Thursday, May 6, 2010

OT: homeschool hysteria

i think a homeschooler periodically gets all freaked out and worries. i think this is normal, and it keeps us honest. ie it is good to have regular assessments to see if the days are going well, the kids are generally learning, and the things you are absolutely anxious about--it's probably time to do a short lesson on them.

for some reason, for the last few days i've been ridden with concern about chana's long-term ivrit ability. (yes, i'm sticking this in the chumash blog even though it's not chumash). part of me feels that my anxiety is silly, because sarah's abilities, though not particularly stellar, were certainly adequate and she matriculated just fine.

but i've been oddly stuck on the idea that i'd like chana to be more facile in speaking and writing ivrit. all week this pressure has been driving me, and i've been trying to figure out what i could do (in addition to figuring out what is driving this weird anxiety, but this is not a psychoanalytic blog). i tried to get chana to speak hebrew. it was not that successful.

today i came up with a plan. i googled "popular ivrit verbs" or something like that. and i found a site with a list of words. i went through it and i picked out 10, and then another 15 or so. i wrote down the 10 for chana, and i am trying to get it from english to hebrew. hebrew to english she can translate pretty easily, since i speak to her in hebrew. but i want her to have the hebrew words at her fingertips. i theorize that if she has about 50 common verbs and 50 common nouns on the tip of her tongue, then speaking hebrew and after that, writing hebrew, shouldn't be like pulling teeth. so today i gave her the list (because she was asking for ways to make money. i know alfie is not for this but she's begging and i don't think it's all that bad for her to memorize some verbs for cash). out of 10, she knows 3 and learned a 4th. learning the 4th entailed me shouting periodically, "hey, chana, how do you say angry?" and she said כעס. hopefully, after we have the words, i can start her speaking more sentences and writing more and getting a better handle on the grammar.

perhaps this will be our summer project. darn, i really wanted to teach her rashi letters. but there are only so many things i can stay on top of at once.


  1. All my hebrew education came down to sixth grade where my teacher only taught us verbs and conjugations the entire year. That year took me from not knowing any hebrew to being able to translate on a basic level. I think shorashim and binyanim are really all that need to be taught to get a grasp on the language.

    Also, the one thing that's still preventing me from feeling like I know the language is not being able to speak. I really regret my teachers not forcing us to speak. However, this has not affected my learning at all in terms of translating ability. I don't know if your goal is aimed at the language or learning.

  2. my goal was just learning, but this last week i've had an urge to focus on a moderate speaking ability.