Reading involves blending sounds, symbols and meanings into words and then into sentences. The earliest stage of reading is phonemic awareness — the ability to hear, make, and identify individual sounds (phonemes). Teaching a child how to read involves helping them learn each of these components in a supportive setting that also provides feedback. When considering how to teach a child to read, it’s important to understand these components and that it involves a long, gradual process where each child progresses at their own pace. So, how do children learn to read? Read on.
How do children learn to read?
Learning to read actually begins at birth with sounds and, eventually, language. Language creates the foundation for reading with sounds and the meanings of those sounds. Infants also begin listening, which involves processing the information that is presented to them from their parents, children’s programming, and other sources. Once kids learn how to listen to and put together sounds, they move on to the alphabet, then to words, then to sentences. They begin to connect the sounds of words to the objects they describe.
What age should a child learn to read?
Children who are exposed to frequent talking are often fluent in their native language by the age of three. The rate at which a child learns to read is often more reflective of their environment than of their intelligence. As language is the foundation of reading, it is important that your child develops language skills and is surrounded by language. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has a good list of milestones when it comes to language. According to KidsHealth.org, suggests the following reading milestones:
- By Year 1: Know about 50 words; respond when spoken to
- Years 1-3: Be able to identify objects in books; pretends to read; has a favorite book and asks to read it often
- Preschool: Seeks out favorite books; can retell stories; distinguish drawing from writing; recognize letters in their name; tries to write words; understands left-to-right, top-to-bottom reading flow
Learning to Read at Kid’s Corner
At Kid’s Corner Preschool, our goal is to nurture and develop a love of reading. We want children to be inspired to read and develop a lifelong pastime and habit. Our teaching strategies, as part of the Creative Curriculum, include getting a child’s attention before we begin reading to them, introducing vocabulary in read-a-louds, sharing the see-show-say strategy with families, reading in small groups, and more.