Every now and then we look at a answering some questions that are regularly asked within our tuition centres. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the common questions asked from parents with young children (usually in Kinder or Prep / Foundation) about basic skills and when their child should “know” them.
Specifically, we’ll be looking at the “right” age for a child to read, count or know the alphabet.
First off, there is never a “right” age for any learning. Every child will learn differently and at a different rate so there is no specific age that a child must be able to have these skills. However, knowing average ages that children pick up literacy and numeracy skills can help identify skills that your child excels in and any areas of difficulty that may require extra attention.
What age should my child learn to read?
Some children can read at 4 years of age, happily reading children’s books like “Good Night Moon” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to themselves. However, most children learn to read at around 6 or 7 years of age. Generally speaking, children will gain pre-reading skills between the ages or 4 and 5. From there, between the ages of 6 to 10 they will learn how to read. Reading skills do not end here. Between the ages of 11 and 13 kids will then begin reading to learn – something that will continue (and becoming increasingly important) later into life.
For most kids, the ability to read will happen gradually and in identifiable steps, for others the ability to read will come quickly and seemingly all at once.
The steps toward reading can often look like the following:
- Pretending to read books to themselves
- The ability to name some objects in a book (for example; cat, apple)
- Attempting to read and write – scribbling with a purpose
- Identifying letters and their corresponding sounds
- Matching spoken and written words
During the developmental stages above, the most important ways to help children with their reading is to make it fun, keep encouraging them and practice. Simple things like reading to your child before bed in the evenings can be a fun way to encourage reading. Also having your children see you read can go a long way for them learning that reading is fun and normal – because their parents do it too.
If you are unsure whether your child is behind in their reading abilities, Lynn’s Learning are happy to have a chat about your concerns, as well as provide a free assessment to review the English level of your child. We can then help address any issues that may arise from this assessment.
What age should my child know the alphabet?
What age should your child know their ABC’s? Children will usually begin recognising letters between 3 and 4 years old. This usually begins with recognising the letters in their name and letters in their favourite books with simple words like “dog” and “cat”. A child’s ability to recite the alphabet follows, with children usually learning this between 3 and 6 years old.
As with learning at any stage in life, some skills are more easily learned than others. Children’s ability to write the alphabet happens in most cases between the ages of 5 and 7.
A fun game to help teach the alphabet is cutting up some big letters. Start with easy letters like A, B, C and the letters in their name. Hide the letters around the room and ask your child to find the letter “A” and so on. Using positive reinforcement when the correct letter is returned is the start. Following on from this, you can hide objects around the room and ask your child to bring you an item that begins with a letter. For example, you might ask them to bring you something that starts with the letter “B” – which might be a ball.
What age should my child be able to count to 10? And beyond?
The average child can count up to “ten” at 4 years of age, however it is normal for children to still be learning to count to 5 while others are able to correctly count to forty. Some children as young as 2 may know some numbers but may not be able to conceptualise how they work together – for example they might understand that “2” is a number but wouldn’t be able to count 2 oranges together. If they are able to count to 10 at this young age, it is usually rote memory revised (memorization due to repetition). Comprehension of number values tends to happen before verbal recitation or ‘counting’ with most children being able to identify groups of items. Picking out 3 oranges and 4 apples from the fruit bowl is where counting begins.
While no one can know exactly when their child will recite the alphabet, count to ten or begin reading, we do know that children learn best when they’re having fun. Positivity and encouragement will aid in not only but a child’s desire to learn.
Tutoring can be beneficial to children with advanced literacy and numeracy skills. Through tutoring, your child will have the opportunity to complete worksheets and participate in coaching that continues to challenge and interest them.
For children having difficulty with one or more key concepts, tutoring can be an effective and fun way to bridge any gaps in knowledge, building a solid skills foundation to help kids keep up with their peers and continue to enjoy learning.