But what about these adults who can't read? How did that happen, if reading is inevitable, lessons or no lessons?
Reading is inevitable in a nurturing atmosphere where the person sees a need to read.
Adult non-readers are almost universally schooled and may come from homes where reading wasn't valued or was looked down on.
The single biggest factor I believe in kids not reading is pressure to read too early. They pick up that they are dumb because they can't do what"everyone else" can. So many kids decide they're too dumb to read or, to protect their self-esteem, that reading itself is dumb.
Teachers, even specialists in a particular field of learning, are experts only on schooled kids who have school goals to meet by a specific age. They don't realize that those kids aren't natural kids. They don't realize that school is a huge contributing factor in the children's behavior because school, like oxygen, is apparently universal. They have no idea what a natural child is like.
Adult illiterates were exposed to a lot of books, like unschoolers are, but yet they do not read.
The two "exposures" are poles apart.
A good way to make someone hate something is to make them do it.
A good way to make sure someone is certain they can't do something is to humiliate them when they try.
Unschooling is about not doing any of that. It's about the child having pleasant experiences with words: reading what and when the child wants. No pressure to read by a particular age. No humiliation. No standards about what the child should read. There's no outside agenda.
Last updated: April 2009