ReadingPosted: August 16, 2009
This is my last post before I head out. I wanted to mention something that took place in this household during the summer. Noah has learned to read.
Now one of the main concerns of parents, even those in a free school is “will he/she learn to read?” It is something I spoke with his teacher about repeatedly as it has always been and inbred concern. David would always claim me saying that boys usually do not show interest until they are about 9 and, not to force it. So I placed my trust that his interest would come when he was ready.
It is known that in Waldorf schools, early reading introduction is discouraged which is in sharp contrast to public education which seems to think of early reading as a positive thing as well as early indications of an advanced or gifted student.
The free school system operates with the trust that the child will learn when he is ready, and that by allowing this to take place naturally, the student will have a greater affection for what he is learning because he/she chose to do it and was not forced to.
My mother-in-law has been coming to stay with us for about 6 weeks every summer. She is a former teacher and principle in the Kingston, Jamaica school system and has quite a reputation in her native country. But she has not always accepted our bohemian approaches.
My son had decided that this summer, he wanted to learn to read with grandma. and they did so in true free school fashion. Every day, at an elected time, Noah will sit down with her and work on reading for a bout 45 minutes.
The shock came a few days ago when he just started reading something off the computer to us. According to his grandmother he covered he moved through 3 years (3rd grade) in the last 3 weeks and is ready to advance to 4th grade reading material.
I had heard stories like this from Jerry Mintz when we were starting the school in Brooklyn, but here it is first hand. I know I am acting like a proud dad, but there is also vindication for our trust in very non linear approach to learning that is paying off is such a visible way.