Since the beginning of this blog, most of the posts have been theoretical and philosophical discussions. Owing mainly to the young age of my children, I have had few unschooling stories to share. Well, that’s all starting to change.
W is nearing four. He has, of course, been learning his whole life, but examples of him starting to walk, talk, throw, cut with scissors, etc, are not viewed by the traditional world as being instances of unschooling (though, they are exactly that). Oh, no, we need academic examples to prove our theory. So, here’s one for you.
He has been very interested in letters for the past few months, and at this point recognizes upper case letters about 90% of the time. He will often muse, “Pool starts with P” just out of the blue. Just because he was thinking about it and realized that the “puh” sound was at the beginning of the word “pool.”
Then, today he was playing around with the light switch and said, “Now it’s off. Why is there a zero here?” I looked and realized he was talking about the word “off” written on the light switch. I said, “It’s not a zero, it’s an O. It says O-F-F, that spells off.” Then he switched the light on, looked at the switch and said, “It says O-N, that spells ‘on.'”
Was he using didactic reasoning to figure out what the word said? Yes, he was. Was he reading the word? Yep, he was doing that too. This is how the process works. I have many people who will nod along with me when I talk about life-learning, but will say, “But at some point, you will have to sit down and teach them to read.” It’s hard to wrap our schooled brains around the idea that, actually, words are everywhere and reading can and does happen naturally.
Do you have a story about learning to read? Share it in the comments!