What is the best age is to teach a child to read?

child reading a book photo

Every parent probably asks themselves this question: “At what age is it best to teach a child to read and how to start this process?” Some parents believe that the sooner to begin, the better. Others believe that they should not do this by themselves, let the teacher at school do this, and still others say that it is better not to rush. So what should be done in this situation? In this article we will try to understand this issue.


These complex skills, such as reading and writing, are formed very slowly, gradually, during training, and over a long time. You should not teach your child to read from a very young age, but you do not need to wait until school age. Speech therapists and psychologists consider the most optimal age for this process is between 4-5 years. At this age, the child finds it easier to learn to read, because the child already has speech, motor skills, memory and increased attention. But, most often, children are ready for learning to read only from 5-6 years.


But by the age of 7, some difficulties may arise and interest in reading can pass by this age. There is an opinion of some pediatricians who believe that up to 8 years of age it is not advisable to increase visual loads, because at this age the formation of organs of vision are developing. Therefore, one of the foundations of preparing a child for reading is through play activity in various forms.


Specialists, such as speech therapists and psychologists highlight several physiological characteristics of children that must be taken into account before starting to read.


1. The first and most important thing is the speech of the child. They should speak, in separate words, and whole sentences. They must understand what they are saying and why. In no case should you start teaching the child to read when they speak poorly.
2. The child can easily recall words that start in P and end in A. Can name one or more common sounds of words, therefore, they have a well-developed phonetic hearing, which is very important for learning to read.
3. The child should clearly pronounce all the letters of the alphabet, they should not have speech therapy problems that spoil the phonetic hearing and make reading difficult.
4. They should easily navigate in space, know which is “right” and “left”, since you will need to read from left to right, not from the letter that they might like.


These age-related features and skills are manifested by the age of five, but also remember that each child is an individual.


In order for the learning process to succeed, you need to: instill interest and a love of reading, read fairy tales every day.


There are several reading teaching methods:
1. The alphabet.
2. Primer
3. The method of whole words
4. Cubes of Zaitsev
5. The system of the earliest possible development of Pavel Tyulenev.


The most important thing for the process of teaching reading is, if the child does not want to read, then you should not force them. Learning should be associated with positive emotions for the child. Clearly think over the entire learning process, as the result will depend on this. Do not ask your child to read long sentences until you see that they have understood what they have read. The lesson itself should be 10-15 minutes long. Do not forget that children quickly get tired of new activities and may lose interest in the lesson.


If the child has already lost their interest, then you should stop the lesson and give them a rest. Be sure that the place where you have chosen to teach your child to read is properly settled. The child should sit correctly, keep their back straight, legs should be on the floor. Do not forget about lighting, the light should fall on the left side. It plays a significant role in this process, as it reduces eye strain.


The process of teaching a child to read is not an easy job. And there is no clear answer to the question of when to start these lessons. It is worth considering what the child wants, because they are a person and they have their own characteristics and needs. Do not forget what your aim is with this training.

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