"I wish I'd done this years ago."
"Ten years ago I thought about getting help, but I was too embarrassed."
These are typical comments from adults who've started having lessons in reading, writing and handwriting. They tell me that they've been ashamed for years and used up all their energy avoiding situations where they'd have to expose their poor literacy skills or atrocious handwriting. They've spent those years feeling frustrated and angry and have ended up in their current jobs just because the work didn't need much in the way of reading and writing. Some of them are immensely talented individuals who could never practise the profession they were born for, simply because the job required too much paperwork.
One day the whole thing gets to be too much for them and they screw up their courage and join a class or hire a private tutor. Suddenly, the impossible becomes possible, sometimes even easy. They realise that they don't have to waste any more time in anger and avoidance. This is when they say, "I should have done this twenty years ago."
I believe we are seeing a new trend in adult education. People who, a generation or so ago, would have gone to their graves unable to read or write well, are stepping forward to get right with themselves. When their reading and writing take off, you can see the joy as the burden of illiteracy falls off their backs.
I have done literacy and handwriting work with primary school pupils and pensioners and every age in between. I have never seen anyone fail to achieve their objective of reading and writing better or developing beautiful handwriting. It only takes three steps:
1: Decide that the time is now to take charge of the situation
2: Join a class or contact a tutor
3: Work hard
These steps require effort, but they work and the reward is priceless. So, if you're reading this and you want to improve your literacy skills or know someone who is struggling and saying, "It's too late" or "I'm a lost cause," tell them, "No. It's never too late."
In fact, the time is now.