The Truth About Learning to Read

Children first learn to listen and speak, then use these and other skills to learn to read and write. This is why socializing in the real world, with all ages, is much more important than learning how to read at an early age.

"Educator Linda Dobson has declared that in a home environment where parents value reading and writing, “children will learn to read and write as naturally as they learn to walk and talk.”


“The reason that kids need to learn to read so early in school is because in school kids read about doing stuff instead of doing stuff. When kids live life outside of school they actually get to do stuff, so it’s not as important to read about it in order to learn.” ~ Lisa Nielsen

“What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

"It is all-important to bear in mind that the child only begins to pass from consciousness to self-consciousness between the ages of nine and ten. To teach grammar before this age, therefore, is absolutely irrational." ~ Rudolf Steiner

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” ~ Haruki Murakami, [Norwegian Wood]

"A native of America who cannot read or write is . . . as rare as a comet or an earthquake." ~ John Adams

“Think of reading like riding a bicycle: One doesn’t consciously name the muscles involved or the particular actions required of each, or the parts of the bicycle, or Newton’s laws of motion, or the physics of gears, or the changes in brain chemistry associated with balance. One gets up on the seat and starts to pedal.” ~ David Albert

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." ~ Alvin Toffler

“There are as many approaches to unschooling as there are people, by design. A child is supported to read when ready and interested, not on another’s timetable, for example. He can and will be encouraged to pursue a wide range of interests, based on his interests, such as free play, inventing, experimenting scientifically, video gaming, role modeling through friendship, spiritual development through inquiry of self and others, athletics, learning to trust himself and others.” ~ Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, [99 Question and Answers About Unschooling: The World Is Your Child’s Classroom]

"Everything we teach about reading, a task far simpler than many that the child has already mastered, says to him, “If we don’t make you read, you won’t, and if you don’t do it exactly the way we tell you, you can’t. In short, he comes to feel that learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself.” ~ John Holt [School is Bad for Children]

"The truth is that reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about one hundred hours to transmit as long as the audience is eager and willing to learn. The trick is to wait until someone asks and then move fast while the mood is on. Millions of people teach themselves these things, it really isn’t very hard." ~ John Taylor Gatto [The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher]

“How will they learn to read?” you say and my answer is “Remember the lessons of Massachusetts.” When children are given whole lives instead of age-graded ones in cellblocks they learn to read, write, and do arithmetic with ease if those things make sense in the kind of life that unfolds around them." ~ John Taylor Gatto [Why Schools Don’t Educate]

“David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal development, when both are 13, you can’t tell which one learned first—the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I label Rachel “learning disabled” and slow David down a bit, too." ~ John Taylor Gatto [I Quit, I Think]


If your kids are eager to learn how to read, make it fun, introduce games such as this award winning reading game: