What Is The Best Age To Start Learning to Read?

Tutor no longer registered
Early Years Education By: Tutor no longer registered
Subject: Early Years Education
Last updated: 01/02/2017
Tags: early reading skills, find the fun in reading, reading difficulties

In some countries formal education does not begin until the age of 7. Here in the UK, schools begin to teach reading from the age of 4-5 years. Therefore there is a wide variation of opinion as to the "correct" approach. The answer is, it depends on YOUR child!

Some three year olds enjoy flash card games, others simply want to play outside in the mud! Be lead by your child always. If the child shows willing to engage in learning at this stage in life, then that is wonderful! If he or she is reluctant then wait 3 months and try again. Learning at this age should always be an enjoyable experience for both the pupil and the person who is doing the teaching.

The ability to read is the gateway to succeeding in all academic subjects, if a pupil excels at numeracy, but is unable to read the question, he or she will not be able to achieve his/her full potential. For very young (pre-school) children, the first steps in reading can be started by familiarising the child with the phonic sounds of letters. This then leads to recognition of simple, phonetically correct words such as cat, hat, mat. By using this system alongside teaching "sight words" I have taught several pre-school children to read. Often these children can achieve independent reader status by the time they start school, giving them a huge advantage in their academic career. Parents of young children may wish to explore if this early approach is right for their child.

Again, always bear in mind that reading lessons should be enjoyable. Five or ten minute sessions, several times a week is better that an hour long lesson. Playing reading "games" with the child should be the focus rather than sitting down for a formal lesson. Never become impatient if the child appears to struggle.

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