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Should I Teach My Child To Read Before School?

Most parents would love to be able to give their child/children a head start in life by teaching them to read before they even step foot in a classroom. 

However, is this really the best plan of action?

By teaching your child to read before they start school, you are, in effect, giving them an advantage over their peers. However, this advantage may not be as great as you think. an asian woman sitting on an armchair reading to her child si

While your child will be able to read before the other children in their class, they may not have developed the same level of comprehension or critical thinking skills.

Opinions vary and there really is no right or wrong answer, so here we will explore both sides of the argument and leave you to make up your own mind:

Advantages Of Early Reading 

Teaching our children to read at an early age has many benefits.

It can help to:

  • Give them a head start in school
  • Boost their confidence
  • Improve their communication skills
  • Allow them to develop a love of learning

All of these are fantastic reasons to start teaching your child to read as early as possible. However, it is worth bearing in mind that not all children are ready to learn to read at a young age and some may even struggle with it.

Disadvantages Of Early Reading

Childhood is one continuous learning curve, and every child develops at their own pace.

Just because most children will have learnt to read in some capacity by the time they start school, doesn’t mean that your child will be ready or indeed, even want to learn at the same age.

Some children may find learning to read quite challenging and this could lead to them feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or even discouraged.

If your child is struggling, it may be best to wait until they are a little older and have developed the necessary skills, such as fine motor control and concentration, before teaching them to read.

Teaching our children to read at an early age can also have its disadvantages:

  • It can cause them unnecessary stress
  • Could lead to them becoming bored with school
  • Encourage them to fall into the comparison trap at far too early an age

If you decide to teach your child to read before they start school, it is important to do so in a way that is fun and relaxed.

Reading should be something that your child enjoys and looks forward to, not something that causes them anxiety or frustration.

What Age Should A Child Read Fluently?

There is no definitive answer to this question as every child develops at their own pace. However, a good benchmark to aim for would be by the time they are in Year 3 or 4.

By this age, most children should be able to read fluently and with comprehension. If your child is not yet reading fluently, don’t worry – there is no need to push them.

Just continue to encourage a love of reading and let them progress at their own pace.

How To Teach A Child To Read

If your child has shown an interest in learning to read at any early age, there are a few things you can do to help them along:

  • Read to them every day;  make it a part of your daily routine. Choose books that are interesting and age-appropriate
  • Encourage them to sound out words; use simple games and activities to help with this
  • Make reading fun; avoid any pressure or stress
  • Encourage them to look at books and magazines
  • Make up stories together
  • Play word games
  • Write letters and simple words for them to trace and become familiar with

Learning to read is a big milestone in any child’s life. But it is important to remember that every child is different and will develop at their own pace.

There is no need to compare your child to others or put any pressure on them to learn to read before they are ready - just enjoy the journey and have fun!

Related: 10 Great Classic Chapter Books to Read with 5-8 Year Olds

How To Help A Child Struggling With Reading

Helping a child who is struggling to read can be a challenge, and similarly to the points above, one of the best things to do is to encourage them to read; find books on subjects you know they have an interest in, sit with them and above all, be patient.

However, if your child is still finding it difficult to read even after you’ve tried some of the methods mentioned above, it may be time to  seek professional help.

A tutor or specialist may be able to identify any specific areas of difficulty and provide tailored support to help your child become a confident reader.

There are also various tools and resources available, such as apps, games and worksheets that can assist with reading development.

If you feel like you need more support, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your local library or bookstore.

There is no definitive answer as to whether you should teach your child to read before they start school or not.

Some children may find learning to read quite challenging and this could lead to them feeling frustrated, overwhelmed or even discouraged.

If your child is struggling, it may be best to wait until they are a little older and have developed the necessary skills, such as fine motor control and concentration, before teaching them to read.

On the other hand, if your child is showing an interest in learning to read at an early age, there are ways you can help them along.

Reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience for children, so try not to put any pressure on them.

Just relax and let them progress at their own pace. And if they do struggle, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

FAQ's

Should my child read before kindergarten?

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not your child should read before kindergarten. It depends on each individual child and their developmental level. 

Some children may be ready to learn to read at an early age, while others may find it more challenging and it may be best to wait until they are a little older.

Should a child learn to read or write first?

Again, there is no definitive answer. Some children may be more inclined to learn to read first, while others may be more interested in writing. 

It is important to let each individual child progress at their own pace and find what they are most interested in. 

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do things - just let your child explore and learn in their own way.

Wrapping Up:

Reading is a very important milestone in any child's life. It helps them to develop their cognitive skills and opens up a world of opportunities for them.

However, it is important to remember that every child is different and will progress at their own pace.

There is no need to compare your child to others or put any pressure on them to learn to read before they are ready - just enjoy the journey and have fun!

If your child is struggling to read, there are ways you can help them.

Encourage them to read, sit with them and be patient.

You can also seek professional help if needed. There are also various tools and resources available, such as apps, games and worksheets that can assist with reading development. 

Just relax and let your child progress at their own pace. And if they do struggle, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Try to take a relaxed approach and allow your child to progress at their own pace - whatever happens, you are always there to help them if they do struggle, be that in a parental or professional capacity.

What are your thoughts?

Let us know in the comments & thanks for reading

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