Soooo something came to mind the other night when I was in the process of creating signatures for my characters. My little Lyle came to mind. Lyle grew up in an orphanage. The likelihood that he learned to read or write before coming to Hogwarts was probably pretty low.
It's an interesting group of people at Hogwarts, with rich and wealthy Great Families that probably did teach their children how to read and write... and street urchins, though still magical, who did not. So... what do we do about this? In chat we've discussed a few ideas-- older students teaching younger ones, Quick-Quotes quills.... reading/writing lessons for younger students...
Additionally, I'm assuming it's common knowledge that up until recently in the course of human history that women weren't considered anything but property. Would the girls have learned to read/write? My thoughts there are that there is evidence I believe that gender equality was probably higher in the Wizarding World than in the Muggle one (whoops, sorry Charlotte. I dunno how well you can read now, either....). So do Muggle-born girls come in knowing how to read or write? I mean, penmenship I know was a skill, I just don't know when historically that having flourishy fancy signatures became a mark of status. Or if it was ever a mark of status for women.
So, that leaves us with a few questions: Do girls know how to read/write? How do the urchins learn how to read/write upon entering Hogwarts?
Let's open it up to everyone. What are your thoughts on literacy? :)