These last 48 hours have been the most rewarding/delightful/holy-cow-is-this-real hours of my homeschool experience.
Daniel, out of the blue, decided that he was a reader.
He picked up the copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that Fernando has been reading to us and launched into chapter one. By himself. Giggling with glee every few sentences with a “I’m really reading this!” kind of squeal.
Not that he hasn’t had the skill set. He has been ABLE to read for quite a while. And he does read frequently, especially when he needs/wants the information contained in every manner of nature books. But loving the ACT of reading – and more importantly, self-identifying as “a reader” – that’s new. The confidence is new. The not-to-be-deterred-by-new words boldness is new.
And for 48 hours, I haven’t been able to get the books out of his hands (or the smile off his face).
He reads to me while we are driving to the store, walking the aisles of the store and on the way home. He hurries to brush his teeth so he can read while Violet is brushing hers. He took a pile of books to the zoo and when I told him we probably shouldn’t bring them in, he blinked back tears and said, “But Mommy, I am a READING boy.” I even busted him curled up next to his night light trying to sneak in a few pages of Bible when he should have been sleeping.
The boy is on fire and I kid you not, my heart physically flutters every time I see him buried in a book, flashing me that super proud half smile over the top. I swear to you, he’s even walking differently. Taller, maybe. Happier, definitely.
I have longed for this moment for years… to watch the light switch turn on… to see the fruit of my labor/patience/prayers/fears… I have dreamed of what it would be like to watch him fall in love with books and let me tell you… it tastes even sweeter than I imagined.
And while I’m at it, let me say this. What was murky just months ago is crystal clear tonight: I’m glad we didn’t push him. I’m glad we didn’t force a daily reading time. I’m glad we didn’t put our pride in front of his well-being. I’m glad God taught me the much needed lesson before I tainted Daniel’s relationship with books. This change was so organic, so real, so passionate. And 100% Daniel, 0% us.
They tell you how great it is to homeschool and watch the light switches turn on, but I was totally unprepared for this rush. This rush of pride, of love, of my-heart-is-about-to-explode and can’t-wait-for-him-to-experience-the-worlds-that-are-waiting-for-him and just-WAIT-until-you-discover-science-fiction, and, and, and, and.
Best. 48 Hours. Ever.