***It does mean accepting the reality of a less enriched world and less competence***Karen James:
My grandmother lived to 99, having never learned to read. I think she would have objected to the idea that her world was less rich and that she was somehow less competent. She lived a long, full life and had a sharp mind until the day she died. Her memory was remarkable really.
It's very unlikely that an unschooled child in a rich learning environment with supportive, interested, and interesting parents isn't going to learn to read when they are ready, but if it did happen that the child couldn't learn to read, it would be a terrible shame to communicate to that child that their world will be less rich and that they will be less competent than their peers.
The most wonderful thing (to me) about unschooling is that we can support our children's growth, development, and learning in ways that embrace and nurture who they are as whole people with all their strengths and limitations. Our children can learn to live a rich and full life not in spite of where they fall short, but in celebration of where they find meaning and purpose and useful practice of skills they've come to own through a deeper understanding of who they are and what they care to spend their time and energy doing.
Unschooling is about living in the abundance of possibilities, not in fear of somehow not fitting the mold. It's been remarkable to me to see where natural learning can take a person. For me, after ten years of unschooling our son, it has become a kind of celebration of human potential.
original, August 2018