We have started our school year. Yes. It is hot in Houston. We go to the pool, play with friends, take it easy, and between all that, I insert lessons. Why? Because coming the fall, it will be our summer. Because I have a new student this year, hurray! Because I am restless in a life without readings, narrations, and Life of Fred.
Daughter number two, six and a half, works like a charm. And I do need that. She cuddles with me, reads some of the books herself, narrates impeccably, remembers much from two years ago when I read it to her sister, suggest to draw some of the readings, is on top of the math, and with a crayon, she highlights from her notebook what she has completed from week 1. Our first chapter of the Geography option that I changed, a delight.
Daughter number one, still has new book phobia. And holds tight to old book phobia. She insists she hates narration. She only wants to read her latest hit, Marco Polo. On Monday, after several times in which I had to calm myself, Pagoo was opened, read, narrated from, and loved. On Tuesday, she only wanted to read and narrate from Pagoo or Marco Polo. Sigh. Now I luckily have a second companion. I called daughter number 2 while number 1 was crying. I finished lessons with the non screaming offspring and left the table to see the culprit of some of my greys taking a cat nap. When I saw her awake, we tried again. This time she was assuring me that Princess and the Goblin was boooriiing. Because you know, she has seen the movie. Argh. As nice as the movie Hugo was, whatever the cheesy version of the Princess and the Goblin movie they saw was about to ruin this wonderful book? We went to the old Our Island Story. Once reading it, she remembered she loves history. Her narration was good. She remembered more than just the end, though I did not stop for the full chapter. I suggested her to take some notes, jot down a word here and there. It will help. We will see. Now for the fifth time, I ask if she wants The Princess and The Goblin in Spanish or in English, but I know she prefers English. Fine with me. I read one chapter. She is hooked. She begs for a second one, I oblige. She decides to leave the third chapter for another day. Nothing broken. I narrate the story. I know very well she could narrate, but I wanted to tell her what stood out to me in these chapters. I admit I was a bit selfish, but I needed a companion to review the book badly. She engaged in questions and comments. ‘Mom, does she have a window in her room?’ ‘Maybe not, the goblins could see her from it.’ This will be a good book. Life is so good. She will love McDonald. Can anyone not fall head over heals for his books?
In another of her moments, she declares that if she were the one reading the book, she will narrate it very well. Really? What has hindered thou, child, from doing so?, I ask with my frown. I walk to our shelf and show her potential books she could read and narrate. Nope. I give her a walk through the free readings. I read the back of White Horse. It says it has romance. Oh, dear. I don’t want to proofread it and do like her, but the book is an Avon copy I got because I liked the retro cover, and it promises romance. She tells me that she does not want to read romance. In all honesty, me either, meaning I don’t want her or me to read romance. I will have to proofread it, no escape.
I arrive to the conclusion that my daughter has it all and can see nothing. She has had lots of everything from the moment she was born. She has more than she needs. Specially more attention and pressure than she cares for since we started with her lessons. No. I am not abandoning her to her own care free style of life when it comes to her education. I trust her, yes. It is not a matter of trust. It is conviction on my side that children (this type the most), need the exposure and richness of ideas in their life. Part of this rejection to the new, or to the hard, it is the aftermath of my pushing her too much too early. I can adjust this situation, no doubt.
This year 1 and year 3 promise to be a wonderful one. Challenges will be met with patience and educated common sense, apart from tea and chocolate. I want it to work and it will. The year when daughter 1 and I made peace and restored harmony.