What Age Do Kids Learn to Read?

A lot of parents ask themselves this question. At what age kids learn to read? Well, there are many different opinions on the subject. The reality is that every child learns at a different pace.

As per research, most kids learn reading skills by age of 6 or 7. Some kids learn to read by the age of 4 or 5. When to start reading depends on the child’s ability, interest, and readiness. Young children seem to be ready for early reading skills at a much earlier age than others.

Kids have a natural ability to learn how to read. They may not be able to read words that you put in front of them. But they will probably be able to sound out any word they know or see many times before. Reading is best learned by reading! A parent who reads often and builds an environment with books at home will help their child develop reading skills naturally over time. Parents should also provide visual input and formal reading instruction to the young kids. Watching you read, seeing letters on signs and products, watching TV programs–all of these opportunities help them develop reading skills.

You can’t teach kids to read, but you can guide their learning by giving them an environment that allows for exploration and discovery of books and writing.

What is the timeline for the kids to start reading?

There are many opinions on how early kids should start reading. Some experts, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, say it is never too early to read to a child. While others say it should be delayed until age six or seven because kids have more dexterity reaching that age.

Below is the timeline for the kids to learn reading-

1. Around age 1

Up to age 1, infants start understanding sounds and signs. When you will say something, they will know that you have said something to them. But they may not understand what you have told them. They learn to listen and see in the direction from where the sound has come.

2. Around age 1-3

Toddlers when remain of age 1-3, become able to speak. They start to pretend that they are reading. Parents can make them recite rhymes. Toddlers learn things fast by listening. Parents should speak or read something in front of them around this age. The chances are high that the toddlers will also learn that particular thing. They will even start to answer the question of what they see in a book.

3. Around age 3

In preschool, kids start to understand the alphabet. They even become able to recite them. However, if you tell them to write any particular letter, they can do mistakes. This is normal at this age. Parents can make the kids know the right answers when they do any such mistakes.

Kids even start to explore books independently around this age. They can read any familiar poem or rhyme. They even can recall any stories they have listened to in school or from any other source. Kids even get able to recognize the first letter of their name. They even start to understand that writing is different from drawing objects.

4. Around age 4

In late pre-school, kids learn to write their names. They can recognize the letters that are in their names. They start recognizing familiar labels and signs. Kids can retell any stories as well. They can memorize the spelling of some familiar words. They even start to recognize the unfamiliar words and syllables. Kids also develop the understanding that one has to read from left to right, top to bottom.

5. Around age 5

In kindergarten, kids develop the ability to match spoken and written words. They start writing several numbers and words. They can predict what will happen in a story by half-listening it. The understanding and consciousness of kids increase as their brain develops. Kids, around this age, know how a word is spoken. They can the initial, middle, and final sounds of a word.

They learn some particular definitions of the famous word. Like Good boy means a boy who is good by manners. Kids also start to put things in sequence. Like they can tell you a story in a sequenced way. They can give you the answers to what, when, how, where, etc. questions.

6. Around age 6 and 7

At this age, young kids remain in first grade or second grade. At this age, kids learn to read familiar words. They get the understanding of decoding unfamiliar words. Most children learn use context and pictures to recognize words.

Kids learn to use punctuation and capitalization in writing as well. They even pause by seeing punctuations like full stop (.) when reading any book. Most children start giving a summary of stories as well. They even develop logical thinking and can do self-correction when reading aloud.

7. Around age 7-8

Around this age, young reader come into a second or third grade or may fourth grade. They start to write and read as well. They even develop math skills. Kids start to spell words rightly. They can write unfamiliar words by just listening to how they are pronounced. Young children learn the use of paragraphs. They even apply the para technique when writing answers. They learn how to take notes. Most kids learn how to write messages on phone as well.

They understand the emotions used in any paragraph. Like humor, happiness, sadness, etc. A child learns tenses and parts of speech as well.

8. Around age 9-13

During fourth and eighth grade, children learn various forms of writing. They know the difference between fictional stories, non-fiction, and biographies. They understand how to find out specific information from a paragraph.

Children can make sense of Science facts. Descriptive ability is also built in this age. They can find the different plots of a story. Like who are the main characters, who is the villain, what is the theme of the story, what could be the end.

One should know that every child learns at their own pace. If the child is taking time to develop reading skills, it does not mean that he or she is a bad reader. Parents can start teaching letter sounds, simple words pronunciation, and word’s meaning of familiar words to the kids. They should give the child the required time to learn and develop reading skills.

Why do kids find difficulty in learning reading?

Children find learning reading difficult for three reasons:

1. They do not recognize the letter shapes and sounds that they see.

2. Learning how to read is a new task that many children just aren’t ready for yet due to age or stage of development (smaller kids may need more time to mature before they are ready).

3. Their parents often do not read with them enough. It makes the process of learning very frustrating and discouraging over time as kids usually need two years before they can learn on their own.

Further several other developmental issues are there. Like a child who finds difficulty in reading can have a learning disability. Studies show children who find difficulty in reading might have Autism.

Autism is a disorder that affects the way people communicate and interact with others. Children with autism often have difficulty communicating and making others understand what they meant. The best thing you can do for your child provides them with a safe environment where they feel loved and accepted by their family members, friends, classmates, teachers, etc. This will help them learn how to better prevent this issue. You can even take the help of a reading specialist.

A Reading specialist will help your child in learning how to read and communicate with others. It will help increase the child’s social skills and confidence.

What are the ways of helping kids to learn reading?

Several ways are there that parents can use to help kids learn reading. Reading is not hard to learn. With practice and encouragement, children can easily develop the needed skills.

Check out the below points to help your kid learn to read-

Use reading games

Reading games can be a way to make your child engage in reading. You can tell them any rhyme. Then ask them to repeat that again and again. When going to market, you can tell your child to read the signs written on the signboard loudly. It will help them in learning how to read.

Reading games also help to encourage children to spend time with their parents. It has a positive effect on their parent-child relationship as well.

Generate reading habit

Habit is not built in one day. It takes time and effort. For teaching young kids reading, you can make them develop a habit of reading books daily. Make a fixed timetable and tell your child to follow it. You will also have to sit with your kid and analyze how they read.

It is normal if they do not show any progress in weeks. Children can take time to learn but if the foundation is laid perfectly, they will do better in the future soon. You can also try to make them a habit of reading a story every night before going to bed.

Talk with your child

Having a conversation is very helpful in developing reading skills. You can ask them questions about what they feel, what they think about a certain thing. When you will ask questions, they will try to answer them. This way children learn to develop both social and speaking skills.

Asking questions also helps them to build their thinking ability. They will learn how to frame sentences and speak them in order. This practice will also help them in generating question-asking ability.

Provide them visual

If your child is learning to read, then you can increase their speed by providing them the visuals. For instance- if you are reading a story, then do not just read it. Give the book in the hands of the kid. Ask him what visuals are there.

This way they will be able to connect the dots in the story and the visuals. Children will even develop the ability to find out the storyline. He or she can tell you the end of the story based on the visuals. You can further tell the kid to analyze a new story on the basis of the visuals. It will help them in developing their mental strength and power.

Taking turns to read a page from the book aloud

When you will tell your child to start reading, they may not show enough curiosity. They may feel insecurity and loneliness in reading alone. Children even have the fear that you will punish them if done any mistake.

To prevent this situation, the best thing you can do is to participate in the reading game yourself. You can tell your child that you will first read a section aloud. Then he or she will read the other section. It will make them feel connected to the reading process and will keep them engaged as well.

Provide rewards

If you will tell your child to do something, they might do not show interest. But if you will tell them about the reward, they will get excited and curious at the same time.

Giving rewards help the children to participate more in the reading game. Once they will win, they will try again and again. It will help them in making the habit of reading and questioning things.

Reading tips for the kid

Reading tips are the tips that provide children some hacks on how they can increase their skills fast. Below are the tips one can go for to fasten their skill-

Decide the reading time

If one reads at any time, then it does not contribute to making a habit. If the reading habit is not there, then having growth in that skill is hard. You need to tell your child to decide a time when he or she wants to read. Then follow the routine daily.

Find out what interests your child

A child learns faster if he or she has been given a book of their interest. Suppose you like reading fictional stories. But in your reading time, you are provided with a biography. What will happen? Well, you’ll not enjoy your reading time, right.

The same way children’s mindset works. They will even find the books boring in reading if it is not of their interest. So, if you want your child to learn reading faster, you should give them the book of their interest.

Decide a timing at which your child focus is higher

When to read is a debatable question. Some people say that one should read in the morning. While others say that one should read at night time. The idea about reading differs from one other.

Well, both the answer is right. One can read at a time when he or she feels comfortable. If you will feel comfortable at night, then you can read at that time. Or can read in the morning.

Play interesting reading games with your child

Some of the ways that you can help your child to be more motivated to read are to play reading games with them. You can play these games with your children by using some of their favorite activities like playing catch, watching TV, etc.

One can design their games or use ones that you find online. For example, if the child likes to play catch, you can use this activity as reading time by having them stand still and throw a ball back and forth with each other. While they are throwing the ball, you tell them what to read, and then they have to say it back when they get the ball.

Make a library for your child

You can also encourage your child by making a library for them. You can make a shelf in their room. Then fill them with books that they enjoy reading. You can choose from different genres. Like thriller, fiction, ghost stories, etc.

Use bedtime for recalling the day’s fun activities

At night, when one goes to sleep, they have bedtime. This is the time when they just lay down and think about what they have done on that day. You can use this time to have a conversation with your child. Ask them what fun things they did from morning to evening. They will tell you all the things in sequence. This practice will help them to develop their speaking skills. They will recognize how a presentation is done.


To conclude, reading is one of the most important skills that you can learn. Through reading, one emphasizes word recognition. They can explore other worlds, meet new people, and experience different cultures. It can help you to grow intellectually, emotionally, and culturally. Parents should help their children to develop their reading skills. It will help them not only in school but in the future also.

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