Learn how to check your child’s level of engagement with reading

Learn how to check your child’s level of engagement with reading

Reading seems like quite an intuitive skill, but it does take a long time to learn. Of course, it takes just a few weeks to train your kids to make words from letters, but it will be years and years before their reading may be called fluent. Use our guide to check your child’s level of engagement with reading.

Reading together (3-4 years old)

The first level is a kind of preparation for reading. At this stage, it’s best to focus on illustrated books and reading out loud. The goal is for the book to make a powerful impression, to create a link between reading books and having fun.

  • Books are their toys. A kid isn’t interested in the letters and the text. Your child is attracted to vivid pictures and familiar characters.
  • Your child likes it when you read to them, but doesn’t see a direct connection between the text and the picture. Children don’t understand that the story they are listening to consists of words from the pages of the book.
  • They can’t find a single word in the book (even the word “MOM”).

Pre-reader (4-6 years old)

This is the period when kids start to read on their own. It’s still difficult for them to understand the content of the text on the first try. All of their efforts are spent on reading the sentence correctly. It’s crucially important to encourage children at this stage because they don’t particularly enjoy reading. Try to explain to them that the situation will change one day. They just need to practice more.

  • It’s difficult for them to answer questions about the content of the text.
  • The key interest is still pictures.
  • A kid reads without expression, doesn’t pause, ignores stops, commas, and other punctuation marks.
  • If a child meets an unfamiliar word in the text, they read the beginning and ignore the rest of the word.
  • Your kid knows the names of the books at home.

Early reader (6-8 years old)

It’s very important to choose the right book for your child at this stage. Yes, your kid is reading quite well and even likes books. However, don’t try to force them to read classic adult books. It would be better if your child reads a short story on their own.

  • Pictures in the book are not so important to them.
  • They control their pitch, are expressive readers.
  • They can answer questions about the text.
  • A child understands the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context.
  • A kid enjoys reading simple books.

Independent reader (8+ years old)

A child doesn’t need your help anymore. Even if they see an unfamiliar word in the text, they search for it online. They choose books by themselves and understand which genres of literature they like.


  • The presence of pictures in the book doesn’t matter to them. The book should be interesting.
  • They read quickly and without mistakes.
  • A kid reads expressively and with a good sense of rhythm.
  • They read several chapters in a row.
  • A child has a complete understanding of what is written.
  • They share what they thought of the story.
  • They can read challenging educational texts.

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Nicola Read2Play app is an appropriate solution to help kids to progress. No tears, whims and coercion – we motivate through the game!