Learn about reading milestones
Learn about reading milestones
Birth to 6 Months Old
It is important to start reading to your child at birth. The rhythmic sounds of lullabies are soothing to newborns, and by as early 4 months old, you child may begin to show an interest in books. You will want to make sure your baby has sturdy vinyl or cloth books that can withstand chewing and wear and tear.
6 to 12 Months Old
After 6 months, your baby will start to show more interest in the actual story, in addition to the sounds. At this stage, it is good to talk about the pictures, in addition to reading the story. This is also a great stage to have your baby begin to turn the pages.
12 to 18 Months Old
At this stage, babies enjoy reading with adults and can name familiar objects in the story. Stories that allow interaction (ex: feeling the fur of a bunny in the story) are also great at this stage.
You will notice your preschooler will start to recognize familiar words, letters and symbols in the world. It will be exciting to your child when they find these familiar letters around the house, on a drive or when you are out and about.
A child will continue to develop an understanding of the structure of a story (beginning, middle, end). This is also a time when they think more about the characters and may compare themselves or people they know to the characters. Some preschoolers will also be able to begin predicting what happens next or how a story will end.
It is during first grade that children begin to really understand the written word, learning phonics and applying it. In addition, first graders normally know about 150 sight words, which they learn through repeated exposure. The sight words help children to understand similar words, growing their reading skills.
First-graders normally read word-by-word, which means they read slowly. To become smoother readers, they should read books over and over again. Practice makes perfect. Keep in mind that it can be easier for your first grader to read aloud, so they can hear themselves as they sound out the words. This is also the time when your child begins to recognize mistakes when reading, and discovers how to fix those mistakes.
Toddlers are at a stage where they learn how to handle and interact with books. This is the time when they can begin to understand what is the front of the book and turn pages all on their own.
This is also the stage where children begin to understand the elements of a story. For example, they will understand that each story has characters and events that lead up to a resolution.
It is very important for adults to not only read to toddlers, but to also take time to talk about the pictures. This helps a child’s language development. As your toddler grows, they will mimic what you do when reading books. It is important to set a good example.
Although it may be frustrating to read the same book over and over again, if a toddler is requesting a specific book, rereading can be helpful for them. It helps a child relate what they hear to the letters/words they see.
When your child finished kindergarten, they will be able to recognize and write letters, both lower and upper case, and they will also know the sounds associated with most of the alphabet.
Kindergartners can read simple books, sometimes by knowing “sight words.” These are the words that they recognize, like their own names or words they see a lot, such as “stop” or “exit.” This is also the stage where a child understand that you read from left to right and common punctuation.
Kindergarteners begin to dive deeper into stories by thinking more on the “why.” Instead of just focusing on the plot of a story, Kindergarteners begin to question characters and events. It is good to discuss these things with your kindergartener.
During second and third grade, you child will become a smoother, faster reader. They will still have to use some of their “decoding” skills and sound out words at this stage, as they are still learning and developing their vocabulary. Your second and third grader should be reading independently often, and will begin to make meaning when reading by relating new information to what they already know.
It is important to remember that no second or third grader is alike. There are a wide range of reading abilities at this age. Although your child should be reading books on grade level, some children will be more advanced at this stage.