Thursday, February 9, 2012

on answering questions and is the era of tantrums over?

chana doesn't really understand a lot of the rashis we do.  aside from reading and translation skills, there are often deep points in rashi and she frequently realizes that she doesn't get it.  and then i realize that 1. she is right; it's a lot more complicated than i realized and 2. she doesn't have the conceptual sophistication to get it.

i like chazara (i've mentioned before) because she realizes new things from reading it again, and it gives her time to brew the different issues.  we had been doing the rashi of yosef coming to the house to do his "work."  she asked me today if i thought yosef intended to be with potiphar's wife; she didn't think so.

she realized today that she didn't understand what it meant that hashem was going to send the bear to bother yosef.  she's read that 3x, but today it hit her that she didn't understand it.  i explained to her a couple of times that the bear is eishas potiphar.  but today she asked me about it again.  and yet, to have a discussion about the psychology of being in a leadership position and grooming himself and how that leads to potiphar's wife noticing him is not something she is interested in.

but i do think it's important to respect that she doesn't understand it.  we are so quick to push answers.  i sometimes think that sitting with the question is more valuable.  if you answer the question, then it stops bothering them and they stop thinking about it.  or, what happened to me a lot when i was a kid, you get the sense that you are supposed to not have the question anymore after the answer and so you accept it, even though it doesn't quite answer the question to your satisfaction.

also, something that i read in r' saadia gaon (maybe) is that people don't realize that thinking and drawing conclusions and finding answers takes effort and work the same way growing crops does.

another thing i was thinking about is that chana hasn't tantrummed in a while.  that's another oddity about homeschooling.  instead of worrying year to year if your kid is "caught up" (caught up to what, anyway??), you can take a long term view of a bunch of years.  i would have thought that my kid ought to have been mature enough to not be tantrumming about her work 2 years ago.  after all, she would never do that in "real" school.  but yet, here we are, and i suddenly realized today that she has the maturity to express her dislike of chumash and express when she is overwhelmed without the tantrums. 

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