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.

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!

  • I didn’t teach them, though I would’ve loved to but wasn’t able to (personal reasons) but I did read to them. I wasn’t worried and they have excelled at reading since school anyway.


  • Kindergarten age children tend to like to read like the parents do, especially basic words.
    Children whose birthdays are just before the closing intake date tend to need more help than those who are a few months older when they start school.


  • I think it would be good if your child could read before kindergarten however its not mandotory. That is what kindergarten is all about, spelling, reading and writing.
    Kindy has taught my daughter, to read left to right. To break up sounds and letters when trying to pronounce a new word.
    Get them use to the very important stuff like their name.
    Also, it all the depends on the child too, all children learn differently and I think if they are force to do something earlier than school, they will get bored easily in class.


  • Very interesting story I think parents these days all want their kids to be lawyers and drs before they even start school. Let kids learn as they grow .


  • Its just my opinion but I feel if a child loves to listen to stories and characters they naturally Lead towards reading without pressure at their own pace. Language and literacy are a true gift and shouldn’t be a pressure at such a young age. Your child will lead you!


  • I can see the benefits to both sides of the argument.


  • I encouraged the excitement related to stories but took my cue from the kids when it came to interest in learning to read.


  • My son starts school this year, and I havent taught him how to read, there is plenty of time for learning, life experiences at his age are more fun.


  • I love reading and I think it’s enjoyable so I’ll definitely be encouraging but not forcing. My niece already asks me to read to her because she loves it.


  • We read to our daughters a lot. There are so many wonderful stories to share. Many of these have even inspired real life experiences. Teaching them to read , however, is a different story. I encouraged my daughters to know their alphabet, draw, use scissors and do lots of playing – All the important stuff. They were both very keen to read, so we followed their lead to teach them. This happened with both of them once they started school.


  • My daughter loves being read to.but in terms of her reading she isn’t doing that. She can read her name thats about it. We are actively working on speech with a speech therapist so that is where our focus goes towards.


  • Just stupid and ignorant. Children get teased over so many things now without including not bring able to read!


  • We love books. We read many books a day. My 2 year old likes to read at the dinner table. He wants at least 2 books at bed time every night. He also loves climbing, jumping, dancing etc. My 2 year old knows all of the letters, colours and numbers to 10. We don’t sit there and teach him these things, it just happens naturally through our love of books and through play. He can “read” a few words (his name, caterpillar, mummy and daddy)


  • We always read books each day- before bed or sometimes just during the day. I think this makes reading normal and part of everyday. Also I love reading and will read books around my kids so they think this is a normal way to pass time at home.


  • I would encourage them to read but I teach my toddler from now how to hold the pencil correctly and do colouring in


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit