Tuesday, March 13, 2012


we did an hour and 10 minutes of chumash with a couple of breaks (nursing etc) plus chana could chat as much as she liked.  for some of it, aharon was sleeping.  the other 2 were playing--elazar had this plan for coloring popcorn on paper towels or something.  this was how homeschooling idyll is in my head, when i envision it.  the boys playing something creative, chana asking questions and chatting, and keep returning to chumash.  intimate conversation, relaxing, enjoying each other's company, enjoying the learning. 

for chazara, i read the pesukim expressively (yesterday's 6 pesukim) and she slowed me down or asked me about words she didn't understand.  she enjoyed that so much, she said she wishes we could always do it that way.  i balked, because i think her reading and translating are skills that are important, but i did think in terms of unschooling and pleasure, her idea has merit.  i should try to incorporate that whenever i can.  let's see if i'm able to.

anyway, in this relaxed environment (with the inducement of finishing bereshis because her computer is rapidly declining), she did til the end of the aliya, 10 fairly difficult pesukim.  (a problem i have with covering so many difficult pesukim in one day is that she doesn't really learn the new words so well, or the flow of the translation, and then we need to do a lot of chazara, which is boring.)

we talked about yosef's interview techniques, how he asked them about their family.  i told her to imagine she is yosef, and me and my siblings were accused of being spies.  and her putting us in different rooms and asking us if we have any other siblings.  she said, "and you'd say, malkie."  i said, yes, but if we were actually spies, i wouldn't be sure.  is there another sibling?  is jj going to say there is?  should i say we have one?  should i say we don't?

she remembered "hitmahmahnu" (delay--sorry, i'm not sure of the actual shoresh) (also sorry for my mixing of ashkenaz and israeli pronunciation; maybe one day i'll post about our journey with that, the decisions we made, and what ended up happening) by when i sang it with the shalsheles, referencing Lot delaying leaving s'dom.

we were talking about chazara of the entire bereshis when she's done.  she asked if i was going to make her go through the whole thing, "because i would DIE."  i said i would die, too.  which sadly is a testament to the pain that it is to acquire these skills.

on a tangent to that, in the beginning of today's learning, we were doing the pasuk: "and they said, "the man interrogated us (really asked) and to our birthplace, saying, 'is your father still alive; do you have a brother..."
and chana asked: what does that mean?  he asked to us and to our birthplace?  how do you ask our birthplace?
so i popped her over to rashi, who says it is asking about the family: "l'mishp'chosenu."  she had trouble with it; she kept reading it wrong (and we are using rashi w/ nekudos).  i kept gently telling her to try again, and she kept fuming that she wanted me to tell her.  as she was getting pretty upset about it, i remembered my mother telling me that it annoyed her when my uncle told her to look it up; she just wanted to be told.  and i wondered if i should just tell her.  the other side of me felt like it is satisfying for her to have the experience of reading it and seeing it and discovering what it means.  but if she is getting so annoyed, doesn't that mean she is not having the satisfaction?  or does it mean that i'm having her exercise right past her comfort point and this is good stretching?  (yes, i know, i ask this a lot.  i imagine any serious one-on-one educator does, and i think it is an important question to keep asking.)
when she finally figured it out, she was mentally exhausted.  happily, we were pretty relaxed today, so she was able to recuperate and nobody was interfering or demanding and we weren't rushed.  so it ended up being just a very minor blip and not affecting the rest of the learning.

back to chazara on the entire sefer.  i asked her what she hoped to get out of sefer bereshis.  she said, "a computer."  (she did thank me for pressing her to finish so that she can get her computer more quickly.)

the fact is, she has no particular interest in gaining chumash skills.  she has no interest in reading, translating, insists that she already knew the story (though admitted that she knows it better now and in more detail--but again, she had no yearning for that, so no great gain in her mind). 

i told her my goals were that she can read and translate, and read rashi, and know rashis, and know the story.

she did point out to me last week (with some satisfaction) that she remembers when it took her weeks to do a pasuk.  and now she can do so many pesukim so quickly.

i wonder what my goals actually are, so that i can decide what kind of chazara to do on the sefer.  i would like to think of a chazara that is interesting and fun, and cements some of the skills and vocabulary.

after all that, we haven't done rashi today yet.  it's going to take a while.  probably 8pm we will get to it..  maybe before?

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