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can most kids starting kindergarten read?

My son starts kindergarten in a few weeks. He has been reading for several months now (Dr. Seuss books, etc) and his grandparents are claiming this is "special". Don't get me wrong, we are thrilled that he's reading so well (and of course we think he's smart :), but I was sorta thinking most kids this age know how to read nowadays. What's your experience?


Asked by klickitykat at 11:19 AM on Aug. 6, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (55)
  • Children, when left to their own pace and when the adults around them read for their own reasons, learn to read somewhere between 2.5 and 14.

    A small proportion of those kids are under 5. A large proportion are between 5 & 9. The rest, obviously, are over 9.

    There are lots of things people think they can do to alter the numbers, but it doesn't seem to actually work that way. Kids can't be jollied into growing the parts of their brains necessary to be able to decode text earlier anymore than they can be bribed to start puberty later.

    If you think you're going to be able to keep your son's relatively precocious reading a secret from him (or anyone else) --in a bid for him to feel 'normal' --you're dreaming. He'll notice that lots of kids are not reading, and lots of kids will notice that he is. The trick is to stop him feeling super-smart (because early reading isn't a sign of intelligence, it's a sign of early reading).

    Answer by LindaClement at 3:08 PM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • In my experience with the children I've worked with, most can read simple words like "yes" or "no", and their own name.
    Some can ready quite well, much more than described above.
    And some can't read at all.

    My own kids were adopted after they began kindergarten. Their records indicate that they could not read at that point.

    Answer by justnancyb at 11:22 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • it depends on the child. and it depends on how much the parents work with the child. My oldest knew numbers letters colors shapes how to write his name could read some. There was a little girl in his class who knew none of those things.
    My youngest was always reading stuff in the store and when we were driving around. Each child is different.

    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:26 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • Most do not...lots of them learn in Kindergarten. I would suggest at least making sure he is familiar with all the letters.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 11:20 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I hope not or my daughter is going to be way behind the curve. I know my oldest daughter started to learn in kindergarten.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 11:20 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I would say no. I don't know to many kids who can read at that point. At that point they know their letters and some of the basics - sounds, hard and soft vowels, and can identify some little words, but beyond that, No.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:21 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • No, most kids learn to read in Kindergarten. Coming into Kindergarten kids should know all of their letters and you can also start working on the sounds that each letter makes, if he doesn't know that already.

    Answer by Sillieguze at 11:22 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I would say no, they actually learn in K.

    My daughter learned in K and she reads wonderful, she will be in 2nd grade this year. It is getting a good teacher, and reading there book every night, my daughter had stories and books to read every night and she did.

    My son can read he is going to first, although he is not too fond of it, he enjoys it somewhat...

    Answer by KFree907 at 11:24 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • My daughter could read before beginning kindergarten. Kindergarten was a challenge, because most of it was spent teaching things she already knew. She couldn't be moved up because the way the state law is written, all children must attend kindergarten. Thankfully, the instructor began sending her to the 2nd grade classroom for reading hour.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 11:27 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • Nope. Find ways to keep him reading and challenged at home or he'll probably be bored out of his mind.

    Answer by LostTheSlipper at 11:27 AM on Aug. 6, 2010