Tuesday, November 30, 2010

so chana agreed to do rishon and sheni, and i wanted her to do one of them pasuk-by-pasuk, and one of them to just review the hard words. chana started off saying she would do everything pasuk by pasuk, because it is easier to remember the words in context. but then she actually started, got stumped on a word, and changed her mind. so we ended up doing both aliyas by targeting major words, except for a few pesukim here and there where i wanted her to do the whole thing.

she was in a good mood except towards the end. i felt that she should take a break, and she wanted to finish. so the last few pesukim in shlishi she screamed her way through. despite that, she did a decent job translating. (when i said "nice job" she didn't believe me, because she had been shrieking. i told her that despite the shrieking, she translated well.)

then she got upset because i still wanted her to do the 4 pesukim from revii from yesterday, plus one new pasuk, plus 2 rashis. so she lay on the floor for 10 minutes crying. and saying "this is not a break." i am not sure why she was so opposed to the idea of a break today. it's funny because often she wants to take a 10 minute break after every pasuk.

she got through the pesukim fine, and the new pasuk. i brought down the atlas (aharoni and avi-yonah bible atlas) and i looked up the map of the 4 kings/5kings battle, but haven't shown it to her yet because she is so resistant to maps. tomorrow. then we did the 2 rashis amidst great yelling.

tomorrow i want to do some of the rashis on the names of the 5 kings. i think she'll get a kick out of the puns.

at one point she asked, what were avram and sarai doing during all this? (there were 12 yrs service and 13 yrs rebellion). i explained avram was in chevron with his mizbeach, and then the story pauses and tells this story.
i think she'll be suprised when lot gets captured and the stories come together. i think because she for some reason can't keep sedom in her head, she doesn't realize that this is relevant to the lot avram story. i hope she puts it together and enjoys it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

chana did shlishi today beautifully. then we did 4 pesukim in revii. by that point, she was getting a bit cranky.

chana asked if it hurt avram's feelings that hashem keeps talking about his children when avram doesn't have children.

chana does not remember that sedom is a city. hopefully eventually she will.

all in all, a nice pleasant chumash day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

chana blitzed through shlishi and rishon today. i still needed to provide some of the words, but we make progress. no new pesukim today. no rashi.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


today we started with shlishi, then did the rashis and the new pasuk. then i convinced her to do the last 2 pesukim in shlishi; they weren't hard. then break, then sheni. it went pretty smoothly. i still had to tell her some of the words, but i think she's improving. definitely the nasa (lift/carry) from the white board went better. she's still having trouble with nasa (travel) in all of its many forms. l'masa'av. vayisa. etc. all in all a smooth day and we only used 1hr 10min of the 2 hrs i allotted for it. rest of the day we chill.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

chana worked very hard today. we did rishon, which went pretty well.

we used the white board a lot. i finally wrote down the 3 shorashim she keeps confusing. nasa. travel. asa. make/do. nasa. lift/carry. they keep showing up. i also drew a map with east and west (and the yam on the west) and south and where avram was and lot. and sedom. and mitzrayim.

then we took a break and did shlishi. i probably should have given her a longer break. coz she had a bit of a hard time going through what we were doing. but as far as jack napping and just waking up now, it was the right timing. we did 2 new pesukim today and one rashi.

we'll have to review shlishi tomorrow. i was going to review sheni also, but it's a lot. we'll see. anyway, about 1.5 hrs straight of working. with one 10 minute break. good job, chana!

Monday, November 22, 2010

chazara. chazara. chazara.

chana threw a bit of a fit when i said she had to translate all the pesukim in sheni. i gave her 2 minutes to cry. then i had a bunch of things to do. she said she cried only one minute. i was about to threaten her no tv for the rest of the day if she continued like that. but she settled down and began to translate. she said it's not fair because she has to read most of the hebrew so that she can translate it.

i still have to tell her a lot of the words. looks like we'll be reviewing this more. we are about halfway through sheni and are taking a 10 minute break before the rest. i wonder how many breaks she'll need for the rest.

also, i forgot to do the new rashi. tomorrow?

ok, back from break. chana did ok until the last 5 pesukim, when she cried that she just can't do it. she tried to negotiate that she would do them later (when i'm hoping for possibly doing rishon), or sdo some of them later, and then she just refused. i said no computer until she does them. and she can do them, and they are not too hard for her. finally she asked that i review them first and then she do them. so i did the first two, and then she interrupted me to do them. she had been thinking i would do it, then she would just repeat it, and not really do it. but when i did 2 of them she lost the thread and had to review it. we did the last 4 that way, and then the 5th was pretty simple and she did it herself. whew. we are definitely not finished with sheni, but it was a good review.

i'm leaving rashi alone for now.

why doesn't she like maps?

so we did the new pesukim, and oddly, chana is reluctant to look at maps to get a visual idea of where avram lived and where lot lived. i feel like the map is helpful, and she just doesn't care. but i dragged out the maps and we looked, and then i found another map online with sodom. they are all near the dead sea, and chana remembers going there when we visited israel, so that was exciting.

she asked if lot was going to turn bad. and i said, we will see!!

we still have a rashi to do, and then i'd like to review sheni today.

i found a website that showed excavation of cities that are believed to be sodom and evidence of ash, an earthquake, and skeletons of people fleeing. it's a christian website.
we did rishon last night (sun nt) and i think it went well. the last 2 pesukim with a lot of new words were too much and chana got a little floppy, but til that point it went well.

plan for today is to start with shlishi, review the pesukim, do a few new pesukim (possibly a new rashi), and then take a large break and do sheni. i really want to do sheni by all translation (as opposed to just translating the new words) because the pesukim are generally words she is familiar with and i'd like to see how she does with overall translation. when i brought this up as the plan, chana objected because she said she still needs to read the hebrew of the words she doesn't know so that she'll learn it better. and that's a lot of work. so i said we'd negotiate.

so far we reviewed the pesukim in shlishi that we did, and she remembered a bunch of the words. we are now taking a food break before heading into the new pesukim.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

so my grand plan to slow down the pace today... i decided we were going review the few pesukim in shlishi pasuk by pasuk, then go back to sheni, then rishon. and not do new pesukim.

chana freaked out that we were doing entire pesukim and not just words. she freaked out that i don't tell her the words. (she "only" got 8 hrs of sleep last nt and she likes 10). i said i would tell her the words if she would review the words afterwards until she knows them without me telling her. (not long term, but you figure she just did them so she'll review them again after she translates the pasuk). she freaked out but i stood firm.

we got through 4 pesukim, with moderate screaming. then she went out to play in the playground, then i called into shiur, then she went to play with her cousin. and she's there still and will probably be there til bedtime. not one of our stellar days in terms of getting through material. but usually we are pretty good, so i guess it will slide.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

need to change the pace

feels like we've been doing chumash for hours... which we have. with lots and lots of breaks. did only 4 new pesukim. chana agreed to do 7, but it's really too much with not knowing all the new words. and the chazara takes a LOOOOOONG time and there are so many words that she doesn't remember.

we have not gotten the right ratio of new pesukim to old review such that she learns the old ones pretty painlessly and then we are ready to move on to the next batch. maybe we need to slow down until she knows the old ones very well and then we can move on to the new ones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

so tonight's chazara went nicely. chana did the 2 pesukim and reviewed the rashi and remembered what it meant. and we went through the vocab from sheni. hard to say if she remembered more or not. i gave her the mnemonics. and so it goes.

where did the memory go?

and why was chumash so tough today? not because chana was contrary. she wasn't. she was pretty good-natured about it. but she didn't remember most of the vocab words. words she's remembered pretty easily, she didn't remember today. that just shows you how much of it is about "being in the zone" vs not. we did chazara of words from rishon and sheni, and it was ridiculous how few she remembered. so we did only 2 new pesukim, with difficulty. i hope tonight i'll have a chance to review these words again with her (maybe just sheni) and the 2 pesukim we did.

it was nice that she wasn't screaming :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

vocab words from end of noach

i don't feel like reviewing them w/ chana today.
chana did all of sheni today. we did chazara and she remembered the words from rishon (mostly). there are a couple of words giving her a hard time, but i'm impressed with how much she remembers. the pesukim today were pretty easy. sometimes it was a bit hard for her to do the whole flow of the pesukim, but she just asked me to review it afterwards for her, which i did.

she wondered how pharoah found out that sarai was avram's wife, not his sister.

she was zipping along so nicely today it's tempting to just keep going without chazara. but overall i think chazara is useful because it gives her more vocabulary, which generally makes it easier for her to zip through things.

i haven't done a rashi in a while. haven't found one that jumps out at me. but we haven't been reviewing the old ones, either.

Friday, November 12, 2010

chazara went nicely today. she remembered a lot :-) :-) this is from lech lecha; we still have to review those 30 words from noach. maybe later.

the last 2 pesukim from yesterday, which were pretty complex, needed a lot of review and i did it for her and then asked her to repeat it. then we did 4 new pesukim, until sheni. even with breaks, towards the end, chana was getting quite cranky. having trouble with yitav (shoresh "tov") etc. but she remembered the story of avram telling sara to say she's his sister. she said, "but then sara will have 2 husbands!" i told her she wouldn't accept any offers, just say, "maybe... i have to ask my brother.."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

good news and bad news

the good news is that chana happily acquiesced to running through those 30 vocab words from noach.

the bad news is that i still have to provide her with the mnemonics! how long will this take?? i have hope that if we keep doing it, eventually they'll stick...

we are swimming in vocabulary

it took us a while to sit down to do chumash today. well, it took me a while. chana rarely jumps up with glee to do chumash, and when she would say, "not now," and i would say, "ok," that's not a way to get it done. but we finally sat down after a brief tussle over who got the blanket (that's her and elazar, not me).

and we made it through 4 pesukim with a decent number of new words, plus a pretty thorough review of the words from yesterday. i don't feel like there is a full handle of some of the main words in noach (maybe i'll orally review them in a bit) and here we are, piling on new words. i'm going to count how many we have to review in 9 pesukim which is 2 days of work.

20 words from yesterday (many of which she is familiar with but needs review, like ishto, her old nemesis). and 8 from today, give or take. it's tough to go forward when i really want to get these down.

we haven't done rashi in a while.

the screaming was there, but not as bad as it's been, considering chana's dislike for not instantly remembering things. she still refuses to use the white board to identify shorashim. considering that bana in "vayiven" is missing the "hey" and nasa in "vayisa" is missing the "nun" and considering she yells about not knowing it, i feel like insisting but that is a whole 'nother battle. it disturbs her that the nekudos are not universal. i tried to explain to her that the nekudos are not essential; she just has to learn to identify which are the shoresh letters and that's the clue to the word. but that drives her nuts. interesting because i think sarah picked up that concept and its application pretty painlessly. every kid is different. sarah also never minded writing down the shoresh on the white board.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

lech lecha

we started the new parsha with much fanfare. and by fanfare i mean the usual screaming. although she knows the shorashim, there are lots of prefixes and suffixes and the nekudos are confusing, which chana objects to. i had her reviewing some of the words a few times, and we know how she likes that (that's sarcasm, folks). we did 6 pesukim in 1hr 45 min w/ about half the time on breaks. i would have gone further but i think it's a lot to process.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


we finished chazara of parshas noach! chana was pretty upset that i made her do a couple of pesukim over. words that are still giving her trouble: eishes (wife of), bas (daughter), ben (son of and age), b'no (his son). sigh. one hopes that with the many times they repeat, she'll get them.

onward to lech lecha tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

chazara VII

the last bit of shishi didn't go that smoothly but we finished it. i'm too wiped out for rashi. we also reviewed those 30 words which she still doesn't seem to know noticeably better. and there's more work to be done this evening but i feel like throwing in the towel.

Friday, November 5, 2010

chazara VI

chana sped through chamishi in under 10 minutes, yelling a bit after each pasuk that she really wanted to be watching tv.

she said chamishi is REALLY repetitive. why does hashem say so many times he's making a bris and it's a rainbow, and the rainbow is the sign of the bris. she's right. it is repetitive.

we still have to run through the list of vocabulary. but not til after the show.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

chazara V

knocked off revi'i. went remarkably smoothly. possibly because i didn't start til after 8pm.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


chana decided to illustrate the beginning flood scene. there is a concerned sun being blocked by angry clouds. the sun says "i can't get in." noach is making some last minute preparations, and there is a bubble from the sky saying "hurry up, noach!" there are a couple of snails rushing to the teiva, one saying "wait for me!" and the other saying, "you're as slow as a snail!"

chazara IV cont

just as i was girding myself to approach chana again to do some more, she came over and apologized. i asked her if she realized that she isn't supposed to remember all the words, that the brain needs chazara. she said she just doesn't like not remembering them. then she did 5 1/2 more pesukim. i think we'll call it a day.

chazara IV

chana did about 1.5 pages of shlishi before hitting total meltdown. she was just fine until she hit things she didn't remember. it's a bit sad to me. i remember reviewing and reviewing and reviewing these pesukim, and yet she just doesnt' remember.

and if it's sad to me, it's infuriating to chana. she gets very angry when she doesn't remember words immediately. i am not sure if she gets upset because she feels i am pressuring her to remember, or if she has an idea that she should just know everything, right away. i think that's a bit her personality. i don't remember sarah getting so furious when she didn't know a word or couldn't remember words. but chana has plenty of stamina to keep going as long as she knows the translation. if she knows the words, she'll translate and translate and translate. but as soon as we hit a few in a row that she doesn't remember, the shrieking starts. then she went on about not wanting to do chazara, sarah never did chazara, why can't we move on to the next parsha, she's never going to finish, it will take 5 yrs to finish, etc doomsdaying all over the place.

in the meantime, i'm not sure what to do. so now we have a bunch of pesukim, phrases and words that chana doesn't remember. is there a point to me reviewing them again? do i move on? do i drill her some more? the sheer unpleasantness is making me want to just move forward. but maybe that's not fair. because there has been plenty of unpleasantness until now involved in reviewing those pesukim over and over, and drilling words, and i think she has made really nice progress. i guess i want perfection, which is maybe crazy. (maybe?). i want it to come easy. i want to ignore my daughter's nature. i want it to come without shrieking and without pain.

לפם צערא אגרא
according to the pain is the reward (benefit).

how much i put in, is how much she gets out. (assuming, of course, that i'm not pushing too hard. but there is no way i'm pushing too hard).

although many of the words she doesn't remember, there are an at least equal amount of words that she now knows smoothly enough that they seem to be (halleluja) part of her long term memory base. i see her easily translating some words that i remember her shrieking over, and that keeps me going.

Monday, November 1, 2010

chazara III

we did sheni today. pretty happily and uneventfully. didn't get to rashi. and reviewing the list of words (that list of 3o words, remember) went a bit more bumpily. not too bad for a day's work.