Perhaps your child already knows the alphabet and loves read-aloud time—but how can you tell if your child is ready to begin formal reading instruction? Fill out the checklist below and evaluate your child’s reading readiness!
[ ] Your child can recite the alphabet song.
[ ] Your child recognizes the capital letters. If you ask your child to point to an m, he can do it.
[ ] Your child recognizes the lowercase letters.
[ ] Your child knows the proper way to hold a book.
[ ] Your child understands that books are read from cover to back.
[ ] Your child understands that sentences are read from left to right.
[ ] Your child knows that words on the page can be read.
[ ] Your child is able to retell a familiar story in his own words.
[ ] Your child can answer simple questions about a story.
[ ] Your child asks questions (Why did the elephant laugh?) during read-alouds.
[ ] Your child can rhyme. If you say bat, your child can come up with a rhyming word like hat.
[ ] Your child understands word boundaries. If you say the sentence Don’t let the cat out, your child is able to separate the sentence into five individual words.
[ ] Your child can clap syllables. If you say dog, your child knows to clap once. If you say umbrella, your child knows to clap three times.
[ ] Your child can blend sounds to make a word. If you say the sounds sh…eep, your child responds with the word sheep.
[ ] Your child can identify the beginning sound in a word. If you ask your child to say the first sound in pig, your child is able to respond with the sound /p/.
[ ] Your child can identify the ending sound in a word. If you ask your child to say the last sound in the word jam, your child is able to respond with the sound /m/.
Use your intuition to understand if your child is motivated to begin reading. The following are all signs that your child is motivated to read and has achieved the understanding that reading is fun.
[ ] Does your child enjoy being read to, at least for short periods of time?
[ ] Does your child pretend to read or write?
[ ] Does your child frequently request read-aloud time and show a general enthusiasm for books?
If all or most of the boxes are checked, then your child is ready to learn to read! If there are some missing checkmarks, then you’ve identified the areas that you should work on with your child. It is surprisingly easy to fill in these gaps in an engaging way with the All About Reading Pre-reading program, our proven program that promotes the development of print awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, listening comprehension, and motivation to read—collectively known as the Big Five Skills. And since the program is so much fun for kids, they won’t even know they are learning!