Nate holds class at least once a day, often times more. He teaches them about the things he is learning about and interested in. Sometimes it's about space, gravity, planets and such while other times it's about construction, dinosaurs or, his favorite, survival.
Don't let the name of the course Survival fool you though. It doesn't involved an infil into a lonely desert where Nate teaches the class how to survive on bugs and boiled urine. Survival to Nate means how your body maintains itself. He teaches them about your lungs, eyes, blood and waste system. It's not uncommon for Nathaniel to need to go to the bathroom during class and announce to everyone, "Okay class, I'm going to get rid of my waste now", or something to that effect.
He'll often quiz them as well and makes sure they raise their hands first since he has a problem with that himself in preschool. He asks them about the material and then he or Annie will come up with answers for them.
The following is a teaching moment Nate had with his class.
Nathaniel - "Okay class, what is your favorite sound?"
Bunny: "Crunching on a carrot."
Iron Man: "My favorite song."
Wolverine "My claws going into bad guys."
...We don't cross Nate anymore.
Sometimes he'll have Annie teach the class and he'll be a student as well. Because what well adjusted 4 year-old doesn't want to hold school in their free time?
Today he had Annie teach and she popped the question;
"How do we know the Big Bang happened?"
Nate: "Astronomers have several clues, such as a faint echo in space and the fact that the universe is still expanding."
He also loves to take the class on field trips. He gets to bring one member of his class with him when we leave the house. Originally Nate was not content with one and wanted the whole class to come. Since the beginning there has been a ban on taking the ENTIRE class on field trips and that never sat well with Nate so Annie to the above picture of his class and they always bring that with him.
As they move through a store Nate will explain things to whichever class member is lucky enough to be riding shotgun.
This all comes from 2 things.
1. Nate LOVES to learn. He loves facts and they stay with him.
2. The way Nate plays is very different then other kids. His uncle Chris once commented that something he loves about Nate is that he can be entertained with conversation. Because of SMARD Nate has developed different ways to interact with the world and found a deeper interest in learning and conversing. Maybe he would have been that way regardless. Who knows.
That's Nate holding an earthworm. He likes to play "Bugclub" and go out in the backyard and look for bugs. The other day he dug up a worm and then picked it up. That's a big change in behavior for the kid that is so texture sensitive he used to freak out if he got dirt on his hands.
Even though Nate cannot run through the grass and explore the hills, he is an adventurer at heart and loves to explore and learn in the ways that he can. He is constantly trying new things, which is a big change from his attitude a year ago, and always looking to know how things around him work.