Important Reading Milestones to Look Forward to From Ages 6 to 7

Here's what to expect, plus the tips that will help you raise an avid reader during these formative years.
By Zoë Kashner and Megan Zander
Feb 27, 2020



Important Reading Milestones to Look Forward to From Ages 6 to 7

Feb 27, 2020

Reading is one of the most important skills children learn in early elementary school, but every child learns how to do it in their own way and at their own pace. 

This guide will help you know if your child is on the right track, and give you helpful ideas for boosting those reading skills. To start, here’s what to expect during these ages! 

By the end of kindergarten, most children will be able to...

  • recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters in the alphabet

  • read basic single-syllable words

  • with prompting and support, identify the main topic in a text

  • retell familiar stories

  • write simple stories using pictures and words

  • read their own writing back to you (even if they have some misspellings) 

  • write a letter for every sound they hear in a word

  • place spaces between words when writing

  • use upper and lower case correctly when writing (these Write and Wipe books will help with that!)

By the end of first grade, most children will be able to...

  • recognize the distinguishing parts of a sentence, including capitalization and punctuation

  • pronounce unfamiliar but commonly spelled one-syllable words

  • read words with inflectional endings (-ing, -ly, -ed, -tion) 

By the end of second grade, most children will be able to (but not have mastery of)...

  • pronounce unfamiliar two-syllable words

  • recount stories and say what the lesson or moral is

  • identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story

  • identify the points of view of different characters

  • learning to summarize stories with important facts only, as opposed to retelling the whole story 

Don’t be concerned if these skills develop erratically, unless your child...

  • has trouble remembering new words

  • has trouble blending sounds together to say words

  • says reading is easier for their classmates

  • avoids reading silently or aloud

If your child is struggling to read at home but you haven’t been informed of an issue at school, check to see if the books they’re reading with you are at the correct reading level. “Sometimes kids resist reading at home because the books are too hard,” says Marissa Fraser, an elementary school teacher in Danbury, Conn. Dad may be eager to read the Harry Potter series with your six-year-old, but perhaps the magical crystals and wizards in the Dragon Masters series is a better place to start the family’s foray into fantasy. 

If an older sibling is reading a series they’re interested in but not ready for, see if there’s an easier option for your new reader to start with. Some characters, like Pete the Cat, have phonics sets for beginner readers to try before diving into the actual Pete the Cat books

Make Reading Social and Relaxed

The best thing you can do to raise an avid reader? Promote reading as a joyful hobby. As tempting as it may be to set a timer to make sure your child reads for a certain amount of time each day, that type of strategy may actually be hindering their progress and love of reading. “Forcing reading in that way doesn’t help,” says Fraser. “It’s best to foster the joy by giving them opportunities to read in various ways.” That might involve giving them less academic books and more texts just to read “for fun,” like comic books and graphic novels

You can make reading more fun for your child by turning it into a family activity. Read over a video call with Grandma, sit down for story time with a friendly neighbor, or read the family dog a chapter or two from the Puppy Pirate books together. 

To get started, shop the best books for ages 6 to 7 below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store

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Guides to Reading
Age 7
Age 6