Should My Kid Know How to Read Before Kindergarten

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It’s important to answer, “Should my kid know how to read before Kindergarten?” to prepare them for school.

Some circles believe teaching kids to read before school can be beneficial, while others argue that it’s detrimental.

In this guide, we’ll explore the key concepts of teaching your children to read, including the benefits of Children Learning Reading.

At What Age Should a Child Know How Do You Read?

It’s important to note that every child is different and developmental milestones can be beneficial to consider.

However, just because your children aren’t reaching reading milestones doesn’t automatically mean there’s a learning deficit.

If you’re concerned about your child’s reading habits, it’s best to seek professional assistance for a diagnosis.

Determining the right age for your child to start reading can be challenging for parents.

In fact, most experts agree there isn’t a specific age when a child should know how to read.

In the past, there was a belief that children should learn how to read in grade one, but experts disagree.

Many suggest there’s no evidence to support that learning to read in grade one is mandatory.

The best rule of thumb to follow is to determine when your child is most interested in reading.

If you’ve begun to notice they’re taking an interest in books, that is the best time to start teaching.

For example, if your child likes books at age three, then you can begin introducing reading concepts at that point.

You might also find that your child isn’t ready to read until they enter kindergarten or grade one.

Regardless, they should have some exposure to reading before kindergarten.

The most important thing to watch for is significant signs of reading deficits around six or seven.

At this point, you will want to consider reaching out to a professional for assistance.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

When your child starts reading, it’s important to remember that they still have difficulty with familiar concepts.

For example, they could confuse letters, find it challenging to connect sounds with letters, and misunderstand sentences.

You’ll also find they might not remember words as quickly and continually guess the pronunciation of unknown words.

If your child is still experiencing reading challenges at the end of first grade, it could be a sign of deficits.

In this situation, you want to consult with their teacher to find a solution to their challenges.

Reading Milestones for Children

Keeping track of reading milestones is essential, so let’s review some of the most common milestones for children and reading.

Ages Four to Five: Pre-Reading Skills

Whether it be in kindergarten or grade one, children will develop pre-reading skills at school.

This process includes learning how to:

  • Write some letters
  • Substitute words in rhymes
  • Pronounce basic words
  • Begin to develop a vocabulary

Ages Six to Ten: Learning to Read

Between the ages of six and ten, children will begin to learn how to read.

Using the skills they learn at a younger age, they can apply their learned knowledge to more challenging texts.

You’ll also find that at this milestone, more challenging words and reading materials will be introduced.

As mentioned, this milestone can also be an excellent point to determine if reading deficits are prevalent.

The most common concepts children learn at this age include:

  • Reading simple books
  • Developing a vocabulary of up to 100 words
  • Understanding letters and representing sounds
  • Knowing how to form basic words
  • Having an interest in different types of stories
  • Identifying different settings and characters
  • Remembering the sounds of the alphabet
  • Knowing how to identify upper and lowercase words
  • Learning how to read independently
  • Knowing how to identify unfamiliar words audibly

Ages 11 to 13: Reading to Learn

This milestone is identified as “reading to learn” because students will use texts to learn new knowledge.

Instead of figuring out how to master reading skills, their reading skills will provide them with new information.

You’ll also begin to notice a significant shift in the reading materials your kids select.

At this point, most children and pre-teens will begin identifying books that pertain to their interests.

They might also begin reaching for books that they want to read rather than what’s assigned.

A few of the other typical milestones children reach during this period include:

  • Reading about specific hobbies and interests
  • Knowing how to read documents to prepare for school tasks
  • Fully comprehending assigned and chosen texts
  • Showing an ability to understand chapter books
  • Knowing how to analyze nonfiction and fiction reading materials

do you know if should my kid know how to read before kindergarten

Should I Teach My Child to Read Before School?

Teaching your child how to read before school can be beneficial to improve their confidence.

You might find many of their peers have already acquired basic reading knowledge on the first day of school.

Giving them the ability to diversify basic skills can help them to prepare.

Still, it’s important to note that thoroughly learning how to read involves complex concepts.

In school, they will need to learn how to use phonics and develop phonemic awareness.

As a parent, there are several key areas that you can reinforce to help them prepare for more serious reading.

What Is a Child Expected to Know Before Kindergarten?

Now that you’re aware of what your child will learn in school, let’s review what’s needed before kindergarten.

Keeping these milestones in mind can ensure your child is ready to learn more challenging reading concepts.

Manage Expectations

Before you get started, remember there’s no set amount of skills your child should have before kindergarten.

Still, it can be beneficial for their confidence and self-esteem to teach them basic concepts.

Learning Letters

One of the best ways to help your child prepare for kindergarten is to teach them the alphabet.

Since this is one of the first things they’ll learn in school, preparing them beforehand can be beneficial.

This way, when they enter kindergarten, their in-school learning will reinforce their already developed skills.

Learning Numbers

Teaching your child basic numbers can also be beneficial to help them prepare for kindergarten.

At most, you should teach them how to count to ten by using counting games.


Another essential thing your children’s teachers will expect them to know is who they are.

Ideally, students should respond appropriately when asked their name or when their name is called.

They should also have the ability to write their name on their schoolwork.

Identifying High-Frequency Words

High-frequency words are classified as words your child will use in their day-to-day conversations.

These could include: you, me, mom, dad, teacher, school, it, and is.

Your child should be able to use and identify high-frequency words in written text and conversations.

How to Teach My Child to Read Before School

Let’s review some of the most common ways parents can help with reading before kindergarten.

Introducing Songs and Nursery Rhymes

One of the best things parents can do to help their children begin reading is to use songs and nursery rhymes.

Rhyming encourages children to understand syllables and sounds, which is essential to reading.

It’s also a perfect way to build phonemic awareness skills, especially if you recite in unison.

Young children are bound to be more interested in fun nursery rhymes than big blocks of text.

They’re a fantastic introduction to the literacy skills your child will need later in life.

Creating Word Cards

Word cards are another phenomenal tool that you can either make or buy for at-home use.

Each card should contain a single word that’s easy for your children to pronounce.

You’ll want to go through each of the cards to help teach them essential phonics skills.

Another benefit of word cards is they help children develop decoding skills by sounding out words.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the sounds that each of the words makes to help your kids with pronunciation.

Using Children Learning Reading

children learning reading

Having access to an intuitively designed reading guide can be beneficial for parents worldwide.

With guides like Children Learning Reading, you can gather the key concepts to introducing reading concepts.

You’ll have access to a multi-step guide to help make at-home reading significantly simpler.

Children Learning Reading helps parents with guiding their children to understand key concepts.

You’ll also have access to a nine-part mini-series specifically designed to provide tips for teaching your kids to read.

Some of the common elements explored in this guide include:

  • Phonemic Awareness: Being able to identify and manipulate the sounds in words
  • Phonics: Understanding the connection between word sounds and corresponding letters
  • Vocabulary: Helping with defining words, identifying their context, and understanding their meaning
  • Reading Comprehension: Being able to understand text in nonfiction and fiction texts
  • Fluency: The ability to read at a reasonable pace while excelling in accuracy and understanding

Introducing Technology

You would be surprised at the sheer number of technology-based programs available to children learning to read.

Whether it be on a tablet or a web-based platform, there are many options.

One of the most considerable benefits of harnessing technology’s power is keeping your kids engaged in their lessons.

You’ll find most of the reading comprehension apps and websites combine learning with engaging activities.

Your children will work through several age-appropriate tasks for learning to help them develop fundamental skills.

Also, most tasks will be self-paced, so your students can learn at their own pace.

As your child completes their assigned work, you can track their progress.

Using this information, you can determine if there are any gaps in learning to be addressed.

Should My Kid Know How to Read Before Kindergarten: Final Thoughts

The answer to, “Should my kid know how to read before kindergarten?” is simple.

There aren’t any expectations for children knowing how to read, apart from identifying high-frequency words.

However, developing your child’s fundamental reading skills with Children Learning Reading can boost their confidence before entering kindergarten.

children learning reading

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