reading milestones

What are the reading milestones for kids by age?

Children begin to develop reading ability at a young age. Parents should remember that every child is different and develops reading skills at their own pace. It also depends on the amount of time a child spends with books each day. If you are concerned about your child’s reading milestones, talk to their teacher at school or their doctor for advice. Experts advise early intervention to help children who struggle to read. You can easily find resources for young children to learn reading, even at the pre-kindergarten stage. Register your child at a good daycare center or preschool to help them learn. You could also help your children with reading by bringing books into your home and reading to them.

Here’s a look at reading milestones for kids by Age –

1. Toddlers (Ages 1 to 3) – At this age, toddlers begin to take an interest in books and the words written in them. They:

  • Ask questions about the pictures they see in the books and even answer simple questions like “Where’s the cow?” and “What is the rabbit doing?”. 
  • Can name familiar pictures and use pointing to identify the objects they see in the books. 
  • Pretend to read books and repeat sentences from books they know well. L
  • Love to turn pages in books and have a favorite book that they request to read often.

2. Early Preschool (Age 3) – At three years old, children love exploring books independently. They:

  • Develop an interest in longer stories that you read to them. 
  • Retell familiar stories with ease. 
  • Can sing the alphabet but need prompting and cues. 
  • Begin to understand that drawing is different from writing and try to make symbols that resemble alphabets. 
  • Recognize the first letter in their name. 
  • Imitate the action of reading a book.

3. Late Preschool (Age 4) – Towards the end of preschool, children begin to recognize alphabets and familiar signs in different places, such as on a signboard or a container. They can:

  • Recognize rhyming words
  • Identify up to fifteen letters in the alphabet
  • Recognize all the letters in their name
  • Write their name
  • Understand the relationship between letters, syllables, and sounds
  • Interested in trying to write
  • Understand they should read text from left to right and from top to bottom

4. Kindergarten (Age 5) – In kindergarten, children start understanding sounds and syllables well. They start writing at school and develop stability in their pincer hold. At this age, a child can – 

  • Produce words that rhyme
  • Match spoken and written words
  • Write letters, words, and numbers
  • Identify words in books
  • Speak better than before by manipulating more minor sounds
  • Predict what can happen next in a story
  • Understand simple words (meaning, spelling, using in a sentence)
  • Arrange the events of a story in a sequence

5. First & Second Grade (Ages 6 to 7) – After kindergarten, reading becomes an essential part of the learning process in school. Kids begin to – 

    • Read familiar stories from their favorite books
    • Try to speak unfamiliar words
    • Use pictures and context to decipher new words
    • Use punctuation in writing
    • Use capitalization in writing
    • Comprehend a story through pictures or drawings
    • Write details in a logical sequence

6. Second & Third Grade (Ages 7 to 8) – Children who have spent the first five years exploring books usually develop a love for books at this Age. Second and third graders begin to – 

    • Spell many words
    • Self-correct when they read a familiar word incorrectly
    • Read longer books independently
    • Read with expression and with voice modulation
    • Divide their writing into paragraphs 
    • Write short messages and e-mails
    • Experiment by using new words, phrases, or figures of speech that they have heard grown-ups use
    • Express their thoughts in writing

7. Fourth to Eighth Grade (Ages 9 to 13) – Children usually have almost fully developed reading skills in middle school. Most of their learning comprises reading in school, and they may also develop an interest in books at this Age. At this stage, kids can – 

  • Read different kinds of books, including biographies, poetry, and fiction
  • Understand the difference between different kinds of writing, including expository, narrative, and persuasive
  • Extract information from a book they have read, such as a textbook
  • Understand the relationship between objects
  • Understand grammar and parts of speech
  • Read or write on a specific topic for fun

The above milestones are a general understanding of how most children develop reading abilities. But children develop reading skills at their own pace, and there are many variables involved. Parents must continually look for things that work for their children to support their reading because there is no one-size-fits-all formula. If you need help with your child’s reading milestones, visit our website to know more!

Author Bio: Samidha Raj works as part of the content marketing team at Planet Spark, a platform that provides online classes to K8 learners on “New Age Skills” like, English Communication, Public Speaking, Grammar, Creative Writing, Debating, etc. She is passionate about empowering the youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!