This past Sunday, he decided to write a book. It has 7 pages. He mostly sounded it out himself. He had some trouble with some of the vowels (he gets confused with "a" and "e" or things like that) and some phonemes (like "th") but he mostly wrote it himself. It took him a couple of hours. He illustrated it.
(he put squiggly lines under the phonemes "ou" and "th")
(and Sarah showed him how to use his thumb to make a space, just like I taught her. When I told him to make spaces, he said lines between words were fine.)
IF YOU WANT
It's really rather amazing to see unschooling work so nicely. The conceptual milestone fell into place, he is motivated, and he does it. I was okay with the possibility that he wouldn't read or write at all until age 9 or 11. It's nice to see that he can write when he wants to. He still doesn't have a great handle on lowercase letters, but he is beginning to get frustrated when he asks me what something says and I ask him to read off the letters and he doesn't know all the lowercase ones. So I'm sure that will eventually fall into place.