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Teaching a Child to Read at an Early Age

Did you know that 38% of grade four students have reading abilities below the lowest basic level as determined by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)? The NAEP is the only ongoing survey of what students known and tracks their performance in various academic subjects for the United States. In their report, the NAEP found that 38% of grade four students had reading achievement below basic levels, with a basic level reading score being 208.

To put things in perspective, the US reading scale has an upper limit score of 500, with average reading scores for grade 4 (217), grade 8 (264), and grade 12 (291). The grade 4 reading achievement levels are categorized by the NAEP as Advanced (268 score), Proficient (238 score), and Basic (208 score), and the basic reading achievement level is defined as follows by the NAEP:

Fourth-grade students performing at the Basic level should demonstrate an understanding of the overall meaning of what they read. When reading text appropriate for fourth graders, they should be able to make relatively obvious connections between the text and their own experiences and extend the ideas in the text by making simple inferences. [1]

Unfortunately, over a third of all grade four students read at levels even below basic. Is your child having reading difficulties? Research on Phonemic Awareness have found that early reading helps improves a child's reading and spelling abilities. In fact, the National Reading Panel has concluded based on their massive review of over 1,900 studies that teaching phonics and phonemic awareness produces better reading results than whole language programs.

There are numerous documented benefits and advantages of teaching children to read early on, and teaching them to reading using phonics and phonemic awareness instructions. It is clear that early language and reading ability development passes great benefits to the child as they progress through school at all grades, and that early language and reading problems can lead to learning problems later on in school. For example, a Swedish study found that children with a history of reading problems at school entry scores significantly below average on reading in grade 4. As well, children that shows very low interest in books and story reading before age 5 also scored similarly low on sentence reading in grade 4. [2] This is just one of many studies which have similar findings, and this makes it an imperative for parents to begin exposing their children to books and reading at an early age.

So how early?

Good question!

There's no set guideline on when you should start teaching your children to read; however, you can start cultivating your child's love for books and reading as soon as they're born. Obviously, very young babies would not even know what books are, however, talking to your child and reading to your child will help them develop a keen liking for books and stories. As your child grows and gets older, avoid TV-sitting them, because as they develop a dependency on television as their main source of entertainment, it becomes very difficult to dislodge that need for TV entertainment, and get them to enjoy reading books. Instead, keep age appropriate books all around the house, and read to them often. You'll find that they'll start picking up books and pretend to read themselves, although at very early ages, they still cannot read.

People typically think that kindergarten or grade one would be an appropriate time for their children to start reading; however, this is not the best approach as studies have repeatedly found that children with good phonemic awareness before entering kindergarten continues to outperform, and achieve exceptional reading and spelling abilities as they progress through school. On the other hand, children who enter school with reading difficulties may continue to have reading and spelling difficulties.


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  • Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.  

  • 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.

    As your child begins elementary school, she will begin her formal reading education. There are many ways to teach children to read. One way emphasizes word recognition and teaches children to understand a whole word's meaning by how it is used. Learning which sounds the letters represent—phonics—is another way children learn to read. Phonics is used to help "decode" or sound out words. Focusing on the connections between the spoken and written word is another technique. Most teachers use a combination of methods to teach children how to read.

    Reading is an important skill for children to learn. Most children learn to read without any major problems. Pushing a child to learn before she is ready can make learning to read frustrating. But reading together and playing games with books make reading fun. Parents need to be involved in their child's learning. Encouraging a child's love of learning will go a long way to ensuring success in school.

  • I think it's more important to get them interested in reading rather than actually reading.   Once they realize that books are a source of pleasure and even information they will want to learn to read only then does it become worthwhile teaching.

    With my own children, we started showing them picture books but we also read them simple stories with pictures and words where the start and end were in a short, 5-minute maximum story. As time went on they could assimilate multi-part stories.   When they got to school (rising 5 here in the UK) they wanted to read and grasped it quickly and soon had reading ages well in advance of their actual ages.

    Our experience would probably suggest that it's not simply about letting school teach reading.   We worked with our children, listening to them read every night.   They both progressed to a point quite quickly where they no longer needed our help.   Thinking about it I don't remember the point at which they transitioned and it intrigues me how they (and I, for that matter all those years ago) seemed to quite suddenly become independent readers and continue to learn new words.

    They still read (in their late 20s/early 30s).   One uses his command of reading as an integral part of his job as an editor but he also reads at home - he and his partner are trying to move house and they have had to put most of their books into the store as part of decluttering their flat. The other one has a job where he recently commented that he was being paid (at least part of the time) just to read for the purpose of research.
  • I tried to push my youngest too soon I think.  As she's an August baby, I knew she'd struggle being one of the youngest in the class.  But actually there was no point pushing it. She wasn't ready.  When they're ready, they're ready.  You just know.  She's now just getting the hang of it - admittedly after most of her friends - but she enjoys books and that's the main thing.  They all get there eventually!
  • My son is 4 and is reading. He’s used phonics and it was his pre school who taught him along with myself. Now his parents evening was two weeks ago and I was told he is only one of two reading out of 30 children. They explained that he was ready and asking what things said. They started with phonics and he picked up easily. I strongly believe that if a child is ready they are ready. If pushed too early it could put them off enjoying reading and it should be an enjoyable experience. 
  • Through interactive games, videos, and worksheets, your child will improve their literacy skills, however, as a parent, you’ll also be learning skills to help improve their reading comprehension. That way, you can continue to work on their reading skills long after the program is over. As a parent, you’ll learn:

    • How to gain your child’s interest in reading, even when they’re not interested.
    • Understand the importance of reading at an early age.
    • Tips on the do’s and dont’s when engaging in teaching your child how to read.
    • How to improve how your child pronounciate words.
    • The inefficient teaching methods in today’s educational system and why you should avoid them.
    • A fun and entertaining approach to reading which will captivate your child’s attention.
    • Linguistic Development and Communication skills. You’ll be given skills to help improve your child’s vocabulary and communication skills.
    • Positive social interactions. The lessons help improve your child’s social skills with other people, including their peers.
    • Optimal Neurological development. The lessons and worksheets will improve your child’s brain development.
    • Psychological Fortitude. Increase your child’s self-esteem and confidence not only with reading but in all aspects of life.
    • The program provides a full 100% refund guarantee to users if you’re not satisfied with the results.
    • It’s mobile-friendly. It can work on any device you have at home 
    • It’s safe for children to use.
    • It’s extremely user-friendly. The child’s speed and understanding are what pushes the program forward. They’re able to read the lessons at their own pace without any pressure.
    • It’s been scientifically proven to work, and users of the program have given positive feedback.
    • There’s an abundance of information for your child. They have well-detailed information that will keep them entertained.
    • It’s an affordable program, significantly lower in price in comparison to other reading programs or tutors.

    For Free trial Now :

    Being able to read from an early age is an incredible skill to have. Not only will it improve your child’s understanding of the world around them, but it will also create a positive atmosphere for learning. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable reading, they’ll avoid it.

    When it comes to reading, their comprehension will significantly affect their future decisions and education. If you don’t want to see your child struggle through reading, then this is the program you should be using.

    Don’t waste time; the Reading Head Start is a program that’ll improve their reading and have them on the right path to a prosperous future.

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  • The key is not to teach them as early as possible,  the trick is not to trust teachers to feed knowledge into your child but to pay attention and put in the effort to teach things yourself. Reading at bedtime? Let the child read certain words and advance from there. 

    In fact it is clear that teaching children theoretical knowledge at an even younger age makes them LESS likely to developed well than if they are left and explore nature up to the age of 6. 

    It's pretty easy to see when you compare PISA scores of britain and denmark for example. Where as in britain children are put in preschool and begin learning at 4, in denmark they are allowed to stay in kindergarten up to the age of 6. Where they play and go to the forest etc. 

    Its really quite sad to try to train children to sit still and do boring stuff at a very young age.
  • I agree with most of y'all, it really is time to rethink literacy and ensure that each child is enabled to become a global citizen.

    My child was an early reader. He was reading without anyone else when he completed prekindergarten. He went through about fourteen days in kindergarten before the school educated us that since he was reading so easily, they needed to propel him to initially grade.

    How could we do this? As others have stated, I read to my kid as often as possible. Books are constantly present in our home. My significant other and I both love reading and composing, so we read to him continually, including books that outlined the letters of the letter set, so he took in his letters and how they functioned.

    But most importantly I definitely think that every parent needs to check out “” if you’re serious about giving your children a head start in life.

    Good luck!

  • AbelHAbelH New
    edited Sep 19, 2020 1:03PM
    There are some reading programs also that could help I suppose that can help parents in teaching a child how to read. 
  • AbelH said:
    There are some reading programs also that could help I suppose that can help parents in teaching a child how to read. 
    Like these
  • AbelH said:
    There are some reading programs also that could help I suppose that can help parents in teaching a child how to read.
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