Many parents attempt to teach their children how to read from an early age, but one mum is sparking debate for doing just the opposite. Crystal Lowery, a comedian and writer known as Creepy Ginger Kid on social media, recently took to Facebook to explain her reasoning.
“I’m not teaching my 5-year-old how to read,” Lowery begins. “Don’t get me wrong, we read him books all the time. 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 says that her son is learning how to be a good sport – how to wait his turn in Candy Land and not gloat when he makes it to the King’s Ice Cream Castle before his sister does.
“He’s learning how to build: from blocks, to sticks, to Legos, he feels the weight of the different materials in his little sausage fingers, and examines the physical integrity of the various structures he has made.”
“He’s learning how to exercise. He chases the dog, plays tag, climbs on playground equipment, dances (well), and practices karate (poorly). He’s going to need his body for a long time, so he builds his muscles through activity instead of sitting at a desk all day.”
“He’s learning how to take care of his things. Through trial and error (oh, so much error!) he has seen what happens when he leaves a book out in the rain, or a lump of Play Doh on the table overnight. He’s learning that you can’t rough house with an 8 lb Pekingese.”
“He’s learning how to be creative. How to draw his own picture books full of monsters, and how to construct an imaginary spaceship with Amazon boxes. He’s learning about ecosystems. He looks at bugs, flowers, and thunderstorms. He sees how fauna and flora inhabit the world together interdependently.”
During this process, she says her son is learning invaluable life skills that could help propel him forward throughout his journey in life.
“He’s learning that the key to happiness is to focus on his blessings rather than complaining about what he doesn’t have. He’s learning how to apologise. To overcome his own hurt feelings and to empathise with other kids when there’s been a confrontation. He’s learning how to forgive. To understand that everyone makes mistakes, and that he can love other people despite their foibles. ”
Her son may be learning important lessons every day – but he’s not learning how to read. And though he may not show up to his first day of school with “advanced reading skills,” he’ll come to the classroom with so much more, says Lowery.
“(He’ll have) the ability to try new things without getting frustrated. The ability (to) make friends, even though friendship can be a messy business. The ability to listen to others and follow instructions. The ability to problem-solve. The ability to concentrate on a task.”
“There is so much our children learn that cannot be measured with a standardised test,” she concludes. “And though someday his hours will be filled with phonics, and penmanship, and fractions, we aren’t worried about all that today. Today he has more important things to learn.”
Lowery’s reasoning was praised by parents across the globe.”Good! I cannot STAND these ‘Teach your 3 month old to read’ things! When they leave school and look for a job, NO one is going to say, ‘Oh you read at 8 months old? You’re hired!’ It’ll be, ‘Can you read? Great!’ Shannon commented. “Let kids BE kids! They grow up so fast without us pushing them to!””A wonderful parent!” wrote Syed. “I must say you’re giving (your son) all your time and letting him explore his mind, and be more imaginative. And yes, keep him away from the digital world of tablets!”
Others suggest the boy is learning simply by listening to his parents read to him. “By reading to him you are teaching him reading and language (skills),” Tracey commented. “A child learns more in the first seven years, and as long as he’s happy thats what matters most!”
But others questioned why Lowery couldn’t teach the boy both life skills and reading.
“My mum taught me how to read at the age of three, and taught me proper human civility, good stewardship and creative play at the same time. I don’t understand why you can’t do both,” Amy commented. While Lewie questioned: “Is it really that hard to teach him to read when you are reading him the books? Not hard to give the book to him and give him the vital skill he needs.”
To which Lowery responded: “We do show words and letters. We’re just focusing on other things besides phonics right now.”
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: