Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

When Should Kids Learn to Read, Write, and Do Math?

Your child starting to read is just one of many educational milestones to watch for as a parent

When kids learn math: Milestones that matter continued...

Ages 6-10: learning math

Kids learn to:

  • count and understand numbers
  • understand quantities such as how many items are in a set of objects
  • identify basic shapes like squares and triangles by first grade
  • tell time and understand the value of different denominations of money by second grade
  • understand the place-value structure in our "base 10" numbering system
  • compare and represent whole numbers and decimals
  • understand fractions and do word problems by fourth grade

Kids generally learn basic math skills on this timeline:

  • first grade: kids learn to add and subtract with single digits
  • second grade: kids learn to add and subtract with double digits
  • third and fourth grades: kids learn to multiply and divide

Ages 11-13: learning math

Kids learn to:

  • perform more complex math problems with multiple steps
  • work with ease with fractions, decimals and percents
  • do beginning algebra and geometry
  • fully understand concepts of weights, measures, and percentages

When kids don't learn: Seek help

How can you know if your child needs extra help? Often a child who's struggling will show signs of unhappiness, says Horowitz, giving you a social or emotional barometer that clues you into their frustration. "That's when you definitely jump into motion."

To find out if there's really a problem, work with your child and gather data, says Horowitz. "If you're concerned about whether your child is reading or spelling at the level he should - with the accuracy and precision he should - investigate. Read with your child and see. Write with your child and see. Does it take three times longer? Then talk with your child's teacher about it."

Graham agrees. But base your assessment of writing on at least three compositions, he says, since a child who's struggling may have missed key instructions the first time around.

Some kids simply have minor lags in learning. But even when parents suspect a learning disability, they tend to wait almost a year before seeking help, often to avoid stigmatizing their child. But early intervention can help. Research shows that the best time to help a child with reading challenges, for example, is in the first two years of school.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd