Thursday, March 18, 2010


be flexible.

that is very important. but that's why we're homeschooling, right? not for no tuition. of course not.

so chana has a decent vocabulary, has a handle on shorashim, prefixes and suffixes. so i was blowing through pesukim with her. and she started dreading chumash. and then she started crying and tantrumming. both before we started and through the whole time. i had thought 20 minutes a day was reasonable.

sof kol sof, we are down to 5 minutes a day. something i read many years ago regarding teaching torah is "stop teaching 5 minutes before the student is ready to stop."

which is great, if you know when they are going to be ready to stop!

i'll give you a hint. crying, screaming, whining, getting distracted, looking away, asking questions about other things, interrupting to tell you about the tv show they watched, and telling you they don't want to do this--you're TOOOO LATE! (and you'd really think you'd catch on to that last one. and you'd be really surprised how often you don't!)

there are a lot of skills in chumash. reading, breaking down the shoresh, prefixes and suffixes, translating, tying the translation together into something that makes sense (what i call "putting the puzzle together"). also looking up words, and writing them down in her own dictionary by shoresh, alphebetizing. mi amar el mi and al ma neemar (who is speaking to whom and pronoun identification).

one thing i've seen over and over. there is a rather large gap between what a child is intellectually capable of and what a child is emotionally capable of.

so the bare bones of what we do.

day 1: read the pasuk
day 2: scout for words she doesn't know, and she writes them down and looks them up (i sometimes use a whiteboard to help her diagram the word, but she can usually do it in her head).
day 3: translate to the asnachta (if i knew how to post pictures, i'd find one and post it. but i'm new at this. it's the little upside down horseshoe with a line on top of the trup, and it indicates half of the pasuk conceptually).
day 4: translate from the asnachta to the end.

so one pasuk takes 3-4 days. (we were doing 4 pesukim a day. short road to burnout and constant tantrums). because i tortured her previously, she refuses to do extra, even if it's very short and very easy. my fault. hopefully, in time, with many pleasant experiences, this will be mitigated.

just today, chana said that she didn't want to read the pasuk first and then translate, because she noticed that when she translates, she reads the words first and now she is, horror of horrors, doing extra work. so we shall amend that as per her decision.

the reason we started reading in the first place on its own day was because chana insisted that chumash was just translation, and she didn't have to read accurately. i said i would like accurate reading and asked her how she wanted to go about that. it was her idea to break it up into a separate day. i reluctantly agreed, and now it seems i was needlessly reluctant because she is ready to go back.

1 comment:

  1. a thought (i have others, like about mi amar el me, but for now, just one)

    for teaching/learning hebrew, something that i found very interesting and useable are, i think, called "mishkalot." (its been awhile, i may b wrong) but hte premiss is, that you have type of word that you place a shoresh into, and it you get the same "type" of word. for example: place a mem wiith a chirik in the beginning of a shoresh and a kamatz under the last letter of the shoresh followed by a heh, and you get "a place that you do the shoresh" example 1: semech ayin daled: place in that mishkal and you get a restaurant
    example 2: reish peih aleph: a place that you get healed

    this has many applications in modern hebrew, not quite sure about biblical, and I don't remember ever being taught it in school.