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What happens if my four year old isn’t interested in books?

My child is 4 years old and doesn't seem very interested in books. Does that mean he won't be a good reader? Should I have him assessed?

Your son is too young to be assessed with a reading assessment. He is also too young for anyone to determine if he will be a good reader. (Some professionals disagree with me but I have seen too many young children forced into reading too young. A wonderful and wise speech pathologist that I used to work with said that a child who is ready to begin learning to read will show an interest in letters and sounds. "Don't ask the child to say the sound or to repeat after you. Say the sounds yourself and when the child is ready, he or she will start repeating after you.") However, a child with an aversion to books, especially the child who doesn't like being read to may have some reading and or learning difficulties in the future, or not. At four years old, it's just too early to tell. Reading to your child is your best bet for now. Reading aloud to your children is important on many levels. The conversations we have in our every day lives are just not as sophisticated as the language used in some books. Reading aloud to your child may by the only way for your child to be exposed to more advanced language. In addition, by your own enjoyment of reading you are modeling good reading habits for your child. You should monitor your son for the next year and pay close attention to how well he learns his letters and sounds in Kindergarten. Chances are, he will be fine.

Tags: early reading, emergent literacy, struggling reader

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