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Reading Skills at Different Ages



Here is a list of Reading milestones by age. Keep in mind that children develop reading skills at their own pace, so expect slight tolerance to the age band.


Babies (Age 0 to 12 months)


· Begin to reach for soft-covered books or board books

· Look and touch the pictures in the books

· Respond to storybook by cooing or making a nonsense sound

· Help turn pages


Toddlers (Age 1 to 2 years)


· Look at the picture and name familiar items, like dog, cup and baby

· Answer question about what they see in the books

· Recognize the cover of their favorite book

· Recite the words to favorite books

· Start pretending to read by turning the pages and making up stories


Preschoolers (Age 3 to 4 years)


· Know the correct way to hold and handle a book

· Understand that words are read from left to right and pages are read from top to bottom

· Start noticing words that rhyme

· Retell stories

· Recognize about half the letters of the alphabet

· Start matching letter to sound (like knowing b makes a/b/ sound)

· May start to recognize their names in print and other often seen words, like those on signs and logos


Kindergartners (Age 5 years)


· Match each letter to the sound it represents

· Identify the beginning, middle and ending sound in spoken words like dog or sit

· Start matching sounds they hear to the words they see on the page

· Say new words by changing the beginning sound, like changing rat to sat

· Sound out simple words

· Start to recognize some words by sight without having to sound them out

· Ask and Answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about a story

· Retell a story in order using words or pictures

· Predict what happens next in a story

· Start reading or asking to be read books for information as well as entertainment

· Use story language during playtime or conversation (like “I can fly!” the dragon said “I can fly”)


Primary Schoolers (Age 6 to 7 years)


· Learn Spelling rules

· Keep increasing the number of words they recognize by sight

· Improve reading, speed and fluency

· Use context clues to sound out and understand unfamiliar words

· Go back and re-read a word or sentence that doesn’t make sense (self-monitoring)

· Connect what they’re reading to personal experiences, other books they’ve read, and world events


Old School Graders (Age 8 to 10 years)


· In the third grade, move from learning to read to reading to learn

· Accurately read words with more than one syllable

· Learn about prefixes, suffixes, and root words, like those in helpful, helpless, and unhelpful

· Read for different purposes (for enjoyment, to learn something new, to figure out directions etc.)

· Explore different genres

· Describe the setting, characters, problem /solution, and plot of a story

· Identify and summarize the sequence of events in a story

· Identify the main theme and start to identify the minor theme

· Make inferences (“read between the lines”) by using clues form the text and prior knowledge

· Compare and contrast information from different text

· Understand similes, metaphors and other descriptive devices

· Try to use evidence from the text when answering about it


Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers


· Keep expanding vocabulary and reading more complex texts

· Analyze how characters develop, interact with each other and advance the plot

· Determine themes and analyze how they develop over the course of the text

· Use evidence from the text to support analysis of the text

· Analyze, synthesize and evaluate ideas from the text

· Understand satire, sarcasm, irony and understatement


If you think your child is struggling with reading, take notes on what you’re seeing. Keep in mind that some schools focus on different skills in different grades with reference to the board of curriculum it follows. Which milestones is your child not meeting? Share your concerns with us linguaphileandme@gmail.com.


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