How Old Before Children Learn to Read


A couple of days ago I was reading a book on how to focus on continuous improvement in ones' life. I came across a story of an exceptional teacher who was teaching children to read at, what I thought, a very young age of 4. The material was extremely more complicated than most children books and their understanding of the story was impressive and they were able to reference what they learned and tie it to their lives. Needless to say it got me thinking, "Is there more that I can be doing to prepare Madalyn to read?" I decided that "NO" I am not going to get her phonics or some other program. I found some useful information on it at

How can I help my child learn to read?

Reading books aloud is one of the best ways you can help your child learn to read. This can be fun for you, too. The more excitement you show when you read a book, the more your child will enjoy it. The most important thing to remember is to let your child set her own pace and have fun at whatever she is doing. Do the following when reading to your child:

  • Run your finger under the words as you read to show your child that the print carries the story.

  • Use funny voices and animal noises. Do not be afraid to ham it up! This will help your child get excited about the story.

  • Stop to look at the pictures; ask your child to name things she sees in the pictures. Talk about how the pictures relate to the story.

  • Invite your child to join in whenever there is a repeated phrase in the text.

  • Show your child how events in the book are similar to events in your child's life.

  • If your child asks a question, stop and answer it. The book may help your child express her thoughts and solve her own problems.

  • Keep reading to your child even after she learns to read. A child can listen and understand more difficult stories than she can read on her own.

Most children learn to read by 6 or 7 years of age. Some children learn at 4 or 5 years of age. Even if a child has a head start, she may not stay ahead once school starts. The other students most likely will catch up during the second or third grade. Pushing your child to read before she is ready can get in the way of your child's interest in learning. Children who really enjoy learning are more likely to do well in school. This love of learning cannot be forced.


Kae said...

both my daughters have loved to read since birth. It helps that i will read sitting in the same room as they are playing. My 7yr old is reading thick novels like harry potter, but my 4yr old is a bit behind. I think its something in the blood too. when 7yr old was about almost 2 we had just moved into a new house, no tv no toys all we had were a few magazines. We spent all day almost reading magazines happily.. Its great to share a love of something with a child.... :)