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When Should You Start Teaching Kids Reading Skills?

When Should You Start Teaching Kids Reading Skills?

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - March 24th, 2014

Of all the skills you’ll teach your children over the years, reading is one of the most important. This is true for a variety of reasons. Academically, children who are enthusiastic and proficient readers consistently out-perform their peers, even in subjects that have little or nothing to do with reading. Outside of school, children who love to read are rarely bored, and often display a heightened curiosity about the world. These are all wonderful traits that last a lifetime, and they can all be fostered by reading! Here, we’ll explore the best time to begin teaching kids to read, as well as very important exceptions to standard ‘rules. 

Never Too Early

Ideally, your child’s experiences with books and reading should begin in infancy. In fact, many parents read to their children while they’re still in the womb! This fosters intimacy between parent and child, while also teaching children to be soothed by the sound of the human voice. Although actual reading is still many years in the future, these early ‘lessons’ are laying the foundations of a love of reading.

The First Steps

As long as you consistently read to your child, you’ll be very aware of when he’s ready to begin learning. Teaching kids to read doesn’t have any set rules – it should be based on your child’s unique developmental speed. Some children begin showing an interest in letters and words as early as 1 ½ or 2 years, while others wait until they’re four. Unless your child is significantly behind the normal age, there’s no need to worry – some extremely proficient readers don’t show any early interest in learning to read.

How to Begin 

When it comes to kids reading, the educational options available can seem almost overwhelming. However, the trick to a well-rounded home reading education is to utilize as many different techniques as possible. Old-school methods like phonics are still extremely helpful, while brand-new technology such as reading apps for tablets are also excellent options. Try out as many methods as possible. Kids reading activities will vary based on each child’s unique style of learning, so give them as many chances and opportunities as you can. For a helpful list of some basic beginning steps, you can check out

Your Bottom Line

When teaching kids to read, there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ method. Anything which gets kids interested, engaged, and curious about reading is helpful. 

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2 Responses

Shenaz Hemani

I attended a webinar on 18 Feb,and received a free Kindergarten survival kit.
But when I went to print it I couldn’t find it.

Hi – please email us at help testing mom and we’ll get you set up! Thanks

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