Lannie's Eight-Year-Old Son Reads His Mail

Until this week I had only heard my 8 year old son read a handful of words on his own. He simply didn't have any interest. He was always asking me to read things for him. I did not know if he was paying attention to the words but I read what ever he asked me to and stopped when he wanted me to stop.

I ordered a gift magazine subscription for him. This week he got a letter from the publisher telling him he was getting a magazine as a gift. When the letter came I just handed it to him (unopened) and said "here is your mail." He was so excited. He studied every inch of the envelope and asked all kinds of questions about addresses, zip codes, the mail system. After a while he opened the envelope and stared at the letter. I kept thinking he would ask me to read it to him but he didn't. He stared at it a long time and took it to his room. When he came out he read the first two paragraphs out loud. Some of the words he read were; magazine, subscription, family, house, gift, new, hope. He read we're as were and then corrected himself. Then he looked at me and said, "I just found out that I like to read." He was surprised he liked it but never doubted that he could do it.

My older son began reading just before he turned nine. Within six months he finished Robinson Crusoe. We talked about it a lot and he made some very insightful observations.

This unschooling thing amazes me everyday.

August 31, 2003
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