An increasing number of parents are opting not to teach their children to read before they start school.
When children start primary school, they are all individuals with different backgrounds, upbringings and experiences. Some arrive already able to read and, in some cases, write. Others start school having never been taught to read at all. So is starting school unable to read putting your child at a disadvantage?
All About Communication
Communication is an important part of a child’s development, and reading is just one aspect of improving your child’s skills. Talking to your child from the time they are a baby familiarises them with particular sounds, helping them with their own speech and increasing their vocabulary. Reading is a natural next step, but some parents worry about pushing their children too early.
There is an argument that says that if parents act as if reading as a chore, or treat reading as something difficult and boring, children will develop an aversion to giving it a go. On the other hand, it’s also important that pre-school aged children are given sufficient time for play. Comedian and mum of two Crystal Lowery has taken to Facebook to declare that she is in the second group, and won’t be teaching her son John to read prior to kindy.
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Learning To Be A Person
In the post, Lowery reassures her followers saying she does read to John. “Don’t get me wrong, we read him books all the time. We’re teaching him to enjoy stories, to get lost in characters.” Even though they regularly read, Crystal says she has other priorities. “He’s learning how to be a good sport…he’s learning how to build. He’s learning how to exercise…he builds his muscles through activity instead of sitting at a desk all day.”
Many have disagreed with Crystal’s approach, prompting hateful comments in response to her post, but she has been applauded by educators and parents alike. “I wrote the post to remind parents that there are many other things young children are learning besides phonics,” she said.
We totally understand where Crystal is coming from, but in this age of screens and gadgets, we don’t think there’s anything wrong with encouraging your child to pick up a book now and again.
Would you teach your child to read before kindy? Tell us in the comments!