Sunday, September 21, 2014
The theory of unschooling is that children realize that reading is a way of acquiring information. They ask you to read things for them in their pursuit of information. You do. Eventually you or their siblings get sick of reading things for them, and they hit a point where they really want to be able to read in the course of doing something that they love a lot and are being hampered by their lack of reading ability. At that point (could be as early as 3, but often 6 or 7, or as late as 11) they learn to read pretty quickly and easily.
Elazar is 7 (2nd grade). We are in the phase of me or others reading to him/getting kind of sick of it. His siblings will read to him if they aren't busy. And I will read to him but he often has to wait until I can get there. He can kind of sometimes sound things out and when he shows interest, we do that. But mostly he does half of word or one word and then runs out of interest.
It will be interesting to see if unschooling will work with reading. I feel pretty confident that it will be fine, and that eventually, before he's a teenager, he'll begin reading, learn to read within days or weeks, and be on grade level. This is what I read occurs with unschooling reading, and I'm very curious to see how it plays out.
I suppose it's possible that a. he won't learn to read or b. he has a reading problem. My sense is that he doesn't have a reading problem.*
If he doesn't learn to read (which I think unlikely), there are two approaches. a. Teach him to read when I get too nervous to let it go on any further, in which case I'm basically in the same position I'm in now except that he has some extra years of maturity and can sit better. b. Continue with the theory of unschooling that if he finds it relevant and is motivated to do it, he'll either figure it out himself or ask me or someone else to teach him.
*I'm not professional, but I've taught kindergarten and first grade many times, and actually worked with a range of children who were considered to have learning difficulties (as a homeschooler, I tend to take the approach that the child is fine, we just have to figure out how s/he learns and tailor the teaching) that I've successfully gotten reading. Actually, since I've gotten paid for it, that actually does make me a professional. What I mean is that I haven't received a degree in special ed.