The past few days have been a blur of activity and a lot of good things have happened. As unschoolers, we don’t sit down with textbooks or take weekly exams to check our progress so when one of the kids shows us a newly acquired skill it’s a very exciting time. This weekend, Ryan has been demonstrating that he knows how to read and for people who don’t believe that this kind of learning can happen without formal instruction, please allow me to correct that perception. Ryan has never been to school in fact, if he were in the system he’d be starting kindergarten this year. Well, a couple of days ago he picked up a set of books, BOB Books that we had bought a year ago having every intention of teaching him phonics to help him to learn to read. He had never worked with them before yet he was able to read each and every book in the set. I was floored! I knew that he had picked up some things just through his interaction with his brother and by looking up things on the computer but I had no idea that he could read like he does. Not only did he read the BOB Books but he also read Are You My Mother. It was really wild! A year ago we were still doing school at home and if someone had told me then that by relaxing my expectations my kids would be acquiring these skills without the aid of formal schooling I would have gotten a hearty laugh about it.
I wish more people could appreciate the value of letting kids learn at their own pace. I don’t know how it could be applied to society at large via the public school system. We are so fortunate to have found out about unschooling. It has opened a whole new world to us!