Let me start this by saying I love classic literature. There are some books that I just can’t drag myself through, but I really love a lot of classic books. That being said, I hope no one judges me too harshly.
The kids and I are reading Heidi. It’s a slow-moving book about a little girl who lives kind of an ideal life in the mountains and is dragged off to be a playmate to a girl that is very ill in Frankfurt. This is the first of the co-op selections we’re getting to read together.
That being said, I think I’m not a fan of this book. Heidi’s constant optimism is almost annoying, and while I love her fresh, innocent outlook, the conflict just seems flat to me in so many ways. Heidi was far too easily duped into going to Frankfurt by her sister and much of what she does seems too simplistic and flat.
The kids, however, love it. They kind of glaze over during long, descriptive sections, especially since we’re trying to clear four chapters a day so we can finish on time. For the most part, they love the story. Heidi seems to ne Corde’s favorite character. Beekee likes Alm-Uncle and is very disappointed that he hasn’t made another appearance and doesn’t go rescue Heidi from the city.
I have a feeling we’re going to have a few of these stories in Lit. Treasure Island is another I know I won’t enjoy. I didn’t like it the first time I suffered through because it was so dry. I have a feeling Corde won’t like War of the Worlds. It’s not her style. Some of these books are going to be more of a struggle than others. Some of them, like Heidi and Wind in the Willows, I’ve never read. It’s going to be an interesting year, that much is certain.
In some ways I wish I was the sort of person to let my kids do graphic novels or children’s editions of the classics. It would cut out a lot of the dry, boring stuff. It might make the book easier to read and follow. I wouldn’t get that glazed over look from the kids. I just feel like it loses something. If I were going to do that, I might as well have them watch the movie. It would be quicker and contain about as much detail. I feel like it’s almost cheating. Still, we wouldn’t have to plow through twenty-three chapters in a week were that the case. So much for figuring it was a short book!
This co-op really is taking a toll on me. It’s a lot more work than I had imagined. Our last co-op didn’t have books to buy, reading to do, and papers and projects to do. I think I may have bit off more than I could chew on this one.