Starting Reading Early

Michelle Hancey is with the reading program See ABC’s and shares some research that points towards teaching reading earlier.


Traditionally parents have sent their children to school to learn how to read. In the 80’s reading really didn’t start until the first grade. Currently a lot of reading begins in Kindergarten. Research, however, suggests more and more that reading should begin even earlier while at home. In fact the following statement summarizes findings from a longitudinal study of children reading early. “Children who were taught to read at age three or four read better than children who were taught at age five or six. Those taught at age seven or eight were farther behind. This was true even when comparing children of the same IQ and same socio-economic status.” This research is not new, but often the education system can be slow to adapt, reinforcing the need for parents to be involved with their child’s reading skills early and at home.

Parents should cultivate a love for reading in their young children. As babies and young toddlers, children should listen to and read books with their parents. During the pre-school years motivating activities are encouraged to help children begin the early reading process by developing phonemic awareness. Learning to read during this natural window of opportunity should be done in a fun and motivating way. Look for a program using imagination and creativity along with motivating aspects to the program, like a rewards system.

Other engaging aspects of an early reading program should be multiple sensory learning methods. Multiple sensory techniques use the auditory, visual, and tactile (hands on) senses to make learning more meaningful to a child. By combining multi-sensory and creative learning with imagination a child’s attention is kept, resulting in a fun successful learning environment.


For more information on how young children can learn using imagination and creativity, visit or call 877-496-8140. See abc’s also has a kart in the Fashion Place Mall.


Durkin, D. (1966). Children who read early: Two longitudinal studies. New York: Teachers College Press.
Durkin, D. (1974-1975). A six year study of children who learned to read in school at the age of four. Reading Research Quarterly, 1, 9-61.

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