4 Signs Kids Are Ready to Read
It’s a major milestone that many parents look forward to – The day their child speaks their first word. Then, language accelerates at a breakneck pace as toddlers begin to form two to four word sentences between one to two years of age. To continue developing the language skills of your toddler, one of the best things you can do as a parent is to spend time reading to them.
Reading to your child not only builds stronger literacy skills, but instills an early interest in reading. While most children learn to read by age six or seven, their ability to read develops well before they reach kindergarten. So how do you know when your child is ready to read on their own? Here are some common signs of reading readiness to watch out for.
1. Your Child Shows an Interest in Reading
Motivation is a key component of learning. Research has shown that people learn better and remember more when they are motivated. In other words, learning that is self-directed has a stronger impact than if the individual was simply told to study.
Children who are interested in reading are more likely to put in the effort and be more attentive. A good indicator of interest is if your child picks up a book and pretends to read. They know how to hold a book the right way and understand that sentences are read from left to right. Your child might even try to use crayons to “write”, which indicates an awareness of printed words.
2. Your Child Loves Story Time
The first few years of a child’s life is absolutely crucial in terms of cognitive development. Reading aloud to your child is incredibly beneficial as it improves their language skills. It also creates bonding moments that you and your child can look forward to.
If your child loves story time and is able to retell simple stories, both are signs that they could be ready to tackle their favourite books on their own. What helps early readers is naming what they see in a book and having your child repeat after you. You can even turn story time into games with your child to pique their interest in reading even further.
3. Your Child Knows the Alphabet
Learning the alphabet is a major milestone to reading. It can take many hours of practice to learn each letter. If your child knows the alphabet and is able to pronounce the sounds that each letter makes, then they are ready to start forming whole words. They may not be able to form complicated words, but easier words like “cat” or “bag” are certainly doable.
4. Your Child Has Phonological Awareness
Phonological awareness is the ability to identify sounds in a spoken language. It’s one of the foundations for learning to read. If your child is able to break down words into specific sounds, it means they are aware of how words should sound like.
For example, your child shows phonological awareness if they can break apart a word like “cat” and sound out each letter. They might also be able to rhyme simple words, name several words that start with the same sound, and even swap out sounds to form different words.
Once your child is ready to start learning, there are plenty of resources available from educational television programs to children’s books and more. Use these resources to nurture your child’s reading and be actively involved in the process.
Guest Author’s Bio
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. He has used his knowledge and experience to work for clients as diverse as Glenbrae Signs, Cosh Living and Me Bank to help them reach their business goals