Are you wondering if your child is “on time” when it comes to reading? According to the U.S. Department of Education, here are the language milestones your child should reach at each age:


  • Imitate some of the sounds and rhythms adults use when they speak
  • Begin to associate frequent words with their meanings
  • Recognize some books by their covers
  • Pretend to read books and handle them correctly
  • Produce some scribbles that resemble writing


  • Attempt to read and write
  • Recognize common signs and labels
  • Enjoy listening to stories
  • Be able to write some letters


  • Retell simple stories
  • Use descriptive language
  • Connect letters to sounds
  • Begin to write common words and phrases


  • Read and tell stories
  • Develop some reading strategies
  • Read and write on their own
  • Read a few things aloud
  • Decode unfamiliar words
  • Increase sight word knowledge
  • Use some punctuation

Of course these are all guidelines. Some children learn very early and others learn later. Children that learn to read very young don’t necessarily go on to be stronger readers then their peers, and children that learn later don’t necessarily go on to be weak readers. However, if your child is older and still isn’t reading you should probably dig deeper.

Delayed reading can be a sign of dyslexia and other learning disabilities that make language tasks more difficult. If you count on your child picking reading up eventually, she could easily get behind in other school subjects that increasingly depend on reading.

Click here to learn some strategies that can help children that are struggling or beginning to read ›