Age 5: Time to Start Learning to Read

A young child reads a book.
A young child reads a book.

Reading is a skill that gives you access to a world of information, ideas, and opportunities. It’s important for success in today’s information-driven world because it lays the groundwork for learning throughout life. Even though every kid learns in a different way, most people agree that 5 is a good age to start formal reading instruction. Why is 5 years old a good age to start teaching kids to read? What are the benefits of starting early?

Changes in the brain

Around the age of 5, a child’s mental skills change in a big way. Their brains are like sponges; they quickly absorb a lot of knowledge. During this time, their brains are more open to language, spelling, and learning to recognize words. Children can learn the basics of reading faster and better if they use their higher cognitive skills.

At age 5, most kids have the language skills they need, such as a large vocabulary, an idea of how sentences work, and a basic grasp of grammar. These things are important for learning to read because they help connect what is said and what is written.

Pay Attention to Sounds

Reading requires phonological awareness, which means understanding and changing the sounds in language. At age 5, a child’s phonological understanding starts to grow on its own. They become good at finding things that rhyme, recognizing syllables, and separating the sounds in words (this is called “phonemic awareness”). You need these skills to understand the phonetic rules that make reading and writing possible.

Teaching phonics to children at age 5 can be very helpful because their brains are more open to understanding and putting sounds together to make words. As they learn to spot patterns and become more aware of how sounds work, they feel more confident in their reading skills and make more progress.

Excited to Learn

At age 5, kids are full of questions and eager to learn. Children want to learn about the world around them, and reading gives them a new and interesting way to do so. By starting to read at this age, kids are more likely to see it as something fun and enjoyable, which will help them have a good attitude toward learning for the rest of their lives.

Also, starting reading lessons at age 5 helps kids make a strong link between reading and having fun. When kids think of reading as fun, they are more likely to read for fun and become lifelong readers, which has many benefits for their brains, emotions, and relationships.

Social and Emotional Readiness

At age 5, most kids have the social and mental skills they need to be ready for school. Most of them have been to preschool or daycare, where they learned how to get along with others, follow directions, and do things as a group. For classroom learning to go well, you need to have these skills.

Reading can also help a person improve their emotions. When kids read stories, they meet characters who face problems, feel feelings, and win. Children learn empathy, emotional intelligence, and a better knowledge of their own feelings and the feelings of others as a result of these experiences.

The Role of Parents

Starting reading lessons at age 5 gives parents a lot of time to help, which is a very important part of a child’s reading journey. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers, and their involvement can have a big effect on how well the child learns to read.

Parents can build a supportive environment that goes along with what their kids are learning in school by doing reading activities with their kids and encouraging them to read at home. Reading together also helps people get to know each other better and makes them feel good about books, which makes it a loved family exercise.

School Ready

In many countries, kids usually start kindergarten or elementary school at age 5. Teachers can better prepare children for school by teaching them to read at this age. Early readers are more likely to do well in school and have less trouble understanding new ideas and topics as they go through school.

Almost every subject taught in school, like science, history, and math, depends on being able to read. By teaching kids to read at a young age, teachers make sure they have a strong base on which to build their future academic success.


Teaching a 5-year-old to read is a magical adventure that sets the stage for a lifetime of learning and discovery. Children’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth at this age makes them open to language learning, phonological awareness, and formal teaching. It’s a time when kids naturally want to learn new things and enjoy reading because they are naturally curious and excited to learn.

By teaching kids to read early on and getting parents involved, teachers can help kids develop a love of reading and a thirst for information that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Age 5 is a great time to start reading because it opens up a world of options and gives kids the tools they need to reach their fullest potential.


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