Three years ago I tried teaching Charis piano lessons. She was eager to play but not so thrilled about the actual learning process. I decided I valued my sanity and our relationship more than being her piano teacher, so we shelved her books and the attempt. We could wait.
Now that I'm playing piano again myself (with one of the worship teams at church), I decided it was time to try again. I had seen a recommendation for a piano teacher posted on our homeschool loop, so I gave her a call and learned that she was willing to come to our house. Charis was fairly agreeable when I asked her if she wanted to take lessons, so we scheduled Thursday mornings for our time slot.
Mrs. D arrived a bit late, having had some difficulty finding our house, but otherwise all went well. She's elderly and reminds me a lot of my own grandmother, rather short and very sweet. I hustled Kenna and the boys outside, having decreed that they would have a half hour of "PE" (or something) so we could give Charis and her teacher some peace. Lucan and Kenna tried out our "new" sit-n-stand stroller that I bought for $5 (woohoo--thank you, God!) and walked around the neighborhood while the boys rode bikes and scooters. I was hoping and praying that all was going well with the lesson--Charis had a look on her face when she met Mrs. D that made me a bit nervous...not quite her "bad attitude" look, but something that showed she wasn't as excited as she had maybe thought she would be.
Well, by the time we came back inside, Charis was happily plunking away at the piano and listening carefully to her teacher's instructions. Though she is to practice only about 10-15 minutes on school days for now, I believe she has spent close to three hours playing the piano today! She even dug out the dreaded pink piano books I had bought to use for her lessons years ago. I had told Mrs. D that perhaps she should bring something different, as those books had caused Charis to balk at the thought of trying lessons again. So we do have a couple of other books, but I was pleased to see that Charis's thirst for learning songs was strong enough to conquer her distaste for the other materials that we already had on hand.
It just goes to prove that when a child is ready to learn a skill, it is SO much easier and comes much more quickly when you do it at his or her own pace rather than trying to force him or her to do something simply because it is at "grade level." One more reason we love homeschooling!