Reading is a valuable skill for your child to master. Reading comprehension aids in language development and essential math and science skills. Naturally, you want to ensure your child is on a path to success. Learn some grade-by-grade reading markers to look for to ensure your child is on target.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade
At this age, the focus is on sights and sounds. Your young reader will work to strengthen foundational skills like letter recognition and learn to link letters with their specific sounds. Your child should also display signs that they understand concepts like phonemic and phonological awareness, which are vital to their ability to sound out words.
Children also learn to blend, or combine, sounds around this time, which is an equally valuable word sounding-out tool. During kindergarten, your child should master basic level sight or high frequency, words like "can" and "by". By first grade, they should move on to more complex sight words like "about" and "keep."
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (KINDERGARTEN)
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel (1ST GRADE)
2nd & 3rd Grade
Your child’s instructional focus will shift heavily toward reading comprehension; your child should know what they’re reading about. Your budding reader should be able to read a short passage and answer questions about the text they just read. As time goes on, your child should be able to discuss what they read without prompt, such as a question from you.
Your son or daughter should also start to see reading as more than an activity. Children at this level should read with the purpose of gaining more information. Your child should also be comfortable with the idea of reading a chapter book.
The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca (2nd GRADE)
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (3rd GRADE)
4th & 5th Grade
By the 4th and 5th grade levels, your child should have superior decoding skills. Decoding is the ability to recognize sound patterns in order to pronounce words correctly. For example, your child should be able to see the word "challenge" and spot sound patterns like "ch," "le," and "ge" for cues to sound out the entire word.
Your child should also know how to pinpoint root words to help sound out new compound words. Around this time, you should even recognize marked improvement in their reading fluency. Your child should read passages at or below their grade level quickly, and with accuracy. A good gauge of your son’s or daughter’s progress is also their ability to tackle more challenging passages.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (4th GRADE)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (5TH GRADE)
6th & 7th Grade
Your child is a more experienced reader by this point and should display a mastery of reading comprehension. Your mature reader should know how to explore their readings beyond what’s printed on the page. For instance, your child should know how to interpret the information they read. Then, use the information as evidence, such as for the purpose of research, or to form discussion points for more in-depth conversations.
A good measure is also your child’s ability to synthesize the information they read. For example, your child should be able to read different topic-specific passages and understand how to combine the information within them to form a single point.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (6th GRADE)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (7th GRADE)
Reading is a buildable skill. If your child is not showing signs of proficiency at their current grade level, they may face future challenges. Regularly track their progress, for this reason. However, should your child show signs of advanced skills, use these benchmarks to challenge them and further develop their reading skills.