This is something I posted on our family blog. I am putting it here so I have another record.
It’s been a while since we posted anything on here so we thought we’d give everyone an update. On February 8th, Iain took his standardized test as required for homeschoolers in NC. He did very well and we’ll probably do the same test next year. After that was out of the way, we decided to throw the curriculum out the window and really just live life and learn as organically as possible along the way. It’s been an amazing journey so far, not easy by any means, but amazing nonetheless. The boys have no limits on tv, video games or computer time. The go to bed when they want, get up when they want, eat what they want when they want. It sounds totally insane, doesn’t it? The amazing thing is that Iain and Ryan are able to make their own decisions about a lot of things and, in doing so, they have surprised us with the choices they make. For example, Ryan will go crazy for sweets for a day or so and then he gets really tired of that and asks for chicken and broccoli or peanut butter and honey sandwiches. He will not even think about sweets again for a while. They go to bed pretty late now and for the first few days of this new lifestyle, they were sleeping in until 9 or 10am. Funny thing is now, they are starting to get up earlier than they were when we were setting their bedtime and risetime for them.
Iain has just exploded in the last couple of days with a newfound interest in reading. A couple of nights ago, he came downstairs around 10:45 and asked if he could read a book to me and Sean. Of course we said yes and Iain proceeded to read The Little Hen to us without missing a beat. You could have knocked us over with a feather. Iain wanted to keep reading to us and did so for 45 minutes. It was a beautiful moment that actually moved me to tears. Here was a boy who had been picked on in school for being unable to keep up with the other kids in his guided reading group, who HATED reading, who now wanted to sit snuggled up between us and read, read, read. When not forced to read, his own interest in it picked up and he just started doing it because HE wanted to. In fact, when we went up to bed that night, Iain was tucked in a chair in his room, holding a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book in the light of his fish tank because he wanted to read that badly. He reads aloud to himself in bed every night. It was mind-boggling. Even now as I sit and type this entry, I can hear him, playing a video game and reading the messages that pop-up during gameplay. There is a computer game for 3rd Grade that Iain plays almost non-stop because he just loves it, and it’s loaded with reading, math, science, you name it. He plays it every single day!
Ryan can’t help but be influenced by his big brother. He made me laugh to myself last night because he was sitting in bed reading a book about remodeling kitchens, you know one of those Time/Life series books. He told me he was going to read it so he could learn how to build things for kids! We played bookstore for a little while and that was fun, too. He’s such a creative little person and I totally adore him. He is very interested in video games all of a sudden and we can’t help but encourage him. Also, Ryan likes to ask us how to spell things so he can practice writing them down. I can’t help thinking that if they were in school, their interest in doing anything that even remotely smelled educational would be limited and I would have missed out on all these special moments that we share.