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When Do Kids Learn to Read?

By Tara Drinks

At a Glance

  • Learning to read is a process that involves different skills.

  • Kids start to learn to read at different ages.

  • Some kids need extra help learning how to read.

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Learning to read is a process that involves different language skills. It happens over time, so it’s hard to say exactly when kids learn to read. To some people, reading means being able to sound out words and recognize the words that can’t be sounded out. To others, reading means being able to read and understand sentences and text.

Learning to read is different for every child. Some kids start to learn to read in daycare or preschool. Others start gaining the skills in kindergarten or first grade. Read on to learn more.

At What Age Do Kids Learn to Read?

Kids develop reading skills at their own pace. And some kids learn earlier and more quickly than others. Here’s what reading typically looks like at different ages:

  • By age 2, kids often start to recite the words to their favorite book. They also start to answer questions about what they see in books.

  • In preschool, kids typically start to recognize about half the letters of the alphabet. They also start to notice words that rhyme.

  • In kindergarten, kids often start matching letters to sounds. They also start to recognize some words by sight without having to sound them out.

  • By second grade, most kids can sound out and recognize words and can read and understand sentences. Most people consider this as having learned to read.

Keep in mind that every child is different. Not all kids develop reading skills at the same rate. Taking longer doesn’t mean they’re not on track to become good readers.

Why Kids Might Have Trouble Learning to Read

Learning how to read can be challenging for some kids. But that doesn’t mean they’re not smart. They just may need extra time and support to become a full-fledged reader.

There are many reasons why kids have trouble learning to read. Some might have a hard time understanding how language works. For example, they may struggle with recognizing sounds in words or matching sounds to letters.

In some cases, the type of reading instruction plays a role.

How to Help Your Child Learn to Read

Practicing at home can help your child improve reading skills. Here are some ways to help your child with reading:

  • Make reading a habit. Kids learn from what they observe. Try reading a book with your child before bedtime.

  • Play reading games. While running errands, have your child read the road signs to you. Or play rhyming games together. 

  • Have conversations. Talk about things you’re seeing or feeling and ask questions so your child can do the same. This helps build the language skills kids need to be strong readers. It also gives you more insight into your child.

If you’re concerned about your child’s reading skills, you can talk to the teacher. Learn more about what can cause trouble with reading.

Key Takeaways

  • By second grade, many kids can read and understand sentences.

  • Play reading games and ask questions to help your child learn to read.

  • Observe your child’s reading skills, and talk to the teacher if you’re concerned.

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Share When Do Kids Learn to Read?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
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  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom