Today Ryan brought me a piece of lined paper, with the words “I LOVE YOU” printed halfway down the page.

“Oh, thank you!” I said, taking it. Nathan, who’d come with his brother, began pointing out how small and neat the words were, which was true; though both of them have learned to write letters, their writing tends to be large and uneven, often wavering between capital and small letters and meandering across the page. This time the words were neatly between the lines. Pleased just as much by Nathan’s obvious praise as by Ryan’s note, I said, “Ryan, how did you learn to write like this?”

“You taught me,” he said.

“I taught you?” My every attempt to assist with their letter formation has been at best ignored, at worst loudly rejected. Searching for a delicate way to point this out, I settled on, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, because I’ve seen you writing, and I thought ‘I can do that’,” said Ryan.

And that, I think, is our homeschooling in a nutshell.


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