Little kids need to know a lot of things before they start Kindergarten. How to write their name, how to sit still, how to follow directions…it can be very overwhelming. That’s why when one mom announced that she wasn’t going to teach her five-year-old how to read, she received a strong reaction from her fellow parents.
Crystal Lowery, a writer and comedian, recently posted on Facebook that she’s not going to spend the year before her son starts school teaching him how to read.
It sounds like a controversial statement, but Lowery has good reasons behind the declaration.
“Don’t get me wrong, we read him books all the time,” she wrote. “We’ve imagined ourselves in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and we’re 170 pages into Harry Potter’s Chamber of Secrets. We’re teaching him to enjoy stories, to get lost in characters.”
“But we’re not teaching him how to read. Not just yet. He’s too busy learning other things.”
Lowery’s son, she explained, is learning other, more age-appropriate things. He’s learning how to share, be a good sport, be creative, and exercise. He’s learning empathy, and how to forgive, and how to take care of his things. But as Lowery repeatedly states, he is not learning how to read.
As anyone who’s had a Kindergartener knows, it’s much different than when we were kids. Art projects and pretend play are slowly being replaced by math, reading, and writing. And while these are important skills and subjects for kids, there is a movement to make Kindergarten more play-based.
Lowery received a strong, positive reaction from her Facebook friends.
“From a teacher AND a mom…super job and so beautifully written!”
I'm not teaching my 5-year-old how to read.Don't get me wrong, we read him books all the time. We've imagined…
“I love this. The pressure that’s put on our tiny little humans is unreal. Can’t a 5 year old be a 5 year old?! They have a good 16+ years in school, I’m not trying to rush through these sweet tender years. I also think it’s more important to have a kind, well behaved child than one that can ‘read this or do that!'”
“I wish all my Pre-K parents would take this approach.”
As Lowery writes in her post, “There is so much our children learn that cannot be measured with a standardized test. And though someday his hours will be filled with phonics, and penmanship, and fractions, we aren’t worried about all that today.”
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(Image: Facebook / Crystal Lowery – Comedian)