Both of mine are in different stages of learning to read. DS is almost 7, and in first grade, and can read those "early reader" books with help on some words. He also can print letters and likes to write messages (sometimes I need his help decoding what he wrote as he is still working on spelling
). DD is 4, and loves to "read" books that she has memorized or mostly memorized, or just make up words to go with the pictures, plus being read to. She knows most of her letters, and is starting to point them out in books, and can spell STOP, her name and her brother's name. Still working on letter sounds (they do letter of the week in preschool and she enjoys that), and she will ask me what does xxx word start with, and I tell her. I am pretty well following her lead by reading to her whenever she asks (and every night before bed too), letting her write her name or draw or whatever she wants to do on paper or her whiteboard, pointing out beginning sounds of words and what letter they start with (esp. letter of the week), and I am amazed at what she seems to be picking up. I think too, for her, it helps having a big brother who is learning a lot, and she wants to be like him.