Reading Milestones; How to Know if Your Child is On Track

kids sitting and reading

Reading is at the core of pretty much everything we do. So helping our children become great readers is essential for school and life. Is your child is on track with reading milestones? You might be surprised when you learn how much they are capable of at each age! Read on to see where the average child is for each age and great activities for each grade too.

2 – 12 Months

Obviously your child will not be reading at this point! But they do benefit from having books read to them. Aim to read aloud at least once a day – rhyming books are great for this age too.

Beyond reading to your child, you can expect to see them want to turn the pages, look at the pictures, and even make noises in response to seeing things in the book. Picture books are great for this reason, especially those with texture like Pat the Bunny.

1-2 Years

During this year, children will advance from being able to name familiar items on the pages such as dog, bowl, and ball. They will be able to recognize their favorite book and may even be able to recite some of the words from memory. They may even “read” the book to you by making up the story from the images on the pages. Encourage any and all excitement around reading, even the pretend kind!

While it may be challenging to reread the same book over and over, the repetition is a great learning tool. Start pointing out the words while you read or asking your child to recite the same word throughout the book, as in they say “dog” everytime it appears in the story.

3 – 4 Years

Big changes start to happen during this year! Your child should be able to recognize their name and much of the alphabet. They may also begin to recognize words they see often, such as STOP on a stop sign, or the local grocery store name.

Practice rhyming words together and identifying letters and the sounds they make. Identify letters you see in signs or around the house too. Knowing how to hold a book correctly and understanding that words go from left to right is crucial at this age as well.

5 years

Some children are in kindergarten by 5, others in pre or “tk” classes. No matter what grade level, most 5 year olds are able to identify the sound each letter of the alphabet makes as well as identify short site words such as it, and, if, up, etc. They’re also able to retell a story in order as well as predict what will happen next in a story. 5 year olds should be able to ask and answer “who, what, when, where, how” questions about a story they have read.

Reading daily is crucial for kids of this age. It’s great if they can read to you, but being read to is beneficial as well. If your little one is resisting reading time, we’ve got some fun ways to make it more exciting in our post “How to Make Reading Fun at Home”. There are also great online programs like that turn reading into fun games for kids of all ages!