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Academic Milestones and When we Should Reach Them

Academic Milestones and When we Should Reach Them

Knowing when children should reach their academic milestones can be difficult to navigate, particularly as many parents and teachers will give you advice on milestones based on their own observations. Below we have broken down academic milestones that you can look out for in your child.

At the age of 6 months, a child should be:

                                • Making many different sounds, including laughing, gurgling and cooing
                                • Reacting to tone of voice, especially if loud or angry
                                • Turning in the direction of new sounds, such as toys that rattle and squeak or a song being sung
                                • Babbling to get attention, using sounds that include p, b and in.
                                • Smiling when spoken to
                                • Indicating a need for something through sound or gesture

At 8 months, a child should be:

                                • Responding to his or her name
                                • Saying at least four or more different, distinct sounds
                                • Using syllables such as da, ba, or ka
                                • Listening to his or her own voice and others’ voices
                                • Trying to imitate some sounds
                                • Responding to the word ‘no’
                                • Participating in games such as ‘peekaboo’

 At 10 months, a child should be:

                                • Making utterances that sound like mama or dada, but not necessarily labelled to the person
                                • Making non-crying sounds to attract attention, such as squealing or raising the voice
                                • Connecting syllables that sound like real speech, including both long and short groups of sounds
                                • Repeating certain syllables or sequences of sounds over and over

At one year, a child should be:

                                • Recognising their name and turning to look when they hear their name
                                • Saying ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and two or three additional words
                                • Imitating familiar words and animal sounds
                                • Understanding simple commands and instructions, such as ‘come here’
                                • Able to wave and understand ‘bye-bye’
                                • Able to make appropriate eye contact and show affection for familiar people
                                • Responding to sounds such as the doorbell ringing or the dog barking
                                • Understanding that words are symbols for objects
                                • Understanding the meaning of the word ‘no’, even if they don’t agree

At eighteen months, a child should be:

                                • Using at least five to ten words, including names of people and familiar things
                                • Using some words to express wants or needs, such as ‘more’
                                • Pointing and gesturing to a desired object
                                • Starting to combine two words, such as ‘all gone’
                                • Pointing to familiar body parts
                                • Recognising pictures of familiar things and people
                                • Getting familiar objects upon request, even if in another room
                                • Getting more accurate at imitating sounds and words
                                • Responding when his or her name is called
                                • Humming or singing simple tunes
                                • Listening and responding to quiet speech

At age two, a child should:

                                • Use two-to three- word ‘sentences’, such as ‘no want’ and ‘no go’
                                • Have a vocabulary of approximately 200 to 300 words and use about 150 regularly
                                • Show affection for familiar people
                                • Express simple desires or needs for familiar things or actions through speaking rather than pointing
                                • Refer to self by name rather than ‘me’ or ‘I’.
                                • Ask ‘why’ questions, such as ‘what that?’ or ‘where kitty?’
                                • Understand simple questions and commands
                                • Name familiar pictures

At two and a half years, a child should:

                                • Know the names of family members and others
                                • Have a 400-word vocabulary and be able to name familiar objects and pictures
                                • Say his or her first name and hold up fingers to show his or her age
                                • Say ‘no’ though I may mean ‘yes’
                                • Refer to self as ‘me’ rather than by name
                                • Answer ‘where’ questions
                                • Use short sentences frequently, such as ‘me do it’
                                • Use past tense and plurals although not always correctly
                                • Be talking to other children and adults
                                • Know how to match at least three colours
                                • Know the difference between big and little

At age three years, a child should:

                                • Speak and be understood by strangers, even though many articulation errors may persist
                                • Have a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words
                                • Name at least one colour and be able to match all primary colours
                                • Know concepts such as night and day, boy and girl, big and little, in and out
                                • Follow two-step requests, such as ‘get the toy and put it in the box’
                                • Sing familiar songs
                                • Talk a lot (to self and others)

At age four, a child should:

                                • Have a vocabulary of 1,500 words
                                • Use four-to-five-word sentences
                                • Begin to use more complex sentences
                                • Use plurals, contractions and past tense
                                • Ask many questions, including ‘why?’
                                • Understand simple ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ questions
                                • Follow commands and directions, even if the target object is not present
                                • Identify some basic shapes, such as circle and square. Identify primary colours
                                • Talk about concepts in the abstract and imaginary conditions, such as ‘I hope Santa brings me a scooter.’
                                • Begin to copy patterns, such as lines and circles on a page
                                • Pay attention to short story and may be able to answer questions about it
                                • Hear and understand most of what is said at home and in preschool
                                • Relate incidents that happened in school or at home

At age five, a child should:

                                • Have a 2000 word vocabulary
                                • Speak in five-to-six-word sentences
                                • Use different types of sentences, including complex ones that describe cause and effect or temporal relations, such as ‘I’ll get in trouble if I hit Jimmy’ or ‘I can have a cookie after I eat my lunch.’
                                • Use past, present and future tenses
                                • Count to 10, including counting objects
                                • Understand what objects are used for and made of
                                • Know spatial relationships, such as behind, far, near, and on top-of
                                • Comprehend the concept of opposites, such as hard/soft, long/short
                                • Ask questions for the purpose of gaining new information
                                • Know right and left on self, but not necessarily on others
                                • Express feelings, dreams, wishes, and other abstract thoughts
                                • Copy basic capital letters when shown an example
                                • Draw rudimentary pictures
                                • Perhaps be able to write his/her name
                                • Although some children may be able to spell or read by age five, these skills are not the norm