When To Give Up on a Book

I started reading Heidi with Ricky and Deborah two months ago.  If we continue at this rate, we will be done by next May. Since Heidi is just a five-year-old little girl, I thought it would be a perfect book for Deborah, and while it is so beautifully written, it is just too difficult for them to understand.  While I often define words as I read, I was finding that entire paragraphs, entire pages were beyond Ricky and Deborah’s comprehension.

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We will come back to the book in three or four years because there are definitely reasons why it’s a classic.  I have never read a book that gives a five-year-old such a rich and deep character.    One night I actually told my children we were going to play detective.  I was going to read a passage of the book that would a “clue” to Heidi.

For example we read about Heidi’s first dinner with her grandfather.  While she saw him roasting cheese on the fire, she found some plates and glasses and set the table without being asked.  “What does this tell us about Heidi?”

We talked about how Heidi was proactive.  That meant that she could see what needed to be done and just did it without being asked. This concept was a pretty mind blowing one for my kids.

Then we talked about how she coaxed Peter’s goats to safety instead of forcing them and made Peter promise he will never beat the goats again. What did that tell them about Heidi?

While we’ve had a few great moments, overall, it’s just been a little too frustrating.  So we started the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.  Deborah loves them!  We’ll tell you more–

As a side note, I will get to that post about the ways that I keep myself from getting bored on Monday.  Thank you for your patience!

Did you ever start a book that was too hard for your kids?

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