Monday, November 22, 2010

Real Reading

Sometimes I've been criticized for saying that I won't say my child is reading until he or she can pick something up and read it. Not something I planted and that they've practiced, but something strange and new. If I can leave a note saying "I've gone to the store and will be back by 10:30," and if the child can read that, then I consider that the child is reading.

Others want to say "My child is reading" if he can tell Burger King's logo from McDonald's. I consider that more along the lines of distinguishing horses from cows. Yes, it's important, and yes, it can be applied to reading, but it is not, itself, reading.

I've just spent a month where there are many signs and directions I can't read, where there are conversations I can't begin to comprehend. I've also been hanging out where even young children know two or three languages. All my kids are grown, and it's been a long time since I couldn't read English. Being in India reminded me daily that hearing isn't always understanding, and seeing words isn't necessarily reading words.

The first two paragraphs are from

The photo is of especially beautiful Marathi writing, outside a shrine.

1 comment:

  1. I agree! When my kids started reading they could read from any source :)


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