- 3 mins
When Do Kids Learn to Read?
Children all develop at their own pace. Some kids may start to recognize some sounds or words around four or five years of age, but generally, children learn to read between the ages of six and seven years. If reading is a strength for your child, you would want to build on the strength so that they can start to learn through reading sooner rather than later. If your child is struggling with reading, there are also a few things you can do at home to support their development.
The most important aspect with regards to kids learning to read is to develop a love for reading! Learning how to read is part of a child’s academic development, but even if they can read well, it does not mean that they have learned to love reading. Any person, children as well as adults, will only set aside time for reading if they enjoy doing so. If not, reading often turns into a struggle. It is also much easier to spend time learning and developing a new skill if you enjoy what you are working on; therefore time spent on teaching a child to love to read is never time wasted.
Developing a love for reading can be easy and these three simple steps will help you get started at home:
Read to your child
If this is not something you are already doing, start today! Don’t put any pressure on your child to follow the text, recognize words or even answer questions. Just read for pure enjoyment. Massaro (2017) writes that there are many benefits of reading aloud to children. One of the most significant benefits is developing a love for reading.
Make reading part of your child’s daily routine
Reading fits well within a bedtime routine. Ensure that your child’s bedtime routine starts early enough so that there is enough time for reading together every night. Don’t forget to also include some calming bedtime music or a sleep meditation into the bedtime routine.
Read different books
But don’t be afraid to repeat books either. Your child might have a favorite that they ask for numerous times a week…read it!
If you follow these strategies you will start to foster a love for reading in your child.
When your child starts to show an interest or an awareness of letters, sounds or words – it may be a good idea to expose them to some simple, everyday reading.
- Children love learning how to recognize their names. Read name tags and labels on school backpacks and lunch boxes.
- After learning how to recognize their name, children often become very familiar with it. You can then show them how each letter makes a certain sound in their name. Later, they can start to recognize those same letters in other words too. Paint their name, build it out of playdough or Lego or write it in the sand outside. Keep the activities fun and relaxed!
- Read road signs. Often our kids will associate the shape and the colors of the road sign with what it says rather than actually reading the word. But even then they are learning to read cues, pictures, etc. while becoming aware of the written words at the same time.
- When your child is slightly older and reading is a skill that needs to be practiced, it would be good to set aside some time for reading every day. Ensure that these times are relaxed as well. Have a look at the calming music from Moshi to help them be calm and organized before reading. After listening to the music, have your child read out loud to you, a sibling or even a favorite teddy bear.
Try to leave any devices and distractions out of the way while you are spending time reading with your child. Even if it has been a tough, busy day, a few minutes of reading together before bedtime can help to set the tone for going to bed calmly and happily (for you and your child).