Anne Ohman is a long-time unschooling mom and Library Director at a small, rural library in New York state. She has been writing about unschooling since 1998, and has a been student of her children since they were born. She is the founder of the Shine with Unschooling community, and co-host (with me!) of the Childhood Redefined Unschooling Summit.
In this episode, Anne shares her perspective on why children at school are expected to learn to read early, why unschooling children who aren’t yet reading aren’t “lacking” anything, how they play with the puzzle of reading every day by living in the world, and so much more!
Quote of the Week
“What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” ~ John Holt
Questions for Anne
1. Can you share with us a bit about your background and your family and how you came to unschooling?
2. School, and by extension society, is laser-focused on children learning to read as early as possible. As a library director and unschooling parent, I’d love to hear your perspective on how you’ve seen these reading expectations play out.
3. I’ve really enjoyed the stories you’ve shared on Facebook about schooled children at the library and how their outlook on reading has changed since you started there. Can you share some of those stories?
4. Our society is so caught up in reading by a certain age that if a child isn’t reading by then, most adults in their lives seem to focus on that missing piece. Why do you think that is?
5. Let’s talk about how our kids have learned without reading!
6. Something that has struck me over the years is how unschooling children are more apt to call themselves readers once they are comfortably reading adult-level books. Have you seen this too?
7. Have you had anyone judge your kids for not being able to read?
8. How do you feel now about Sam’s journey to reading as you look back on it today?
Links to things mentioned in the show
Anne would love to connect in real life at the Childhood Redefined Unschooling Summit
Two of Anne’s TUC Talks, 2006: This is Where Unschooling Lives and 2009: What’s So Radical About Radical Unschooling? (scroll down)
Pam’s article about Lissy’s road to reading: “I Can Read, You Know!”
Pam’s blog post about learning to read: Learning to Read Without Lessons