How Can You Tell If Your Child is Ready to Read

How Can You Tell If Your Child is Ready to Read Banner Photo

Just a few years ago, I can remember waiting for that exciting moment when my children were able to graduate from depending on an adult to recite their favorite stories, to reading on their own.  It’s a time when not only do they exhibit intellectual growth, but the potential to explore thoughts and ideas unique to their specific personalities.  Most will agree that developing the ability to utilize books to ask and answer questions is a thrilling moment for a child and can undoubtedly foster creativity, imagination and curiosity within a vast array of topics.  Evolving from having only audible literary recognition to decoding words independently is a tremendous step forward in terms of laying a solid foundation for phonics and vocabulary building.  So how do you know if your son or daughter is ready to read?  There are a few helpful tips to guide you through making the decision on whether or not you should encourage self-directed reading or maintain an assisted storytelling approach.

Desire is Key

One of the most important factors for a child’s readiness to read is determining if they have the initial desire to try. For children who are rushed prematurely, it’s possible for them to regress and even worse, back away from any interest in books altogether. This of course is the last thing we want, which is why it’s imperative to take the necessary time to enjoy stories together until you’re sure the time is right.

 

Can They Recognize Their ABC’s?

Being able to sound out all of the letters in the alphabet is a large part of determining their actual reading level. Can the child vocalize what they see on a page by correctly blending the consonants and vowels together to make word? Another positive sign is if the child can follow along with the text by using their finger as a guide. In this case, it doesn’t matter if they can identify every word perfectly; we’re just looking for them to understand that sentences are read from left to right.

 

The Basics of Book Loving-How Do They Hold A Book?

It might seem minor but how your child physically touches a book can tell you a lot about their receptiveness to begin translating by themselves! Do they hold the book upright or upside down and do they know how to flip the pages one at a time? How about being able to decipher between the cover and the backside? If they are aware of the parts of a book, then this is a strong cue your little one is well on their way to independent reading!

 

Are They A Storyteller?

Experts say that a child doesn’t have to be able to retell an author’s story to be ready to read as long as they can use their imaginations to create their own! Have you ever overheard your son or daughter making up characters and plots while pretending to read a favorite storybook? If you have, that means they’re using something called “analytical creativity” to interact with books, which is another indicator they can start comprehending text unaccompanied.