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Is my son really reading?

My son is five years old. He appears to read books—Green Eggs & Ham, The Green Engine, Blue Mountain Mystery, Thomas the Tank Engine, anything Max and Ruby, and other books. How do I know if he's really reading or if he's just memorized the story? What age do kids start reading?

Submitted by melodyfaith_c

Most children learn to read—with comprehension—anywhere from 4 until about 7. Before that, they can recognize the letters—and even some words—but actual comprehension lags behind. This is a normal part of the learning-to-read process. Don't worry about his progress—at this point, his enthusiasm about books and reading is what counts. Of course if you're really curious, have him try to read a book he hasn't seen before, and see how he does. Try to make a game of it—no pressure, and lots of fun, is the way to boost reading and learning.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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