When to Start Teaching Reading:

Each student is different and there are many option and ideas in regards to when and how to teach reading.  Children may be ready as young as age 3 or as late as age 10.  Does it help to start earlier?  What are the benefits of starting later or earlier?

Here are some articles about teaching reading  based on readiness signs rather than a certain age.

One argument for starting to read later is that more real life experiences, such as field trips, and listening to stories and literature give context to reading. Experiencing nature, art, music, and play are appropriate to this stage of development as well.  Students who spend time on these and start reading later tend to learn more quickly, have better comprehension, and a larger vocabulary throughout their elementary years.  Students who spend their early years focusing only on phonics instead of broader experiences may learn to read earlier but have less comprehension, smaller vocabulary, and a more narrow experience to put context to reading as they get to upper elementary.   

Another important factor is movement.  Children need to move around, hang upside down, run, play, imagine, twirl, roll down hills, play catch, and so on in order to fully develop their brains, especially the vestibular system.  Trading these experiences for sitting at a desk is found to be a poor trade in the long-term.

At LIFT we believe that a child's readiness is the indicator to use in deciding when to start phonics, writing, and reading.  We use literature for all students and have games and activities to help with readiness but do not subscribe to a certain age as a starting point.  The same applies to math readiness.