Drawing in the dirt can be one process on the way to reading.
What if they don’t want to learn to read?
By Barbara Sheridan
A big question that parents have for child directed learning schools is what if they don’t want to learn.
There are several processes that may be happening.
Is it not developmentally appropriate for them (they are pushing reading way to early in schools these days studies have shown), is it not the right way for them to learn - are they loving hooked on phonics videos but not picking up reading, maybe they are sight reading kids or, like many kids I have seen, developed their own unique encoding/decoding.
Are they actually working on pre reading skills? Children are often working on skills that may not look like typical classroom pre reading skills. Digging or using sticks in the dirt is one pre reading skill. Working on balance in different positions is another as sitting requires managing proprioceptive input so even moving around is a pre reading skill.
Are they interested in something else right now which is interfering in the understanding of reading. For some children is hard for some kids who are learning numbers and numeracy to learn letters at the same time because they are both symbolic languages but use different areas of the brain and are used for different processes.
Teachers can take different approaches in this. Some teachers are instinctual and just trust the process so they don’t necessarily need to know why the child is not wanting to learning to read right now but they do trust that there is a good reason and that the child will develop the skills needed to learn, find the right way to decode/encode or that when they are finished with one process they will be ready to incorporate the next process they are ready for. Other teachers become researchers, observing, watching and reading on child development, psychological processes and/or cognitive studies and strive to better understand how to support the child in their process.
Self directed facilitators or teachers view their role as supporting the child right here and right now with the process they are currently engaged with and do not worry about the process that the child is not working on.