How and when does an unschooled child learn to read?

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Oooohhh,  one of the biggies!  Along with maths, of course, reading can be a  huge issue for parents.  Why is that?  Isn’t walking pretty important?  Talking?  Being kind?  Being able to figure things out?  Thinking  for yourself?  Know yourself?
Reading  should be easy after that. And you know what, it can be!
Why does a child learn to walk?  Because you are walking and  others around them are.  They want to explore the exciting world of walkers they are born into.
So why would a child learn to read and write…ditto!   Interesting in this day and age.  If your child is surrounded by computers, TV,  Playstation etc, then DO NOT expect them to sit down and read a book or a write a story!!
If you have always read to your child,(and continue to do so until they do not want it)
–   have lots of books
–   have regular trips to the library
–   make time to read and explore the books
–   have adults and siblings around them who READ books then there is a high chance that your children will        learn to read!
However, this will possibly not happen at 5 or 6. s  This may happen very suddenly, especially if the child is older.  Be assured that if your child is 8, 9 or 10 and still not keen to read, it will happen!  There are plenty of stories of late readers in our homeschool group, find some  you can talk to, keep reading to them and relax!  One friend had a daughter who was not reading at all at age ten.  She suddenly started and could read well almost overnight. The following year she went to school and when tested her reading age, at 11, was well over 14 years!
At the other end of the spectrum Hannah, my first, taught herself to read purely through asking questions the year she was 4  –    “What does that sign say?”   “How do you spell….?”      I was pregnant through  all this and after Charlie was born she could read extremely well and was reading Harry Potter to herself before she was 6!
I have shared Charlies  ‘learning to read’ story in another post (FAQs).

You hear of children in orphanages who are 3 or 4 and do not walk or speak, you can work out why that is.
If a child is in a literary desert then  they will no doubt have a hard time learning to read too.  If you want them to read, read yourself.  Just like if you want to  them to behave , behave yourself,  to be kind, be kind yourself.

It is a tough job being such  a big role model, but you never know it  may be a good influence on you and your own personal development!!

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