I've always enjoyed reading other families' stories about how their children learned to read, especially those whose children learned a little later than others. My 11 1/2 year old son has just discovered the joys of reading independently during the last couple years, and I finally wrote up our own story about it in my blog. If you're interested, it's here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/perennialgirl/tag/reading ~Marcia
Joyce Refutes the Same Old ArgumentsTRADITIONAL ARGUMENT:
Learning is natural for humans. Reading is not.
You're free to disagree but we have hundreds of unschooled reading children that are data to the contrary ;-) And as far as I know we have no adult unschooled children who are not reading.
Schools, that try to give reading skills to kids, can't make that claim.
People who only know kids who've been schooled are absolutely certain of this.
People who have unschooled know it isn't true.
And it's not just not true of some kids. It's not true of all kids who've been surrounded with positive experiences with print and are allowed to read when they are ready.
Teaching is also not what we are talking about.
I read *to* my daughter stories she wanted to hear. I didn't quiz her. I didn't even follow the words with my finger as I read. She played video games where instructions were often written. She wrote long before she could read. She has always been surrounded by print. Her experience with printed words has been positive. (I'm not exactly sure when she could read but she read Harry Potter to me out loud at 10.)
If there were such a way to teach children to read, then wouldn't schools have 100% literacy? Even some good schools have kids who can't read.
And we do help but not in the way you're thinking with specific tasks that lead to a specific goal. I would answer any question my daughter had about spelling or what a word was. We played rhyming games. I read to her. She used software and games that required recognizing various words. She was surrounded by printed words that she knew went with particular words (McDonald's, Stop and so on.)
All those little things combined helped her figure out the code for herself. I never taught her.
I didn't withhold anything. I offered fun things. She encountered much on her own. But I also didn't make her take in anything she wasn't ready for. And she reads.