Friday, January 28, 2011

Determining Your Child’s Potential to Begin Reading At an Early Age

Do you feel that your child is ready to begin reading? Children that get an early start with reading have a higher potential to excel in school, and a higher likelihood of completing college, compared to kids whom learn how to read when they are a little older. The following strategies can help you determine your child's early reading potential as well as his or her readiness:

Does Your Child Pretend that She or He is Reading?

Once children have actually gotten to the age that they are able to start reading on their own, they will first usually make believe that they are reading their picture storybooks. This will notably be the case in cases where you often read together.

Usually kids whom are ready to begin establishing early reading skills will sit down with a book and with their little finger, follow the words in a book, saying the story out loud. Of course, except in cases where it’s a story that they are very well acquainted with, what they will be saying will not match up with what is really displayed. This is however an excellent sign in children that they are capable of learning letters and will be able to learn how to put words together.

Recognizing Letters

Another very good tactic in assessing if your child is able to start building his reading skills is by if he has a tendency to identify letters of the alphabet by himself without any help from anyone.

Young children will usually point out letters that they are familiar with in their daily lives once they begin to understand the notion of letters and words – such as on street signs, on their food packages, in store windows, in magazines and everywhere else that they recognize them. Once your daughter or son is at this point, it is a great idea to encourage them in sounding out the letters they see phonetically. This will make it possible for them to further build their reading capabilities.

Additional Signs to Look For

Some other indicators to be on the lookout for to determine if your son or daughter is starting to develop the necessary skills to read are whether or not they understand just how a book actually works. Do they realize that if a book is upside-down that it needs to be flipped over so that they can read it? Do they realize that we read from left to right?

If he recognizes that you turn pages from front to back, and that the story is over once you close the book, odds are that he is starting to cultivate early reading skills, which you can build upon with ease.

Yet another excellent way to determine if the reading skills of your son or daughter are evolving is if he or she pretends to write. A great number of children will oftentimes pretend to write the letters in their own names before they are actually capable of forming the letters correctly.

One more matter that should be considered when evaluating your child's reading potential is his ability to pay attention. A young child that isn’t able to remain seated all the way through the complete reading of his most favorite story is most likely not quite prepared to start reading.

On the flip side, if you find that your child continuously requests that you read the story over again any time you wrap up his most favorite story, this is another great indication that he is prepared to learn how to read on his own.

Remember, every child is unique. If your child is simply not ready to begin reading on his own at an early age, don’t push it. If you do so, the chances of that backfiring on you are very high.

Bonnie Lim is the founder of A Kid Place. Check out their blog at as well as their online store at

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