Learning to read and write on your own terms

Some feedback/comments on a post over at Maria’s blog that is very related to Sudbury schools and I suppose unschooling:

Post here: Evidence – Or Watching Kids Read and Write in Summer in our Family Day Care

> … and learn to read as they do to talk.

I think if you talk to staff at any of the Sudbury schools… they can tell you about 40 years of this happening. It doesn’t seem to be a question mark to me?

Personally, writing as a parent of a 5 year old Sudbury Valley enrollee who is on his way to reading and writing… my comment is yes… it seems he is (very simply) learning to do this in his own way and on his own timetable. So yes, very much as he learned to walk and talk and ride a 2 wheel bike and on and on….

He is VERY(!) interested in numbers, so he already reads and writes (and calculates) those. So I guess one could say he is already very number or math literate. (More about some of the very cool things he says in math land in another post.) A-Z are less interesting to him in a reading sense for whatever reason, or maybe it’s VERY interesting to him, but he just for whatever reason knows that he isn’t ready. It really doesn’t matter to me. One day, he will just be reading Harry Potter books on his own. Or the plant names in “Plants and Zombies”. (FWIW… He already has no problem finding the bookmarks he needs and the START / PLAY / BEGIN / ENTER buttons he needs in order to get to the games he wants to play. I wouldn’t call this “reading” personally. But I digress…)

As a parent, it is VERY exciting to get to experience him doing this stuff on his own terms, in his own way. Just like watching him crawl or walk or talk for the first times. So… very exciting on one level, but so natural and very normal really. That’s how it feels to me. Normal. Natural. Awesome.

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