Your 5-year-old now
By age 5, many kids recognize most uppercase and lowercase letters. These are typically taught in kindergarten. They also know that letters represent sounds and can begin to match the two ideas. This is called phonemic awareness, an essential reading skill.
That's why you may notice your child isolating sounds. He may realize that puppy starts with a p sound and can think of other words that start with the letter P. He may take the next logical step and begin sounding out words, breaking down "cat" into c, a, and t.
At this point, he may even be able to read a few words by sight, like "the" or "and." If he asks you to spell a word for him, go ahead. He may even try to sound out and write words on his own. These invented spellings often leave out vowels. Vowel sounds are the hardest to master because they vary so much.
Keep playing with language, and make it fun. The more your child manipulates sounds within words, the more easily reading will come. Play lots of word games. Make up rhyming words. Find objects around the house that start with the same letter. Ask him what "mom" would sound like if you left off the first m sound.
Your life now
Help is on the way! Your child is able to handle small chores around the house. So it's a great time to assign a few if you haven't yet. He can help set the table, rake leaves with a child-sized rake, sort socks, or fill the dog's water bowl. Five-year-olds enjoy being helpers most of the time. But being able to do a task doesn't mean he'll remember to do it or do it willingly every time (especially once the novelty wears off). Doing chores will teach responsibility and build confidence. It also helps him feel like he's part of the "team" that is your family.
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