Sunday, May 23, 2010

be decisive

so it's one of those lazy sundays where i have a ton of time so naturally i want to do schoolwork. (yes, i can do housework, but somehow the urge didn't strike me). chana had arranged a pokemon extravaganza, so i couldn't pull her away. i told her i wanted to do work afterwards and she was amenable. we hit the books, no problem.

she pretty much zipped through adam and his wife being naked and not embarrassed. she didn't know arum but when i said "בלי בגדים" she knew what it was (and was quite surprised). she missed the flow of the translation "וְלֹא יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ. " forgetting the "and not" and figured they were embarrassed (she didn't know that word even though she is familiar with it in other grammatical forms). she wondered why they'd be embarrassed if they were alone. then figured that hashem could see them. then realized that hashem can see everybody all the time, so why be embarrassed.

then we reviewed that they were not embarrassed and she thought that was as it should be, since, after all, nobody else was around.

up til there things were going dandy. she protested mildly about doing the full pasuk, but the second half was only 2 words, no big deal.

but then i really wanted to do the next half of the next pasuk. and she really wanted to play with her friend, who was there waiting to play.

the reason i didn't want to wait to do the next half, is because the word arum was in the next pasuk meaning something different. and i knew chana would never realize this unless we did them one after the other. (i must say, having pushed for it, that i don't know that it actually achieved much).

chana begged not to do it. pleaded that when she was 9 she would do more, in the summer she'll do more. i told her that we are already working our way up to more. she was starting to kick off a tantrum.

she wanted to do it later this evening, but we have plans for the evening and i felt we might not have time. i suggested in 1/2 an hour, but then i realized that elazar would likely be up.

it was suggested that my own conflicts about how much she should be doing was giving her the permission to react that way (or me not effectively cutting through it) so i decided to try to be decisive. (lol howz that for wishy washy).

i said in a firm, positive voice that i was setting the timer and we'd see how long it would take. a bit more kvetching but she put her nose to the grindstone. she looked at the whiteboard where it said "arumim" and said of course the snake is naked. he's an animal. i showed her onkelos and said that's why he says it's chacham. oddly, she didn't know that word but it is often the case that her brain is partially shut off when she doesn't want to do the work. therefore i was not surprised when yet again, she didn't remember the taf suffix of חית meaning "of." i roared at chaya and she remembered, and sadeh she remembered was a field when i said "don't say meadow." ("i wasn't planning to say meadow," she grumbled).

i went to shut off the timer and asked her how long she thought it had taken. 8 minutes, she said emphatically. and then joked, "and 51 seconds." i showed her that the timer said 3:27.

i am still not thrilled that i always feel like i'm rushing through chumash, trying to get it over with, trying to fit it in between other things. i think i would likely feel that way about any subject i was actually trying to teach, except that chumash is the only subject i'm trying to teach with any rigor.

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