stories is old school. You can now try diabolic reading with your kid. Ask your child to participate in the story. Ask what she thinks about the next chapter before turning the page. Get opinions from the kid about how else could the story end.
5. Encourage them to play with letters
The more time kids spend with letters, the better readers they will be in the future. You can encourage the kids to make letters out of Play-Doh. They can also try to draw them or clay or sand. Whether your kid is on the beach or in the snow, encourage her to play with letters using the surroundings.
These reading activities help the kids become efficient readers by the time they are in third grade. They may also be able to provide academic to friends if you teach your kid how to read from an early age.
There isn’t any right age for kids to start learning how to read. Most experts, however, believe age three to five is an optimal age for kids to start learning to read. Identify the developmental track of your child along with the milestones as discussed in this blog to know when your kid is ready to read.
Mellissa Brown is a writer at a reputed firm in the United Kingdom. She also provides at Mellissa loves to read in her free time.