Is your child’s reading on par with reading milestones according to their age? Check out this guide to see if your child is meeting age-appropriate reading milestones or needs a little extra help to get there.
One of the most frustrating (and rewarding) things as a parent is to watch their children struggle with then reach important milestones in all areas of development.
One of the most challenging milestones that kids work to achieve is learning how to read.
Every Child Develops Reading Milestones Individually
Children begin to develop reading ability at a young age thanks to parents and other caregivers reading to them.
Parents should remember that every child is different and develops reading skills at their own pace. The amount of time a child spends with books each day will also have an impact.
If you are concerned about your child’s reading milestones, talk to their teacher at school or their doctor for more information and advice.
Essential Reading Milestones By Age
Here’s a look at reading milestones for kids by age.
Toddlers (Ages 1 to 3)
At this age, toddlers begin to take an interest in books and the words written in them.
Reading milestones for this age include:
- Ask questions about the pictures they see in the books and even answer simple questions like “Where’s the cow?” and “What is the rabbit doing?”.
- Can name familiar pictures and use pointing to identify the objects they see in the books.
- Pretend to read books and repeat sentences from books they know well.
- Love to turn pages in books and have a favorite book that they request to read often.
Early Preschool (Age 3)
At three years old, children love exploring books independently.
They will work to meet these milestones:
- Develop an interest in longer stories that you read to them.
- Retell familiar stories with ease.
- Can sing the alphabet but need prompting and cues.
- Begin to understand that drawing is different from writing and try to make symbols that resemble alphabets.
- Recognize the first letter in their name.
- Imitate the action of reading a book.
Late Preschool (Age 4)
Towards the end of preschool, children begin to recognize alphabets and familiar signs in different places, such as on a signboard or a container.
Reading milestones at this age include:
- Recognize rhyming words
- Identify up to fifteen letters in the alphabet
- Recognize all the letters in their name
- Write their name
- Understand the relationship between letters, syllables, and sounds
- Interested in trying to write
- Understand they should read text from left to right and from top to bottom
Kindergarten (Age 5)
In kindergarten, children start understanding sounds and syllables well. They start writing at school and develop stability in their pincer hold.
At this age, reading milestones include:
- Produce words that rhyme
- Match spoken and written words
- Write letters, words, and numbers
- Identify words in books
- Speak better than before by manipulating more minor sounds
- Predict what can happen next in a story
- Understand simple words (meaning, spelling, using in a sentence)
- Arrange the events of a story in a sequence
First & Second Grade (Ages 6 to 7)
After kindergarten, reading becomes an essential part of the learning process in school.
Kids begin to meet these reading milestones:
- Read familiar stories from their favorite books
- Try to speak unfamiliar words
- Utilize pictures and context to decipher new words
- Use punctuation in writing
- Use capitalization in writing
- Comprehend a story through pictures or drawings
- Write details in a logical sequence
Second & Third Grade (Ages 7 to 8)
Children who have spent the first five years exploring books usually develop a love for books at this age.
Second and third graders often meet these reading milestones:
- Spell many words
- Self-correct when they read a familiar word incorrectly
- Read longer books independently
- Read with expression and with voice modulation
- Divide their writing into paragraphs
- Write short messages and e-mails
- Experiment by using new words, phrases, or figures of speech that they have heard grown-ups use
- Express their thoughts in writing
Fourth to Eighth Grade (Ages 9 to 13)
Children usually have almost fully developed reading skills in middle school. Most of their learning comprises reading in school, and they may also develop an interest in books at this age.
At this stage, reading milestones include:
- Read different kinds of books, including biographies, poetry, and fiction
- Understand the difference between different kinds of writing, including expository, narrative, and persuasive
- Extract information from a book they have read, such as a textbook
- Understand the relationship between objects
- Understand grammar and parts of speech
- Read or write on a specific topic for fun
The above milestones are a general guide to how most children develop reading abilities.
But children develop reading skills at their own pace, and there are many variables involved.
As parents, we must continually look for things that work for our individual kids to support their reading because there is no one-size-fits-all formula.
How To Help Your Child Reach Reading Milestones If You Suspect There’s A Problem
Experts advise early intervention to help children who struggle to read. You can easily find resources for young children to learn reading, even at the pre-kindergarten stage.
Be sure to register your child at a good daycare center or preschool to help them learn the skills and get the exposure they need.
You could also help your children with reading by bringing books into your home and reading out loud to them – and you’ll make wonderful memories at the same time!
I hope this list of reading milestones helps give you a general guide to what you can expect in your child’s reading development. If you suspect that anything might be “off,” please don’t hesitate to chat with your child’s teacher or pediatrician to learn more.
More Helpful Parenting Resources
- Do These 6 Things To Prepare Kids For Staying Home Alone
- What are SMART Goals (+ SMART Goals Examples)
- How To Create A Healthy Bedtime Routine for Toddlers
- 50 Acts Of Kindness For Kids & How To Encourage Them
- Impulse Control Activities For Kids: How To Teach Impulse Control
Author Bio: Samidha Raj works as part of the content marketing team at Planet Spark, a platform that provides online classes to K8 learners on “New Age Skills” like, English Communication, Public Speaking, Grammar, Creative Writing, Debating, etc. She is passionate about empowering the youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!