Can Your First Grader Read?

It's a question moms who answer "no" to sort of dread. By first grade, there is definitely pressure--both perceived and real--on parents whose kids aren't reading. When your child isn't reading and the other kids around him are, it's just impossible to ignore. It pays to remember that children in the first grade typically read at many different levels.


When an anonymous mom started getting concerned about her 6-year-old stepdaughter who couldn't read her 2-year-old's baby books, she asked other moms what they thought might help. What ChattyWifePlus2 said was great:

"She should read more than one book everyday. She should also be read to each day. Try having her tell you stories and writing them down for her. Then read them to her and allow her to reread from her story journal. She will be familiar with the content and can concentrate on the written words. Try using poems and songs too. Using poetry and songs can really help children become fluent readers. Games that require reading are also useful at that age. Make reading a daily activity and make it fun!" has some other wonderful suggestions for helping first graders become readers. They also provide a reading objectives list to use to determine if your first grader is where he should be by the end of the school year, for example:

  • Name and recognize all the letters of the alphabet in order
  • Identify beginning, middle and ending sounds
  • Read and retell familiar stories
  • Read orally with reasonable fluency

By the end of first grade, yes, every child should have some basic reading skills. If yours doesn't, don't give up. Instead, be sure he has had all his medical exams (including eyesight and screening for learning disabilities), and continue to support his reading skills development by constantly reading to him and surrounding him with books, books, books!

Is your first grader reading? If not, how are you addressing it?

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