Mom says she’s not teaching her 5-year-old to read

crystal lowery facebook

Crystal Lowery and her son/Photo from her Facebook

From Yahoo: Many parents attempt to teach their children how to read from an early age, but one mom 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 apologize. To overcome his own hurt feelings and to empathize 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 kindergarten 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 standardized 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 mom 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.”


28 responses to “Mom says she’s not teaching her 5-year-old to read

  1. “And though someday his hours will be filled with phonics, and penmanship, and fractions,…..”

    Not if you’re sending him to public school, it won’t.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I certainly cannot find fault in her logic. Years ago, children did not learn to read until 1st Grade. Now everyone is in such a rush to produce a “brilliant child” that they are pushing the kids unmercifully to perform.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I was a little afraid to look at the comments, but I was pleasantly surprised. While I don’t know why this woman would put herself and her child out there, inviting the public’s scorn, we eventually chose a similar style of education for our son. He was an early reader, but he was never “taught” to read. We just played with him. He was never “taught” to walk, swim, speak, or use the potty, and yet he does all those things, quite well.

    Humans learn, until they’re taught not to. And so much of our learning eventually connects: my son’s early love of strawberry cultivation has helped tremendously with his current passion for investing (he is an excellent researcher, and knows how to find info he’s looking for). Who’d have guessed?

    As long as parents are engaged and motivated to help their children become the best “them” they can be, they can homeschool. It was the best decision we ever made.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I wondered why she put her decision out in public, too. Yet in today’s world, everyone can get 15 minutes of fame by publicly publishing their opinion.

      I just wondered why she’s teaching everything else and can’t throw in a few reading lessons. I certainly wouldn’t rely on gubermint edumacajion today to teach my child everything. Just my opinion…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know that YOU are, I’m a little worried about others. A lot of people just turn their rug rats loose in the mall and let them graze. That’s a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a Facebook storm-in-a-teacup.
    Is there anyone on Earth today who doesn’t have an opinion — about EVERYTHING?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yep, more “dig me”. I hope she follows through with a traditional education, whether at home or elsewhere. Everyone should read the classics and develop a love of learning that compels them to read more. If you have good reading skills you can learn anything else. Without them, you’re doomed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “If you have good reading skills you can learn anything else. Without them, you’re doomed.”
        Bingo. Teach a child to fish… You can train a pet or domesticated animal to perform tricks and even valuable skills, or just to have fun. The thing that sets Homo Sapiens apart is our ability to think, reason, and communicate, the basis of all of which is READING.
        I wouldn’t say push it on the boy like beating a rented mule, but also don’t just “refuse” to teach him to read gradually, the way most kids learn. Teach him to enjoy reading (not just being read to), and you’ve taught him to enjoy learning and increasing his intelligence (and value to society). And to enjoy being alone with his thoughts occasionally… book in hand.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Learning to READ doesn’t have any bearing of any of the other ” Learning” things she is teaching her child. If she does teach her child to read, BEFORE he enters school, he will be ahead and if he is going to have any learning to reading problems she can work to correct them before it shown up at school and his fellow students make fun of him in front of the rest of the class. My son was reading before he was “3” years old. From any book you gave him. Today he is still an AVID reader and he in now 40 years old and still loves to read. Things he picked up because of his love of reading had propelled him upwards in his chosen profession. Her excuse for not teaching her child to read is her choice, but her reasoning for it is lame! BTW, my son learned all the other thing also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Children’s brains don’t work like that. Once the neural pathways are set, he’ll be unable to learn to read at all, ever, unless someone intervenes early.

    Child protective services take away children from their parents when their kid is named Adolph, but not after this?

    Burn down CPS, and give its duty back to the church!


  7. I can see her point. She is letting her son be a child first. Letting things come naturally. As long as reading is in his future, I see no problem. I see the rush to have little kids know everything before school and they meltdown from the pressure.
    Kids should be kids and bring back more playgrounds and fresh air. Add in art and music and let the kids have more choices for their interests.

    Liked by 2 people

    Does the poor child know the difference between the meanings of the letters, “L”, “G”. “B”. “T”, and “Q”??? OMG … and the fact that other letters may be used tomorrow, or the next day, or next week or month, to mean whatever some mentally deraned, freak of nature wants it to me on that particular day.
    OMG!! The child hasn’t been instructed in this very important information???
    Holy shyte. Get him to the “re-edumacation” camp. QUICK!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t learn to read until the first grade. I have said that after I learned to read, school was pretty much not needed for me, as I read everything I could get my hands on, from the dictionary to encyclopedias. I have an above average IQ, which was not harmed by learning to read late, according to today’s rules. About the only two things school actually did for me after I learned to read was I learned to play music, and I got to play sports, which I would have had a hard time staying motivated in school without. I was bored with school subjects, I learned more on my own. But I loved school due to the other things I learned from my time there. Now days, I can’t recommend public school if someone has a choice. It has gotten just that bad. My own little small town MI high school of 400 students has gotten the liberal disease, and I am sad to see it. Some of the teachers are kids of my former teachers or friends. I don’t know where they got so leftist in our small town. But you would think that it was Berkley CA. Disgusting.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s how it works. The funding is tied to communist agendas. Those who push communist agendas get “appointed” to school boards, etc.. In no time, presto, communist cell.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Not every kid will want to read by the time they are 5. I read when I was 3.5 but my mom said that she never really tried to teach us… My twin and I just picked it up. My daughter started to learn sounds 5 but really took off at 6 and now at 7 she’s quite good. Every kid is different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My kindergarten experience was largely learning to share our blocks and how to hang my coat in the cloak room. I had WONDERFUL teachers in elementary school. My first and second grade teacher was English and taught us the “proper” spelling of English. She allowed the “American” version but only with the understanding that it was to be tolerated.

      I met no corollaries for my children when they went to School.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Maybe an uncle or aunt will teach him….mom has no clue


  12. My pre-school days were during the mid-1950’s, and back then no one we knew actually taught their children to read. People naturally took the view that, that was what school was for–after all, their taxes were paying for it, and attending school was mandatory. And, since there were no pre-schools around[before Romper Room with “Miss Nancy” began on tv, along with “Ding Dong School”], we had free reign until age 5, to play, learn as we played, listen to stories read to us, which triggered our early childhood imaginations, which led to even more productive make-believe play.

    We learned how to get along with other children during that time as we interacted with them. In kindergarten, we weren’t formally taught how to read, either–instead, we were read stories, we sang songs, and painted with water colors, and got messy in finger paints, played with brightly colored clay, played ‘grocery store’, which was able to teach us a tinsee bit about retail, and mercantile business in the ‘real world’, which we really were not an official part of yet.

    I understand that, these days, the ‘academics’ believe that the earlier a child is taught everything under the sun, beginning at age 2, or earlier, the better. They think that, unless a child’s brain is put through formal learning exercises, such as how to read and even write, as soon as possible before age 5, the better they’ll become at reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. But, unless they can back up their ideas/theories on that with some actual data they can produce to prove they’re right about it, I say let the parents choose how and when their pre-school children learn to do such things, including how to tie their shoes[a real bugaboo of mine–I used to tie them behind my shoes in ‘good little knotzies’–the Kindergarten teachers ‘were not amused’ when my shoes kept falling off! 🙂 ].

    I never had an opinion on subjects like this one until I read an article that talked about how children who are pushed to learn, learn, learn, on a formal type level, beginning way before age 5, were showing signs of academic ‘burn-out’ by the time they reached their teens. It claimed too-early academic learning was proving to be more detrimental than helpful to our children.

    I was surprised, but not too surprised, when I realized that learning can be very hard work, especially if a child isn’t so ‘gifted’ in some areas that they are having to learn–such as reading–so, teaching tiny children how to read is literally putting them to work. They have their entire lives after age 5 to work their brains out, so why make them have to work practically before they’ve learned how to walk, or even dress themselves?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I must be near your age, Christine. In my area of small town South, Kindergartens were held in churches. My brother, who is two years younger, attended our church Kindergarten, but it hadn’t yet started when I was eligible. So, I entered 1st grade with no preparation except for what my parents had taught me at home, and reading wasn’t one of them. When I was an adult, I asked my mother why she didn’t start teaching me to read at home since I didn’t get to go to Kindergarten……..and, she stated she didn’t think it was necessary since I would learn how in the 1st grade. I remember saying to her, “Great, you sent me to the 1st grade as a little “dumbo”. In reality, at that time, most kids weren’t going to Kindergarten yet.

      As Christine said so well, Kindergarten did not teach reading back then anyway. Learning to sight read was very easy and fun for me. I have vivid memories of children in the reading circles in my 1st grade class who were having some difficulty learning to read. In my child’s mind at the time, I couldn’t understand how others could be having such a hard time.

      In that era, so many of us were fortunate to have had great teachers who were smart, capable, moral and compassionate toward we little ones.

      Liked by 2 people

      • greenworxx . . . What a lovely explanation of early childhood school experience for back then. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As I recall, nobody expected kids to learn to read before the first grade. My house was full of books and our neighbor was a county librarian. She was a wonderful lady who brought me books every day when I was growing up.

        My mother was a music and dance teacher and we had a dance studio at home. If I became interested in pictures in the encyclopedia or something she would teach me the words to the articles. She also taught me to read music and play along on our piano.

        All in all I think it was a very fine childhood.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Probably because she is a poor reader herself.


  14. what about faith, standing up for himself, and critical thinking (questioning)?…sounds like she’s raising a pansy who will do nothing but apologize for being white when he grows up…
    learning to read is a skill…kids can have fun while learning to read (there are even videos that will teach kids to read if the parent doesn’t want to do it alone).
    once he starts public school, the indoctrination begins…
    I’ve never known a kid who needed to be taught how to exercise or be creative, however, there have been plenty of kids who graduated from school never knowing how to think for themselves, read, or even do basic math.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Not only is liberalism a mental disorder, Liberalism is a SIN.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. As An educator, I don’t know whether I agree with this mom or not…..but I DO know that even Abraham Lincoln agreed with her for the education of his own children…he didn’t think they needed formal education until about the age of 9…..He himself attended only “blab school” in KY, starting at age 9…which means, I think, only a speak (looking at a text) and response-type classroom. So……….like a “”repeat after me.”

    OTOH….learning the symbols for spoken language (i.e., reading) is so easily absorbed at the earliest ages….scientifically….just like the learning of multiple languages….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s