Assessing Reading Skills

Determine where your early reader is in her language and reading skills.



The best way to assess your child's reading skills at age 3 is to take note of the whole range of his language and literacy abilities. To improve reading skills, and achieve success in learning to read, children must have strong oral-language skills, including a wide and deep listening and speaking vocabulary. She must have plenty of exposure to books, both hearing them read aloud and exploring them on her own. And finally he needs to have plenty of opportunities to write and draw, using a variety of pencils, crayons, chalk, and kinds of paper.

Here is a short list of some language and reading skills that are appropriate for preschool — when children reach 4 years of age. There is no linear approach to reach these reading skills, and your child will likely meet different milestones at different times, yet still achieve the reading skills needed in the kindergarten and 1st-grade years.

Reading skills by age 4:

  • Recognize 10 or more letters of the alphabet
  • Know some sounds that letters make
  • Find the front cover of a book and leaf through the pages
  • Retell a story by looking at the pictures
  • Recognize one's own name in print
  • Recite favorite nursery rhymes
  • Predict what will happen next in a story
  • Read or recognize print around them in the environment, such as a stop sign
  • Make scribbles that resemble letters
  • Make actual letters, such as those in one's name

Use this as a beginning guideline to help your child learn and maintain strong reading skills.

Alphabet Recognition
Listening and Speaking
Milestones & Expectations
Age 4
Age 3
Reading Assessment
Early Reading
Communication and Language Development