Reading is a gift that every person should have the privilege of receiving.
Reading can open up your mind to a world of information you may never have known existed.
Most people learn to read when they are children, but the age you learn to read will significantly impact the time it takes.
There are many methods to learn how to read, and all can be effective depending on what type of learner you are.
Here is some very helpful information if you are learning or teaching someone to read.
How Long Does it Take to Learn to Read?
It takes about five months to learn how to read.
During those five months, a person would need to work on their reading skills for a period of time every single day.
Depending on the rate at which the person learns, they may spend an hour working on their reading, or they may spend two or three hours.
When children are taught to read very young, it may seem as though it takes them years to learn how to read.
The reason it seems like it is taking so long is that they probably started before the age they could comprehend and accept the necessary reading skills.
For children who are a little bit older, it usually only takes the first few months of school for a child to pick up on reading.
For adults who never learned how to read, the journey to becoming literate can take less than five months.
If quite a bit of time is dedicated and the proper methods involving phonics are implemented, an adult can learn to read very quickly.
What Age Is the Right Age to Learn to Read?
Most people assume the proper age to learn to read is five years old.
For some kids, this is actually a bit young.
It has been proven that a child will learn to read when they are truly ready to read.
Sometimes this is age four, and sometimes it is age seven.
If a child is ready to learn to read, it will take them weeks to figure it out and start putting words together.
If they are not quite ready, the process could take years, and it can be extremely frustrating.
There are many signs which indicate reading readiness, and these are important to look out for.
When children start asking what printed words say, when they start showing an interest in reading, when they start pretending to read, and they can put a story together using pictures, these are all signs they are ready to learn.
As a parent or an educator, it pays to be patient and wait until children are showing signs that they are ready to learn to read.
These signs will make the process of learning to read much smoother and easier.
Is it Better to Use Sight Words or Phonics to Learn to Read?
There are two main strategies when it comes to teaching children how to learn to read.
Some people believe it is best to teach children sight words, which is similar to memorization.
With sight words, children will learn how to read words like “the”, “is”, “it”, “too”, “when”, and hundreds of others.
When they know the majority of these words, they can do a very good job of piecing text together.
The other concept that needs to be mastered is phonics.
Phonics are the way words are sounded out.
Each letter has a sound, and there are rules and regulations about how these words are sounded out.
When you can put sounds together to form a word, you are very close to being able to read.
The best way to learn to read is to use a combination of sight words and phonics.
A little bit of memorization combined with the ability to sound out and blend words is truly the best method for reading.
Phonics can be very tricky for young children, and sometimes it takes them a long time to master the concept.
As soon as a child starts to master the sounds within each word, then they start finding out about the outliers and the rules that don’t apply.
This gets very frustrating and can take some time to set in.
More and more practice is what truly helps phonics sink in.
This is why learning to read can take weeks, months, or even years.
Much of it depends on the time that is put in and the child’s progress on a daily and weekly basis.
Tips for Learning to Read
The process of learning to read can seem like a daunting one, but when done properly, it does not have to be.
There are a few things you can do to make the process of learning to read much easier.
For starters, it is best to find text that is interesting and relevant to the person learning how to read.
Giving a child a book about a subject they are not interested in is a bad idea.
They will quickly get frustrated, close the book, and decide that reading is not a project they want to take on at the moment.
If a child is interested in the books they are reading, they will be motivated to learn what each page says.
They will want to get to the next page to see what happens and learn more.
Choosing interesting texts is one of the key factors to help anyone learn how to read.
Another major consideration is practice.
If you are setting aside twenty minutes a day to work on phonics or sight words, that is great, but it needs to be applied in books.
In order to learn how to read proficiently, it takes quite a bit of practice.
Children especially should be exposed to print at all times of the day.
Label your child’s room so they can learn what certain words say and start associating them with the image.
Let them look at magazines and newspapers and see if they can recognize any words.
If you go for a walk around the block, have them read street signs or building signs.
These are all kinds of ways to practice reading while not having to sit down and methodically work on phonics.
Our last tip involves even more reading, but this time it refers to listening.
When a person is learning to read, they should listen to books as often as possible.
The brain is a powerful tool, and while you are listening to stories and following along, your brain is making connections.
Those connections can then be applied the next time you are looking at a text.
It has been proven that children who were read to as early as the newborn stage become stronger readers, and they learn to read much faster.
As you can see, the time it takes to learn to read will vary greatly depending on your age and the amount of time you are putting in.
For people who are motivated, both young and old, the process can be quite fast.NEXT: How Long Does It Take To Become An Artist? (What To Know)