How My Daughters Are Organising My Education

Once again, it’s Monday, the day the girls have their piano
lessons. Once again, Charlotte took Les
to read, while she was waiting for her turn at the piano.

“So how did you get on with your book?” I asked, as the girls
reappeared after the lessons.

“I’ve almost finished it,” Charlotte answered. “I had to
stop reading because I got to a snifferly bit. I didn’t feel comfortable crying
away from home.”

“It was sad?”

Charlotte nodded.

My interest in the book soared. A book that can entangle the
emotions and bring us to tears might be worth reading. “Perhaps I should take
up the challenge and read Les Mis
too,” I said.

We hadn’t been home long before Charlotte presented me
with her book, saying, “It’s all yours. I’ve finished!
Your turn to read it.”

There were still a few tears on Charlotte’s cheeks, but she
also had a triumphant look on her face. “I had a bit of a sniffle. It was so
sad. But I read everything, even the two appendices. I can now say, ‘I read Les

I was having second thoughts about reading Les Miserables (it is very long), so I said, “I’m still reading Bleak House.”

“Well, you’d better hurry up and finish it,” Charlotte said. “You
have lots of reading to do.”

Sophie is also reading a classic. The other day she
complained, “The big girls told me I’m too young to read Oliver Twist.”

“They’re only teasing,” I reassured her. “You can read the
book if you like.” I found a copy on the shelf and Sophie has begun reading it.

“Do you think Sophie will finish Oliver Twist before Mum finishes Les Miserables?” asked Imogen.

“They could have a race,” suggested Charlotte.

“Hold on,” I protested. “I haven’t finished Bleak House yet. I can’t even start Les Mis until I have. Anyway, what are you
reading next?”

“I thought I’d read The
Count of Monte Cristo
. Imogen should read it too,” said Charlotte.

“You do know some Christian parents won’t let their children
read that book because it’s a tale of revenge?”

“Don’t worry, Mum! We know revenge is wrong. We’ll read it to
find out what not to do.”

So Sophie is reading Oliver
, Imogen and Charlotte are reading The
Count of Monte Cristo
, and it seems I am reading Les Miserables (and Bleak House).

It also seems I have very bossy daughters who enjoy organising my education. Isn’t that the wrong way round? Aren’t parents supposed to organise their children’s education? Not in this house. I never seem to get the chance.

Who will finish their book first? Sophie? Charlotte? Imogen? The cat? It probably won’t be me!

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  1. Reply

    This is funny! I tear up a lot when I'm reading to the children – even with Jackie French books! Am I a sook?

    I started The Count of Monte Cristo but I can't bear my heroes to turn bad. I still don't know if it has a happy ending but, even it does, I would probably bypass the anguish bits to arrive at the happy-ever-after.

    I hope the girls are happy with your progress!

    God bless, Sue:-)

    1. Reply


      You can laugh! You aren't expected to read Les Miserables!

      I am always crying over our read-aloud books too. We finished Jackie French's "Pennies for Hitler" the other day, and I barely made it to the end without tears. btw, we all really enjoyed that book. It didn't even have any language I felt needed modifying for young ears. We borrowed our copy from the library. It was well worth reading.

      I have actually read The Count of Monte Cristo. It didn't even take me very long. I am so proud of that! Yes, the hero went off track. I can't reveal the ending (I don't even remember all the details due to my poor old age memory!) but it all came right by the final page.

      Now what are YOU reading?

  2. Reply

    Ooh, I bought Pennies for Hitler at the beginning of term! We're still reading A Waltz for Matilda. It's very good – with a bit of editing – though long.

    All of my personal reading time is spent on the bible and catechism programs but I downloaded a Graham Greene book that you recommended. I haven't started, yet, though.

    Enjoy Les Mis! I bet it's wonderful but I'm not sure that I could even sit through the movie!

    1. Reply


      Which Graham Greene novel did you decide to read? I hope you enjoy it, especially as I recommended his books!

  3. Reply

    This happens to me all the time, my 12 year old will read something and then incredulously exclaim when I admit I haven't read it myself! This allows me the opportunity to reinforce to the children how blessed they are to have the time to read for hours a day if they choose instead of sitting in a school room!
    I admit that although I love Charles Dickens I haven't read enough of his books, I think it may be because my husband doesn't like him (thinks his stories are too morose). Our son is keen to try Dickens, I wonder which would be a good one for him? David Copperfield is one of my faves.

    1. Reply


      I also missed out on so many good books while I was growing up. I am catching up with some of them as I read them with the girls. But yes, we don't seem to have nearly as much time for reading as they do. They are very blessed indeed!

      As you know, Charles Dickens' novels are set in a period that was very difficult in many ways. It was a hard life! He does write about some morose subjects, I agree. I think the saving factor though is Dickens' very sharp wit. He is a very clever writer and I am always fascinated by his choice of words. I have been listening to an audio version of Bleak House. Because I am listening and not reading quickly, I am appreciating Dicken's language much more. He really is very entertaining.

      I haven't read David Copperfield. I will eventually! My boys enjoyed Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

      Thank you for comment!

  4. Reply

    I agree with you Sue – his wit and understanding of human character is quite extraordinary.
    I'm a bit of a fan of audio books too – I like to knit or embroider whilst I listen but admittedly I'm a fussy listener and the reader's voice has to be just right!

    1. Reply


      I knit and listen too! I love how I can do two things at once. My girls can read and knit at the same time, but I'm not nearly that talented! You are so right about the reader's voice. It makes such a difference.

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