One of the joys of learning at home is being able to pursue a child’s ardent interests. Thus far, my son’s most ardent interest is sword fighting! I am not kidding. And he is very, very good at it. He wants to sword fight with ‘any comer’, as they say, anyone who will test him. Although he has to use toy swords of course, they can hurt well enough so you do have to try hard to fight well! His father is his best opponent so far of course and he feels seriously challenged! Edward has just discovered the ‘Prince Caspian’ movie (after he read the book, that’s the deal), the second movie in the Narnia series. As far as I can see, watching it from the corner of my eye as I sit at my desk, is it’s all about war and sword fighting – involving children as the protagonists, Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy, which ideally feeds his imagination. The movie helps him imagine having the chance to be involved in real adventures with real swords even at his age (7).
Although I am not ecstatic about him being so enthralled by war, I do understand it and I would like to encourage his love of sword fighting. Just tonight he lamented that his life was so boring because he couldn’t have ‘real adventures’ like Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy. He always reels off all four names, like some kind of adventure-mantra! Perhaps if he says them often enough or fast enough he thinks it might transport him to Narnia?! The fact is life is so boring and so far from a Narnia-like adventure seriously upsets him. This is not the first time he’s said this with a very heavy heart. And suggesting how much C.S. Lewis must have lived the adventures by writing them just doesn’t wash with him (I just can’t persuade him of the excitement of reading and writing). After all, the easiest/laziest way to enter some else’s adventure is to watch a vivid movie of it but this just isn’t nearly realistic for him. Reading about, writing about, thinking about or watching movies about adventure is simply not good enough for him. He is in serious need of those virtual reality goggles from the Spielberg movie A.I!
The civilized way to pursue a love of sword fighting is to do it through the sport of fencing. We have discussed this, looked at it on youtube and he’s desperately keen to become a competitive fencer. This is a very popular sport around the world. When we were in the UK last summer, we found many fencing clubs even in quite obscure areas. However, they wouldn’t teach him until he turned 7, which he hadn’t yet done. Unfortunately, we haven’t found anyone here in Bahrain. So, I am putting out a plea – does anyone know anyone remotely involved in fencing ANYWHERE IN THE WHOLE OF THE MIDDLE EAST? They don’t have to be teaching fencing. They just have to have had experience doing it and ideally will know someone, somewhere, who might teach it, preferably in the Gulf. But we travel quite a lot in the Middle East, with my husband, so even intermittent lessons would be better than nothing or even meeting someone with real fencing swords; rapiers, foils, epees or sabres would be a thrill. I’d love for Edward (and us!) to meet someone who had fenced competitively and could show off his/her achievements with photographs, medals and cups. It’s so frustrating that as home educators, we have such a flexible schedule that we could fit in lessons and competitions quite easily but none seem to be available in the region, thus far. Any phone numbers or email addresses I’ve found on Google don’t work/don’t answer.
I would love to fulfill my son’s dream so if anyone could help, please please comment below or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you SO much!