My son is in Year 1 of Ambleside Online. It’s a wonderful, rich, literature-based curriculum. It’s everything an education should be. Then there’s my son. He’s 6. He really likes grasshoppers, and roly polys, and ants, and Pacman, and riding his bike and eating double cheeseburgers. Aesop’s Fables? Not so much.
He’s my first-born. The heart of my heart. The one I get to be anxious about because I’m so worried I’ll mess him up. (By the time #4 is ready for school she will probably just get to play with grasshoppers all day because by then I’ll have everything figured out.) He’s sensitive and stubborn, playful and intelligent. He’s eager to please and gets frustrated easily. At times, my expectations for him are too high and I try to remind myself to just relax – he’ll be okay even if he doesn’t like ancient history.
My sister is often my voice of reason. The one who’s been through it before and can get away with telling me to take a chill pill. She suggested I back off on the history that’s in the schedule and just let the kid read some other books for fun to build his reading endurance. We made a trip to the library. The little sisters LOVE Nate the Great now but my son still just wants to read about grasshoppers….
……. until…….. cue Monday morning when Shakespeare is on the schedule. (Inwardly, I’m groaning. I don’t even like Shakespeare – how am I going to fake my way through this when I just know he’s going to hate it even more?) First Shakespeare story on the agenda is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And, you know, what? My son, the Grasshopper Whisperer, loved it – loved with a capital L. Begged me for more. I said, “No. We’ll finish it tomorrow.” Stretched it out for three days. 🙂 My sister’s right – those chill pills really are amazing things.