I'm likely going to sound like a broken record soon, but I really can't tell you how thrilled I've been with Nicholas' motivation as of late. Perhaps we've hit that point I've read so much about where he has been "de-schooled" long enough to feel comfortable with being in charge of his own education. Perhaps we're all feeling more energy now that the sun is gracing us with its presence a little more each day. Perhaps we're hitting the right balance between focussed alone time and time with others or figuring out what works and what doesn't. Perhaps it's all these, or perhaps none at all. Whatever the cause, I'm thrilled we're here.
There were times during our journey thus far - time during the months of November and January, in particular, when I did mention to Nicholas that if he was not satisfied with his education at home, he could return to school. It wasn't a threat, really. It was permission for both of us to accept if this attempt at homeschooling wasn't meeting the lofty goals we had set out as we started this journey.
And where are we now, having persevered and learned together? Nicholas finished more of the badge requirements than he set out as a goal this week. As we looked at the map of Canada that he coloured and labelled with provinces and capital cities, I asked him to point out where some significant landmarks were. Where once he would have irritably answered a few and then stormed off, he is now willing to play the game with me. He is so enthusiastic, in fact, he played the game on his own. Where once he would have burst into tears if I asked him to re-look at his work and check if all the capitalizations were correct, he laughed as he corrected the few items that needed changing. He's even asking to do more work in spelling.
Now that I reflect a little more, perhaps Nicholas is simply trusting that I'm trying to put his best interests first. He's trusting that when I ask him to look at a question again or to find a word in the dictionary, it's not punishment. It's practice, and with practice, things do get easier. A nice, gentle life lesson for all of us to remember. Thanks, Nicholas.