5th Grade Quadruplets Embrace Learning, Exploration and Inquiry
Homeschool families – especially at iLEAD Exploration – have reputations for not only embracing the available personalization, but also maximizing extended learning adventures such as field studies, play-based learning and a general exploration. Well, meet 5th Grade Quadruplets Capriana, Grayson, Ryder and Xayden – one of the many true Renaissance families at iLEAD Exploration.
If you talk to their Educational Facilitator Jody Sandberg, she will quickly share with you about this family’s amazing learning adventures. For example, during their recent Presentation of Learning (POL) Period 2, she said they made their own computers, entered an essay contest, studied about their favorite artists and dove head first into Chemistry.
“These learners are so polished and interesting,” said Sandberg. “All four have great personalities and are so excited to share their learning.”
These learners are led at home by their mother Theresa. She said to fully appreciate these siblings and their journey, one needs to know about their origin. Theresa said that although Capriana, Grayson, Ryder and Xayden function as quadruplets, they are in actuality a set of triplets plus one.
She said she and her husband experienced multiple challenges with getting pregnant and keeping babies to term.
“After many years of losses, we turned to gestational surrogacy. We needed someone else to carry our babies (which were genetically ours),” said Theresa. “However, just prior to the transfer of our embryos, I had a positive pregnancy test.”
Theresa said that she and her husband checked with their surrogate and she was comfortable with going forward.
“She was happy for us and agreed,” she said. “She carried our three boys and I carried our daughter.”
According to Theresa, she wanted to be there for the birth of the three boys and the doctor agreed to induce her in order to deliver her daughter first. She said Capriana (Capri) was born five days before the boys’ scheduled birth.
Challenges continued however for the family as Capri ended up having severe jaundice and had to be hospitalized. She said the three boys came home hooked up to machines that monitored their breathing and heart rates.
“Each episode of the alarms going off earned them more time on the machines,” said Theresa. “Our last one graduated from the monitor four months after he was born.”
These early challenges made these siblings stronger and have an appreciation for both learning and life. Theresa said that although the four siblings initially attended preschool for a few months, as well as a traditional school TK – 2nd grade, they soon realized that they could accomplish and do more at home.
“While our learners are the same age, they have different styles of learning. The traditional setting was not ideal for our family,” she said. “Then I heard about iLEAD Exploration from another parent who had several kids and loved the program.”
So, in 3rd grade, they made the switch. For the first two years, they worked with Educational Facilitator Amy Chapin whom they adored. Theresa said they have also been very fortunate to meet and work with their current Educational Facilitator Jody Sandberg.
“We have been amazed at the limitless possibilities that iLEAD Exploration has provided,” she said. “The facilitators and staff have been instrumental in providing resources and support that has helped all four of them discover wonderful learning opportunities.”
Capriana, Grayson, Ryder and Xayden concur with their mother’s assessment of the iLEAD Exploration experience thus far.
Capri, who wants to be a doctor, said, “I love that I can learn as much as I want about subjects that interest me and that can help me have a head start in my career.”
Ryder is enthusiastic about learning chemistry in a flex class from a facilitator who has a master’s degree from MIT and also a Ph.D.
“I love that we can learn at our own level,” he said.
Both Xayden and Grayson follow up with equal degrees of enthusiasm as their two siblings.
“iLEAD gives me amazing opportunities to do things I’ve never done before – such as building a computer,” said Xayden.
Grayson added, “I can learn about any subject with iLEAD Exploration.”
In addition to the aforementioned learning activities, Theresa said that the four also enjoy endeavors such as robotics, lacrosse, art history and reading.
She said that both their early childhood experiences, as well as their current learning experiences, have already informed some of their future goals. In addition to Capri’s plans to be a pediatrician, Grayson visualizes himself becoming a scientist or engineer for NASA, Xayden wants to work for Apple as a software engineer or designer and Ryder intends to design cars.
Ultimately, Theresa is excited that her kids are excited about learning and she credits the facilitators, culture and systems at iLEAD Exploration for helping foster that.
She cites reading as a prime example. She said that Capriana, Grayson, Ryder and Xayden all love the “Harry Potter” books.
These books serve as an example of the educational differences between their experience at iLEAD Exploration and traditional school programs. Theresa said that since the “Harry Potter” books are long, they previously were not allowed time to finish them. Indeed, she said they were encouraged to choose shorter books as part of their traditional reading programs.
“They are so excited that they can now choose any book that interests them and take the time they need to finish it,” said Theresa. “iLEAD has facilitated their growth as readers so much that we have to convince them to close their books and turn out the lights each night.”
For Jodi Sandberg, she is excited to know this unique and powerful learning family. She said their continuous love of learning and passion for trying new things has in turn inspired her as both a facilitator and lifelong learner.
“They have taught me that success comes from persistence,” said Sandberg. “They inspire me to continue to learn new things. Their curiosity is infectious.”
(See individual profiles on Capriana, Grayson, Ryder and Xayden Here)
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