You asked

When should my child learn to read?

The average child will learn to read somewhere between preschool and junior infants, but this skill does not come naturally. A child must be taught to read.

There is not exactly a ‘right time’ to start reading. All children are different. However, a parent can be very influential in encouraging and promoting a child’s love of reading.

Start reading books to your child at a very young age and make it a daily habit. Some experts even say that reading out loud to your child when they are still in the womb is beneficial.

The average child will go through four stages of reading skill; pre-reader, beginning, intermediate, and advanced. As your child enters each stage, it’s important that you make sure they are on track by providing the proper materials and opportunities.

A preschooler is usually in the pre-reader stage. He knows that books have meaning and will pretend to read. He also understands that the letters on the page are words.

As a child enters kindergarten, he will start learning the sounds that letters make and will start associating those sound with the words he sees.

A child in the entering junior infants is learning to sound out groups of letters and can read some simple phrases.

As your child moves past the beginning reader stage, he will become more adept at reading smoothly and gaining meaning from what he is reading.

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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