Saturday, September 09, 2006

Reading, Spelling and Unschooling

The kids and I went to the library today and they all came home with books. I just had a conversation the other day with someone about how she makes one of her children read a book every day. She insists that he will never want to read anything on his own if she doesn't. Part of that thinking comes from her husband who says that he had a very hard time reading in school and that his mom never made him read. To this day he doesn't enjoy reading and blames it on that. Some people just don't like to read! Some people don't enjoy driving and some people don't enjoy hiking. There is nothing to blame for that, they just don't like it. Why does everybody have to *like* to read? I don't like to balance my checkbook but am quite capable (well, most of the time) of doing it. Anyway, I got off on a tangent there. My point was going to be that my 14 yr old son has never enjoyed reading for pleasure, by that I mean stories, and such. I have never told him he had to read books. Today he chose three novels, he wants to try reading something he hasn't been interested in in the past, who knows he might enjoy them. If not, he chose to try it, on his own and in his own time.

Tori and Sierra collaborated on a short story. They did it on a chat program. One of them would write a line and then the other would add a line. They didn't have an outline, it was pure improv. A few months ago, (the first time that they had been able to chat online) they had to talk on the phone while they chatted so that they knew what the other was trying to say. In that amount of time they have learned how to spell very well. They did it by correcting each other, asking whoever was nearby how to spell something or looking at something they knew the word was on. Neither of them have had years of spelling tests, worksheets, classes or anything else that 'teaches' someone how to spell. They had a reason to learn it and so they did, their way and in their own time.

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