When should children start learning to read? You don’t have to wait for school

When should children start learning to read? You don’t have to wait for school

What do you think is the perfect time for a child to start learning to read? Is it better to start from school or even earlier? This issue interested us too, so we took a closer look at the experts’ answers. Besides this, we’ll give you a few tips that will make learning to read a lot easier. 

According to US News, the majority of experts agree that most of children usually learn to read at the age of 6-7, or sometimes even earlier. According to AnnMarie Sossong, a specialist in the reading process, while children typically learn to read over a relatively wide range of ages, the difference gradually levels out: “Some children will learn to read at the age of 3, while others take much longer. I have experience with both cases. But by the age of 12-13, all children read at about the same level, so the difference equalises.”

The Conversation portal has written about a few studies that also arrived at very interesting findings. They say that when a child learns to read, they are influenced not only by the learning process itself, but above all by a number of environmental factors. 

Even during the prenatal period, children are able to perceive the tones of adults' voices and various sounds. After birth, they gradually begin to understand individual words and later whole sentences. It is very important developmentally that they are able to grasp the notion of language. One of the studies showed that whether a child learns to read at the age of about 3 years or not depends on their daily habits, and is influenced by factors such as listening to adults, communicating with them or taking part in various language activities.

So as we can see, if you'd like your child to start reading before they start school, it is possible. Here are some tips to help you do this. 

#1 Talk to your baby a lot right from birth

Parents often make the common mistake of thinking that if their child does not yet understand them, they do not have to communicate with them much. But if you want your child to learn to read early, you have to do the exact opposite. Talk to your baby as much as possible from birth: talk to them while playing, bathing, changing clothes, sleeping, simply whenever possible. The more verbal sensations your child receives, the sooner they will understand them and the sooner they will be able to use them in reading. 

#2 Use images

A great way to expand the vocabulary of a child under the age of 3 is to use pictures. Published picture books are of course great for this, but another excellent tool to make use of is to do something such as creating a photo book where the child can be shown pictures of their family, their favourite places, foods, and such like. The child thus combines visual sensations with verbal ones and remembers new words much more easily. 

#3 Take small steps

Foto: Unsplash

You can lead your child towards the idea of reading very early in their developmental process. Start with the first letters of the names you know the child will be interested in: you can use their favourite cereals, favourite sweets and so on. Go through letter by letter together. You can do this for all products that your child is interested in and which have a brand written on them.

#4 Connect words to sounds

Just as linking visual sensations to individual words works when describing photographs, it also helps when a child associates a sound with a word. This was also confirmed for the US News portal by Professor Timothy Shanahan, who specialises in the reading process, as well as lecturing at several universities. He says: “The beginning of reading instruction must emphasise the concept of decoding, i.e. focusing on individual letters, sounds, phonemic awareness, wording, spelling, fluency of reading and reading comprehension”.

Therefore, you can also use our Readmio application in the process of learning to read. In addition to offering a number of fairy tales that will captivate your child, it also uses technology to combine sounds with individual words, which can be a hugely beneficial tool for your child. Younger children, naturally, will also greatly enjoy the beautiful illustrations that are part of every fairy tale.

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