When Do Kids Learn to Read

When Do Kids Learn to Read - getthemstarted
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"When do kids learn to read?" is one of the commonly asked questions for new and upcoming parents, and those considering parenthood. The short answer is that every child will begin learning to read from as early as they learn to think. While the formal education comes years later, a child's ability to conceptualize information and then express that data in written language is a development that is influenced by many different areas.

Learning to read is far more than just memory and comprehension. It is an education that can be supported and encouraged throughout life, affecting all areas of social and cognitive growth. Here's a list of reading and literacy education milestones so that you've got a rough gauge to average levels of most children. If you want a program to suit any stage of reading literacy, turn to Reading Head Start for proven results.


Infancy is classified as the ages up to one-year-old. Children should start with the following training, education and encouragement:

  • Teach children basic gestures, their meanings and the meaning of unspoken sounds like emotional responses
  • Children must learn to respond when they’re spoken to
  • Kids must learn to guide their attention to a specific point of focus
  • The basic comprehension of an infant should be 50 words or more
  • A child must learn to reach for books while turning pages with the aid of a parent or guardian
  • Engagement and interaction with stories and pictures must be shown with vocalization and physical actions to confirm response


Toddlers are children between the ages of one and three. Early reading education and skills development for toddlers include:

  • Kids must be capable of answering questions regarding people, places, and tins within books
  • Be familiar pictures must be able to be named
  • Pointing and other gestures must be used to identify named objects, places, people and things
  • A child should be able to follow the basic action of reading a book even if pretending most of it
  • Children must be encouraged to complete sentences from their favorite books, movies and other media (preferably written)
  • Kids must be taught to start scribbling on paper and learning to handle basic writing tools
  • A toddler must be able to identify their favorite books, characters and motifs by pictures and covers
  • Allow your child a range of access to books that enables them to determine a favorite and request it

Early Preschool

Early preschool typically covers the span of the age of three. Kids will start:

  • Learning to explore books and research topics out of their own inclination
  • Listening to longer stories and full-length children’s books while reading aloud
  • Favorite stories that are familiar will start being able to be retold
  • Preschoolers must start singing the alphabet song with cues and the help of other prompts
  • Scribbles will include legible symbols and attempts at mimicking structured writing
  • Learning and recognizing the first letter in their first name
  • Grasping the different between drawing and writing
  • Imitating the act of reading any form of written material

Late Preschool

Late preschool covers a child’s fourth year of age. At this stage, children will start with:

  • Recognition of signage on familiar items (signs, street names, brands, logos)
  • Recognizing and understanding rhyming words
  • Learning and naming at least fifteen uppercase letters of the alphabet
  • Noticing letters in names
  • Writing their full name
  • Matching the sounds of letters to the letters within words and starting with their name
  • Developing the recognition of symbols
  • Using certain letters when attempting to write full words
  • Fully understanding and grasping reading direction
  • Forming the comprehension, recall and expression abilities to retell stories


Five-year-old kids are covered by kindergarten activities. These learning practices include:

  • Relating and speaking rhyming words
  • Matching a range of written and spoken language
  • Writing certain letters, numbers and simple words
  • Grasping the premise of a plot enough to tell what’s coming next in a story
  • Recognizing the initial, middle and final sounds in basic words
  • Recognizing sounds which indicate larger and smaller
  • Grasping and recalling the fixed definitions and fixed conceptual constraints of certain words
  • Reading words with a definition and words within a sentence giving context
  • Retelling stories including the plot, identity details, main concept, and sequential progression

Grade 1 and 2

Grade 1 and 2 usually spans age six to seven for most children. First and second graders start:

  • Reading prominent stories and books out of motivated interest (familiar tales)
  • Using phonics to deduce the pronunciation of unfamiliar words
  • Using contextual understanding to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Writing using basic punctuation and grammar (capitalization is a must)
  • Comprehension of stories proven through drawings and other art
  • Writing stories and other discourses by beginning with a logical form of organization to sequencing and order of thoughts

Grade 2 and 3

Grade 2 and 3 typically covers children from age seven to eight. During this period, children start:

  • Reading longer books including full-length children’s novels by prominent authors
  • Reading aloud while placing the correct emphasis and expression upon the spoken word
  • Applying and understanding of paragraph structure within writing
  • Applying the correct usage of spelling for most non-complex words
  • Using correct basic punctuation in most instances
  • Showing basic note and document writing skills
  • Gaining a basic grasp of humor within writing
  • Amassing an expansive collection of new colloquialisms, phrases, and words from other speech
  • Exhibiting the capability and will to illustrate their own stories
  • Revising their own writing to create improvements

Grade 4 to 8

Fourth through eighth grade covers the ages nine through thirteen. Kids will begin:

  • Exploring non-fiction texts and subjects foreign to their conventional education and interests
  • Learning and exploring expository, narrative and persuasive differences within writing
  • Reading with purpose (for example, reading to obtain specific scientific information wanted)
  • Identifying more complex parts of speech such as metaphors and similes
  • Identifying the correct major elements within stories (exact details like time, relationships, underlying pretense, hidden agendas)
  • Reading and writing for understanding
  • Reading and writing for style improvement
  • Reading for the analysis of text in order to extract meaning, context or parallel understanding

Give Your Child the Needed Support

No matter what stage of development your child is at, there are always reading strategies that will support and improve your child’s learning experience. If you want the best help available, don’t miss the proven results provided by Reading Head Start. It’s trusted by parents and teachers all around the world, guiding children through the optimal set of activities and stimulation to guarantee reading success.

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