Most children learn to read by age 7. In spite of this precedent, the skills learned that make for a successful reader should be taught starting as early as birth and can be accomplished by such simple tasks as reading to the child.
While it is common for parents to strive to meet the stages experts list to be learned by certain ages, children develop and learn at different stages and should never be compared. Late bloomers can turn into talented readers who become hooked on the written word. However, the encouragement of children's education should start early. By reading to children and speaking with them directly, children learn valuable communication skills that can be of great value when begin learning to read. Engage children in conversation, ask questions and offer names of objects and activities. Children who see adults reading are more likely to entertain a desire to learn to read than those subject to endless hours of television and Internet usage.