An American mother is copping major backlash online after revealing she is deliberately not teaching her young son how to read.
Crystal Lowery, a writer and comedian, wrote that she is more focussed on physical activities with her five-year-old boy and teaching him about interacting with others, using his imagination and staying active.
“He’s 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,” she wrote.
“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.”
She went on to say he loves dancing and karate and drawing his own picture books.
While many five-year-olds can’t read fluently, no matter how hard their parents try, dozens of Facebook commenters took issue with Lowery’s stance and criticised her parenting style.
“And this is why parenting should require a license,” shot Facebook user Jenna Louise.
“… not teach reading is inexcusable. It doesnt have to be done in a formal way. I dont know any parent who sat there kid down like teacher instead of mum or dad. All forms of learning can be fun [SIC],” wrote Tracey Bawden.
The debate angered many young parents who said Lowery was doing her son a disservice.
Schooling has become more competitive in recent decades and children are now expected to have an more advanced knowledge of English and maths than the Baby Boomer generation ever did.
Previous reports have found that both primary and high school students often struggle to keep up with the pressure and expectations for good grades.
With that in mind, Lowery says she isn’t worried about her son’s literacy ability and that when he does start school “he will come to the classroom with so much more”.