It's about expanding his world.
As this eloquent commenter wrote, “If your son is as into books as you say then he will gain a great sense of achievement by learning to read… By deciding not to give him the opportunity to learn how to read you are placing limits on your son instead of freeing him as you seem to think you are.”
Agreed. If John didn’t show any interest in books, it would make sense to introduce them slowly and cultivate a relationship with reading together before making him go off and do it alone.
But he’s clearly a lover of stories, so why not help him develop a skill that he might adore? It in no way precludes him from doing all that other awesome stuff, too.
But this person also has a point.
As long as he’s healthy and happy and learning, the specifics of this 5-year-old’s education are no one else’s business but his parents’.
However, Lowery chose to post about her decision, thus opening her up to feedback of all kinds.
In response to all the backlash, Lowery posted this follow-up statement.
Lowery blamed a Yahoo story for its “misleading” title that read “Crystal Lowery ‘I’m not teaching my 5-year-old how to read.'” Lowery wrote, “The operative word they left out was ‘yet.’ I said I’m not teaching my child how to read YET.”
To be fair, the first line of her original post was, “I’m not teaching my 5-year-old how to read.” Period. The urge to defend herself against negativity is understandable, but one could argue that she also invited these reactions with the strong language of her post.
The follow-up also included a strange video and explanation of how she and her husband did teach phonics to their son when he was 18 months old, but they decided to change their approach when they realized that may not be the best way to teach literacy. She also admitted that she “had been forcing phonics on my 18-month-old so that I could brag.”
It’s great to be able to admit mistakes, but that’s not a reason to purposely keep her 5-year-old son from learning to read. There must be some middle ground between forcing your baby to learn the alphabet and not encouraging your kindergarten-aged kid pick up books on his own.
Where do you stand on the issue of teaching kids to read before kindergarten?