Yesterday ElvenTiger tried out for her first play, “The Grinch.” Along with three of her friends who tried out with her, she got a part as a Who villager. This means she’ll be part of the “Whoville Chorus.” Since she’s even more interested in singing than acting, it’s perfect for her.
I think I was more nervous than she was about the audition. She practiced a Christmas carol, as instructed – she sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in a jazzy campy sort of style that she said the director liked. I was worried about her being handed part of a script to read. She still reads slowly, and I thought she might have trouble acting while reading something she hadn’t seen before.
It turned out to be a non-issue. She and I practiced the page of dialogue while she was waiting her turn, and since most of it was in rhyme, she internalized it quickly (this kid has a musical soul). I didn’t go in to see the audition, but she said she was easily able to perform her part, using a combination of reading and remembering what we’d already rehearsed. Very cool.
So today, I ran across this article and, as an avid reader myself, I agreed with much of it. The only part I took issue with was forcing kids to read on a schedule not their own. I do understand why that’s important for a school system, which needs to standardize things for large groups of kids. But I personally prefer it when kids learn things according to their own schedule, based on their interests (thus unschooling, which works so well for us). Actually, we do and have done many of the things on the list in the article, but on the kids’ own timetable.
As usually happens (I love synchronicity), another article popped up, this time on Facebook, where an online unschooling friend mentioned it. I love the way the two articles complement each other (from my perspective), even though they come from very different philosophies of education.
Then I started actively looking for essays on late readers and unschooling, and formulating the idea for this blog post. My two favorites are one by well-known author Sandra Dodd, and one from a website I’d never seen before. As a bookworm with a house full of books who has been reading to her kids since before they were born, I find the topic fascinating. And it’s also quite interesting to me to observe how Dryst learned to read quite easily and fluently, and ElvenTiger, raised in the same household, is taking her time and developing her own ways of learning to read. Some would say, and I started to write, that she “struggles with” reading, but I don’t think that’s the case. She finds it challenging, but like many things in life, it’s worth taking the time to practice, and ultimately master.