You asked

Should I be worried that my 4 year old has not started reading?

Most four year old children are just beginning to understand the concept that letters make words, and words tell a story. Some preschoolers however, are quick to grasp the concept and have begun to read independently. This is certainly the exception. The majority of four year olds cannot yet focus long enough to tackle this skill. They may know certain letters and can pick them out, or have related letters to pictures and know that the ‘S’ word on the page is for the snake in the picture of their storybook.

If your child happens to be the exception and has started reading at four, great! Encourage her to keep reading and provide lots of opportunities for her to read. Chances are, she will never have a problem when it comes to reading.

If your child is more the norm, you should encourage the skills that will eventually enable her to read. Get her excited about books and storytelling. Practice writing the ABC’s and make sure that she understands how important reading is.

Reading cannot be forced and in fact, is warned against. A child who is forced to do something will usually rebel. When your child is ready to read, she will, and for most children, that happens around the age of five or six.

More questions

Sometime around the age of four, your child will begin to take an interest in his name. This is because he is starting to learn letters and can recognise those letters that belong in his name.
Get your child’s attention immediately by whispering to him - this let’s your child think that something fantastic is about to happen!
Most four year old children are just beginning to understand the concept that letters make words, and words tell a story.
At four years of age, most children are just beginning to understand the concept that letters make words, and words tell a story.
You will find that your child is a very willing little helper at this age. Let him help you with anything that you feel he is capable of doing - all these things will help to teach him responsibility.
A typical 4 year old child is usually able to count up to ten or more
At 4 years of age, a child’s learning method is very visual.
By three years old, your child is more aware of colours, and with a little help, he or she should be able to tell them apart, and name them, soon.
A typical 3 year old can hold up the correct number of fingers when they are asked how old they are.
Even though it’s too early for your three year old to learn how to read, you can help kick start the process with a few easy tips.

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