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Child and mom reading a book together

Is Your Child Ready to Read?

By: Dr. Richard L. Curry, Nansemond Pediatrics

Children usually begin to read in the first grade, at around age 6. However, many children show an interest in reading much sooner, some as early as the age of 3.

Here are a few signs your child is ready to read, no matter their age:

  • Your child listens attentively at story time.
  • Your child is interested in learning the letters of the alphabet.
  • Your child likes to write with a pen or pencil.
  • Your child enjoys looking through books and magazines on their own.

If your child is showing any of these signs, don’t push them, rather foster their natural enthusiasm by letting them set their own pace and have fun. Make reading fun and spark a love of reading early on with these tips: 

  • Avoid drilling your child on learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes and words.
  • Provide a warm, supportive environment where your child feels safe and is having fun.
  • Encourage your child’s curiosity to explore on their own. Let your child choose a book to read that they enjoy.
  • Read books you enjoy together daily. This is a great way to connect with your child and wind down for the day.
  • Make reading fun by using funny faces and animal voices.
  • Pause every now and again to ask your child questions about how they think the story will go or ask your child to name things they can see in the pictures.
  • Create a reading-friendly space in your child’s room with a comfy chair, book shelf, and reading lamp.

When your child is ready to read, there will be plenty of tools to help. Tools like games, songs, and even some age-appropriate TV and video games will help a child learn. The key to success is following your child’s lead.

At your next visit with your CHKD pediatrician, don’t forget to ask about their Reach Out and Read program. At each well visit, children 6 months to 5 years old receive an age-appropriate book to help foster a love of reading and to support early literacy and healthy development. 

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.

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