"We should realize that if a child has learned to speak, he has a language and a way to express his personality. He has created from nothing, a way to let others to know him as a person. Reading and writing are no more difficult to acquire than speaking is, since they are also ways to communicate. It is the adult who makes learning to read and write difficult when he or she approaches the two as subjects to be conquered, rather than discoveries to be made."
My good friend is studying to be a Montessori teacher, and she shared the above excerpt from her notes with me.
While I would argue that reading and writing are less *natural* to acquire than speaking, and they take different *approaches* to acquire, I really like the idea that reading, writing, and speaking are all parts of a whole. They are all ways that we communicate, and they are interrelated.
If a child started with nothing and learned to speak, he certainly is capable of going on to read and write. And I DO believe that everyone can learn to read.
I also love thinking of reading as a series of exciting discoveries, rather than dredging work. Reading gives you the potential to learn everything and anything you'd like, to read any kind of story in the world! How is that not the most exciting thing you've encountered all day?!