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.