Can you remember the first time someone read to you? The way they pointed out words on a page and made them come alive with their voice. Whether it was your parents, grandparents or teacher; that experience is one of life’s most powerful memories! But did anyone ever tell you what age reading should really start at?! Current research shows that the optimal time for teaching children to read is from 6-8 years old.
While some kids who are 3 can be taught how to sound out letters in order to make sounds and put together simple sentences, many more might not even master comprehension skills until after 7 years old!! A few studies have shown this difference between timing: early readers were found often able to work independently without being prompted while late starters needed to be able to rely on someone who was reading the book in front of them.
One study showed that early readers knew how words sounded and that they could make connections between similar sounding words, while late starters took longer to learn the relationship between sounds and letters. *This is a big reason why you should wait until your child is 6 or 7 years old to introduce them to learning how to read.*
Another study shows some amazing results: early readers had better vocabularies and comprehension skills than late starters AND they were more likely to be able to read on their own! These kids could already connect the words with pictures, infer ideas from context, and use a wide vocabulary base because they’d been reading for years.
This is why it is so important to teach your child how to read at a young age:
Teaching them builds interaction with books, even before they have mastered the ability to read! This can get them excited about new stories and help create a lifelong love of learning.
Reading from the moment you start talking to your baby can help them learn how something as simple as a pointing finger can be used for much more. While it may seem they’re just looking at you, they are actually learning how words are formed and beginning to connect those sounds with the letters in their name! Each time they grow older, they will continue to understand more and more.
Learning to read also helps build your child’s vocabulary and general knowledge base. Knowing how to sound out words can help them become better writers and good readers are excellent spellers too!
If your child learns to read at a young age, they will have the ability to use reading materials throughout their lifetime. You’re giving them the gift of being able to read and make good use of it!
Teaching your children how to read early on can help them in school later on too. If they enter primary school when they’re 7 or 8 years old, already knowing how to read, they’ll be able to focus their attention more easily. It will also make homework a breeze!
When your child can read before starting school, they will be able to better locate information in their textbooks. Children who start reading later on in life have a harder time connecting abstract ideas with concrete reality so they don’t always understand exactly what they’re studying – but your little reader can do it!
You should never feel bad about helping your child practice their reading skills. As long as it’s done in a positive way, teaching them how to read is the best thing you can do for them! They’ll reach levels of knowledge and understanding that they could never attain before – giving your child an incredible head start over all other children who wait until they’re older to learn how to read.
While you should definitely wait to teach them how to read until they’re at least 6-8 years old, it’s never too soon or too late! You can always encourage your child to explore books and use their imagination while letting them try different things out for themselves. *You can even start with fun stickers and work your way up to the actual reading material!
Children as young as 2 years old have been able to understand and use basic words. You might be surprised by how much they are learning just through observation and listening! If you want them to learn how to read, then try adding these tips by Sarah Shepard into your daily routine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What shouldn’t I do if my child wants to learn how to read?
You should never force your child to start learning how to read. If they show an interest in reading, then you can encourage them and allow them plenty of access to books.
Is there a way for me to find out if my child is ready to learn how to read?
Before you start reading to your child, they should have a large understanding of the alphabet and how sounds are formed. If they’ve been exposed to letters freely in their environment, then it’s likely that they’re already starting to pick up on them. You can test out some easy words by using sticky notes or flashcards.
What is the best way for me to teach my child how to read?
There are many ways you can start teaching your child how to read. You could try text messaging first, then move on to flashcards and picture books. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t seem interested at first – it might take them some time before they start to catch on. The more you help them, the easier and faster they’ll learn!
What ages should I teach my child how to read?
As soon as your child begins talking, you can begin presenting different letters and sounds to them. You can try out fun stickers that have simple words on them like “cat” or “dog.”
At first, your child might not understand how to make the sounds and they might just mouth them. Be sure to praise them for whatever progress they do make even if it’s only a slight improvement. It shouldn’t take very long before they become familiar with certain letters.