Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Late! I'm Late! For A Very Important Date!

This whole idea of "Late Reading" has surfaced in my sphere of consciousness quite a bit lately and I feel the need to talk about it.  "Late" readers.  Who decides what qualifies as an on time reader?  How do we know for SURE that age five is the absolutely perfect time for people to begin learning to read?  That any time after that is Late?

Well- we don't!  Have a gander at this article in which we learn about some interesting findings by researchers in New Zealand.  As sited in the article, Waldorf schools do not teach their learners how to read until they are age seven.  SEVEN!  Gasp!  Surely, those children are TERRIBLE readers who are completely illiterate as adults.

Surely, my friends, they are not.  And don't call me Surely. 

As a matter of fact, people learn to read without anyone ever telling them how - get this - all the time.  But but but - children have be taught the things they need to know, especially reading.  I promise you, they can.  And they do teach themselves to decipher the code of written language.

We have all been fooled into thinking that the earlier a person learns to read, the more chance at success they will have as adults.  Not only is this not true, it tends yield opposite results in terms of reading success.  That is, when reading success is defined as a person loves to read and does so for their own pleasure and acquisition of new information.

Some children teach themselves to read as early as three years old, others as "late" as 11 (or later).

The point of this is that we must move away from the paradigm of learning timetables.  For reading or anything.  And for everything

We have created these arbitrary timetables based on what? Really.  What?  Whom?

As a result of this blind-leading-the-blind fallacy, these poor unfortunate souls are tortured, tracked, labeled, teased, pressured, robbed of their burgeoning self-esteem because they don't fit into this cookie cutter learning mold we try to squeeze them through.

I submit that this is:

...or The Wrong Way, depending on how you look at it.

I further submit that whenever a person learns to read
at her own direction and choosing (though not necessarily alone, the learner is free to ask for help!) she is ON TIME for the tea party.
Haven't you ever noticed that the tea pot never runs out?

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