Child development isn't an exact science. Which is why it doesn't usually make sense to compare your child to his/her peers. Some kids take to reading, writing, and math early on, and others need more time to master these skills. There isn't necessarily anything wrong just because your child isn't reading yet.
Let's look at some common language milestones. If you notice issues or your child is experiencing challenges in and out of the classroom, it might be time to consider getting some additional help.
Common Reading Milestones
Kids learn to read and write one sound at a time. Here are some typical language accomplishments during early childhood:
Kindergarten (ages 4-5): Links letters to sounds and pronouncing simple words. Students may be able to write some letters.
First Grade (ages 6-7): Learns about 100 common words. By mid-first grade, many students can read simple books on their own. They also learn to write the alphabet and sound out words when they're unable to read them on sight.
Second-Fourth Grades (ages 8-10): By this age, students understand the sounds of all letters and recognize lower versus upper case letters. They begin reading short chapter books and can discuss characters, settings, and storylines. By fourth grade students can also do basic research projects.
How to Spot Reading Challenges
Many reading difficulties arise in first grade, when students are tasked with reading complete sentences for the first time. It's here you'll notice some of the most common language challenges, including:
- Associating the wrong sounds with certain letters
- Skipping over words they don't know instead of sounding them out
- Forgetting common words repeatedly
- Inability to recognize words out of context
If, by the end of the first grade, your student is still struggling to associate the right sounds with each letter or recognize common words -- a parent-teacher conference may be in order. If your child demonstrates a lot of anxiety around reading or doesn't seem to comprehend written concepts, it's also time to seek out some additional help.
Most children can read by the end of first grade, but a student who struggles at the beginning of their reading career can get better.
If your child has trouble learning to read or has been diagnosed with a Learning Disorder, contact us online or find a center near you. For over a decade, we’ve helped over 30,000 children improve the critical skills needed to create a brighter path for their future. You can also view the research and results of the program on the website.