When to introducing reading to kids as a habbit is quite debatable topic. We have seen most kids learning things more quickly than we did during childhood, just because they have lots of exposure and avenues to explore. They are expected to learn colors quickly around the age of 2 – 2.5 years. You will be surprised to know that many kids understand basic differences between primary colors and secondary colors around 3 years of age which is quite remarkable.
As parents we have a tendency to push our kids to learn more. Reading is one of those milestone which we are all excited about but when is a good time to introduce reading and how patient should we be is another story.
How parents manage?
Many parents read books to their kids thinking it will act as motivational factor for kids to learn and become more enthusiastic. We see lot of kindergarten children having their own personal libraries with tons of phonic supported books and apps.
While scrolling on a few thoughts by reading experts, I noticed a comments from Kathy Egawa, Ph.D., associate executive director of the National Council of Teachers of English mentioning “In the old days, kids really didn’t move beyond learning the alphabet and sounding out words until age 8,” she says. Today, we start the push in kindergarten.”
Overall expectations have increased globally and for a pre-schooler, the pressure has been increasing every year. All children grow at their own pace and so pushing around in trying to achieve milestones is a frequent mistake all parents make.
It has been noticed that on an average, a comfortable age for a pre-schooler to start reading properly is 5 years but there is no clear benchmark on kids being smarter if they start reading early and vice versa. Instead, your increased expectations could actually delay your child’s growth and will act as a catalyst for putting him/her off reading.
To develop love for reading we need to understand if they have an interest even and then gently introduce. Be prepared for disappointment though and do this without any bias.
Prepare for introducing reading
Introduce story sessions – escalate their imagination
No pre-schooler is perfect and during this phase a child’s brain is growing rapidly. It is important that your child should imagine beyond what is real. Through story sessions, child is able to learn more and get excited about what could be. Increased curiosity enhances brain development and children are able to understand more about surrounding.
An example could be one of my friend’s child, Earnie who loved “save the planet” stories. She, at the age of 4, imagines herself as a saviour of women who has the ability to grow plants. This allowed her to learn more about plants and I see her curious about gardening as well.
Introducing simple puzzles at around 4 years of age allow your child to be prepared for connecting sounds later. Don’t expect your child to be perfect at making puzzles so allow them to struggle and learn .
Struggling initiates thinking and enhances ability to be resourceful. Some children might leave them in between saying “ Mommy I can’t do it”. Don’t get disheartened, this is your time to understand not to push and allow them to motivate.
May be you need to get something more colorful or just allow them to play. Not all children can have reading as hobby. Some are quite good in sports and pushing them towards reading is the worst thing you can do.
Reading involves connecting not just sounds together but be able to juggle with tons of information around. Some children cannot multi task and so they might not be ready.
Introduction of Phonics
Most children have tendency to grasp phonics but they are not able to read, only to realise that they have just learnt phonics and but really understood sounds. Reading is more than be able to know phonics.
You might not even know this but most pre-schools teach phonics with few objects for each letters and only few children are able to understand how sounds work. Most children just know sounds behind letter but doesn’t understand how to effectively use that sounds. Based on my experience with children I teach, I see pre-schoolers knowing which sounds belongs to which letter but this changes as soon as object changes.
So one has to be expert enough to feed knowledge in right way.
Patience is the key
Needless to say that parents and teachers have to be patient to be able to transfer knowledge right way to right audience. In a class you might see ten children with different abilities, some able to write and some would just be jumping around laughing. Patience is key to success with all
As parents you should be confident about your child and be able to understand right time for you to start incorporating reading. Also, be ready to commit mistakes and move on. We all learn through experience.
Also read how to enhance your child creativity
42 thoughts on “Introducing reading to kids! – When should you expect your kids to read?”
Such a great post for sure. Every child is different and it just takes time, but important to learn from mistake, I agree x
Reading is a great way to connect with our kids… I have great memories of reading to mine …
So informative, especially for new parents! I do agree that patience is key. As a former teacher, I know that all children are different and reading can come at different times.
Reading has always been a huge part of our family. I started reading to both my children every night when they were still infants. It was a part of our bedtime routine. Although both my children ended up being early readers, one loves to read and write where as the other only reads when necessary.
As someone who grew up attached to a different book at all times, I do believe in the imaginative power that is given to children who read books. Its so important to have patience, but to see where children go with their imaginations simply by reading, its a wonderful form of magic.
What an important thing for kids. Patience really is key and highly important. It’s totally necessary, and what a triumph when they do learn! 🙂
I definitely will say that patience is HUGE. I was homeschooling, and it was really hard to teach them to read. But what a success when they learn! 🙂
I’m not a parent, but I do enjoy reading with my nieces and nephews. I didn’t realize all the angst behind the question of when/how early kids should read. Reading is a fun activity and everyone, kids and adults alike should read regularly.
Having raised four children, I truly believe that the love of reading is a very individual thing. Some children will take to it eagerly while others still won’t share that passion.
Some kids are so fast learner they started to read before they reach 1 year old!
I heard some folks said that when a mother habitually reads during pregnancy, the baby gains a habit of reading as well.
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These are great tips for kids and learning to read! I always felt like reading was so important from a young age.
My son LOVES puzzles, and we read together each night as well as reading his school reader. And we are working on sight words at the same time.
Thats so good than to giving them the modern things like tablet , ipod or something related., Its so nice that in their mind that giving those book is the first thing that they will more interesting to know more and learn more ..
This is a fabulous post on reading tips for young children. I do agree that all kids learn at different paces and I myself found a time when one of my kids was being scrutinized a bit in Kindergarten as she was a younger age student than most due to her birthday. She was only 4 and a half and they were almost making me feel she was extremely behind. She turned out to be one of the best readers in her classes going forward and was always a high honor student. All of that stress and worry for nothing. Thanks so much for sharing as this is perfect for parents of young kids and new parents.
I love reading because since I was a kid i have seen my parents reading too. I’m technically a bibliophile. As Nidhi said, “There’s no better way to inculcate the habit of reading while involving yourself as a parent into it. “, I completely agree with it.
kids imitate what they see. There’s no better way to inculcate the habit of reading while involving yourself as a parent into it. These are some useful tips for introduction of reading to kids 🙂
When I was little, my parents used to read me a story every night before bed. It helped me learn how to read! Truly believe the earlier the better!
These are good tips for introducing children to the wonderful word of reading! I know growing up having a bedtime story was always the best part of my day. Reading is just so magical.
I remember learning to read quite early because I was interested not because I was pushing into it. Kids all mature and get to those points at different times x
I think every child has his own pace. I started reading at the age of 5. On the other hand, my brother only learned how to read at the age of 7. It was a struggle. He knows all the lessons being taught in class but he can’t read the exams. Just recently, he graduated from the university with flying colors.
Wonderful post. Independent reading as a habit is a must. My kids are still young but I w I uld want to lay a strong foundation for them in this regard.
This is a great post! My son just started kinder and is st the age we’re he’s gonna be learning to read. We’re both super excited! We love reading to him.
My son is 2.5 and he loves books, though I never really thought about introducing reading independently. I guess that is still a little way ahead for us. Will keep your pointers in mind for the future.
To early for him to start reading but liking books at this age is a good sign. Good Luck
Great advice from you! Learning is always making a process with the guide of the parents of course. more patience until they learned things 🙂
I’m an avid reader. Both my kids developed an interest in reading just from observing me. I never pushed it and I’m glad they came into it on their own.
As a huge lover of books I’ve been sending books to my nieces and nephews since they were born and I can’t wait for them to be old enough to share some of my favorites with them. I did not know that kids use to not read till the age of 8 and that we are pushing them to learn it sooner!
My kids definitely have a hard time getting into reading. My son really has a hard time getting involved in any sort of book. This is some great advice.
I am not pushing my kids to read early. I introduce the concept and work on them developing the love of books so they will be motivated when the time comes.
Nice! this is great
This sounds like great advice for encouraging kids to read but taking away the pressure. That way they can learn when they are ready.
These are great tips for encouraging little ones while learning to read! As a former early childhood educator, early literacy skills have a special place in my heart!
that is so sweet
It’s so true we are pushing kids harder than before. I remember having nap time in kindergarten but that doesn’t happen anymore. I have always loved to read and was reading small kids chapter books by the time I started kindergarten, but my sister didn’t read until she was almost in first grade. Yet she is the one who is now an English/Reading teacher in high school! My oldest starts kindergarten in a few days and doesn’t know how to read, but knows his letters and sounds. They are all different.
Yep! all kids are different.
Despite the fact that I know absolutey nothing about parenting I can totally see how patience and confidence is very very important when it comes to teaching your offsprigns how to read, write or anything else for that matter!