A facebook thread on reading on Radical Unschooling Info facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/303347574750/permalink/10151620795649751/
Nice article on reading and Minecraft (on video games helping kids learn to read...how? why?....Because they are motivated and interested!!): http://www.wired.com/2014/10/video-game-literacy/?mbid=social_fb
Some links to check out:
I once read a suggestion in a post about an idea to help a child who wants to be able to read more words and feels frustrated. The suggestion was to make a list of words on a piece of paper that s/he can read as maybe it would help to see them on paper and they might be surprised at how many words they already DO know how to read! We did this for Makana and she was pleased at seeing a list of words she already knew. We added to it little by little for awhile and soon filled up a whole sheet of paper.
It might be fun to make up a matching game (like go fish) with the words they already know.
If it strikes your child's fancy, label large sturdy stock cards (6" x 22") with black thick marker and put them on a few things in the house. Let your child choose what to label...some ideas....EXIT for one side of the door and WELCOME for the other side. Or label your child's door to their room - ie. "Makana's Room" or label another room -
ie. "playroom" or "Dad's Office"
Gentle Revolution sells blank card stock though you might be able to make your own if you wanted to. http://www.gentlerevolution.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=G&Category_Code=CDS.
If your kids would like to, help them make their own books! There are many creative ways to do so (look online for ideas). Our local library has had afternoons to make and sew your own books with materials provided for free. If you are assisting your child with making a book, go with their energy and flow. Let them be creative and make it their own way. Give them the freedom to keep creating, or stop at any time.
For example, a boy with kinesthetic intelligence might be a discipline case in school, or labeled with dyslexia or ADD, or simply made to feel stupid. As an unschooler, that same boy might learn his ABC's while jumping on the trampoline, start reading while playing video games, or simply and beautifully excel in some physical pursuit. Most importantly, he will never be made to feel he's less for being who he is." —Ronnie Maier
Makana Reads "Go Dog, Go!"
This morning Makana (age 7) picked up Go Dog GO to read to Kanoa (age 3). He lost interest, but she read it to me and herself aloud! She was so surprised that suddenly she could do it! I was excited for her! Before she could only read some words. This time, she got all the words except for two of them! This is an example of her being able to read when she was ready.
Whenever she got in the mood for a book, Go Dog Go was the one she picked up to look through and "read" more than any other book and I know she really wanted to be able to read it word for word by herself. She would say aloud (to herself, me or someone else) what she remembered on each page, coming up with similar sentences descriptive of the pictures, but not necessarily exactly what was written. Most of the time she read it the way she could and got much enjoyment out of it. When she was frustrated in the past at not being able to read the way Jim or I or Katie or Li did, I told her that she'd be able to read when She was ready and that people are ready at different times and it would happen. We made a list of the words that she did knew and that seemed to please her.
I suspected that her ability to read it was coming as she's been writing alot over the past few months while gaming and skpying, asking me to spell or write for her when needed. I noticed that she could write and spell more and more words and I noticed that she was able to read more words as well. It was so exciting this morning to hear her read aloud and feel so happy about finally being able to do something she has been wanting to do for so long! She said that I had always said it would happen when she was ready, and it did! Awesome!
Emily's daughter learns to read
When she was 6, I thought she was close. She was skills-wise, but not time-wise. It has been a year since then.
We have never done a "reading lesson." We have never done a curriculum or workbooks. There has never been a single tear over trying to read and I've never pushed her.
I've read many books to her since she was a baby. We've paid attention to the words in our lives- on signs, cereal boxes, labels, video games and everywhere else. She's played Starfall and similar games. I've told her the sounds of letters as she has been interested. We've played with magnet letters and banana grams. She's played with a few workbooks, and when I say played I really mean just that. The workbooks sit with the coloring books in our house and are treated the same way- use them if and when you want. We've played a reading flash card game the same way. I just wrote some action words on index cars (play, dance, sing, etc) and when I'd hold one up, she'd read it and do the action. It has been a fun, totally optional game that L has enjoyed as well.
However, I've never once sat down with her and said or implied, "Now it's time to try to learn to read."
A few weeks ago, she read The Foot Book and half of another book that was at the doctor's office and I don't remember the name of it. Some of The Foot Book was memorized, but she also sounded out a lot of words, and started picking up on some sight words.
Then she didn't do anything reading related for weeks, which is typical. She often has a big interest in something, then drops it for weeks or months, then picks it up again with sudden, new skills.
Yesterday, she was looking for The Foot Book and we couldn't find it. Today, I found it and handed it to her. She read it and then asked for more books to read. I pulled out Green Eggs and Ham and she read the whole thing!. I helped her with a few words that couldn't be sounded out and she didn't know from sight,
but other than that, she figured it out on her own while I just sat with her.
Her reading was interspersed every few sentences with, "Mom! I'm reading! Hehe! Yay! I'm reading! Hey you know what's more fun than watching tv? Me learning to read!"
(And on that note, we don't restrict tv watching and she could have chosen to do that instead with no pressure to do otherwise. Her sister was actually watching a movie in the same room the whole time she was reading the book. She chose to read).
*I changed some grammar and spelling issues and added a few more details from the original post.
Update: It's been about 3 months since I wrote that, and she has not done a lot of book reading since then. However, she is still doing a lot of reading related things. She has read parts of recipes to me while we cook, read signs and labels, and played reading games. She woke up one morning last week and immediately said she wanted to "play a game that will help me read better," so we did some sound flash cards. Yesterday and today, we saw signs that said "stop" and "slow" while driving, and E,L and I started playing a game figuring out how to spell words that rhymed with stop and slow, based on how those two words are spelled. So, since stop is S-T-O-P, they were able to figure out that cop is C-O-P and mop is M-O-P and so on with half a dozen other words. Since slow is S-L-O-W, they were able to figure out row, bow, arrow, mow, and tow.
A post on the radicalunschooling yahoo group from Melissa Johnson from MD on November 19, 2011 on a thread called "Wanting To Read" -
I think part of the trick is realizing that our society (read "compulsory- schooling- based society") has created this artificial construct that children must be reading by such-and-such an age. This is completely false and by pushing them to get to such an age, we mostly destroy their desire to read and then have to resort to punishment (no TV!) or rewards (you get to go to Pizza Hut if you read this many books). The reward should be in the enjoyment of reading itself! Dan Greenberg (founder of Sudbury Valley) once said "The only way a child won't get around to reading (at SVS) is if he doesn't find it a useful tool". ....(snip).....My girls are 10 and 12 and learned to read by just gathering more and more words into what I call their "word banks" in their heads. As they asked how to spell a word, I told them. When they asked "what does this say", I told them. And their friends told them, and their grandparents told them, and their dad. The word banks are filling up all the time. Now, I find my 12 y.o. asking the 10 y.o. how to spell things---her word bank is "fuller" than the 12 y.o.'s, I guess. :) But taking out the idea that they should learn by a certain age has helped tremendously. And texting is such a great tool! The 12 y.o. texts a LOT (thank goodness for unlimited texting plans) and her spelling is getting better and better and she doesn't have to ask so much how to spell words (not that I mind if she does).
"The Report Card" is a fiction book by Andrew Clements. It is about a girl named Nora who is in middle school and is exceptionally brilliant. Nora does not want to let others know because she does not want to be treated or thought of as any different from anyone else. In fifth grade, her friend Stephen becomes very anxious about grades as do most of the kids. To help show her friend that grades don't really reflect what one knows, she purposely gets all D's on her report card (and one C by accident). I won't give away the rest of the story, but it is a good read! My 12 yr old daughter (at the time) asked me to read it and thought I'd like it. She was right! I was excited to read it when I noticed that the author thanked Alfie Kohn! Also, the librarian in the book advises Nora that there are always at least two choices to make and to pick the better one. Reminds me of Sandra Dodd's suggestions on her site!
Here is a video link in which Andrew Clements talks about his son in Kindergarten who pretended not to be able to read because of the way his classmate treated him.
http://books.simonandschuster.com/Report-Card/Andrew-Clements/9780689845154#video-3845681001 (If you scroll way down, the link should go to "Clements on Reading")
5 Ways To Help Someone HATE Reading by grown unschooler Idzie Desmarais: http://www.yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/2012/01/5-ways-to-help-someone-hate-reading.html
Dyslexia posts and links:
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Here is a copy of a post I saved that has to do with dyslexia -
A book someone mentioned that was positive about dyslexia:
Posted by: "firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com kellyinsc
Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:31 pm (PDT)
From: Kim Musolff <kmoose75@gmail. com>
So is dyslexia (like ADHD) really only a problem in school, where
children are forced to learn to read in a certain way, that doesn't comply with
the way their brain works?
I don't think it has so much to do with the "certain way" of learning
to read as it does with the *timing*. Forcing it too *soon* seems to be
the problem to me. Well, THAT and...ummmm. ..forcing at ALL! <BWG>
The little bit of reading on dyslexia that I have done suggests that the
sooner a child with dyslexia gets help, the better. Do you think that
would not be true with an unschooler, because of the nature of learning?
You're reading about children in SCHOOL who are struggling to read. I
don't think it has so much to do with the "nature of learning"
(although it *does*) as it it does with the excessive *need* in school
to keep to a time table.
*We*, as unschooling parents have all the time in the world to read to
and for our children. School teachers with 30 kids at a time canNOT
give such individualized attention to each and every child. Plus, if
they don't get those kids to read *soon*, the teachers' own "report
cards" may be bad, and they could lose their jobs. Ummm.....no such
luck. Seems you can't FIRE a teacher! <g> And even if you *could*, the
shortage would mean that teacher would be hired by the another school
one district over! <g>
But seriously <g>, there is NO hurry with unschooling. So there's no
time table to worry about. So it becomes a non-issue. Even a *true*
dyslexic will figure out reading with a little more time.
And I don't know of one, single grown unschooler who cannot read---and
read very, very well. But I know of many schooled adults who cannot
read. And many, MANY more who hate it!
Live and Learn Unschooling Conference
http://www.LiveandL earnConference. org
"The Gifts of Dyslexia" by Ronald Davis
The Advantages of Dyslexia http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-advantages-of-dyslexia/ With reading difficulties can come other cognitive strengths
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped: That All May Read
The National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable.