I was preparing my speech for the Torah Home Education Conference and I was taking a closer look at the gemara in Bava Basra 21a where torah schooling got started.
I'm actually going to have to crack open the actual gemara (as opposed to the outline i've been reading) to study it more carefully. But I found one little gem and one thing that I can't wait to learn more in depth:
Don't read "v'limadtem osam" read it "v'limadtem atem"
This is an exegetical tool that allows Chazal to "hook" concepts onto pesukim as torah she'baal peh. Don't read the pasuk this way; instead, read it that way. This doesn't discount pshat, the plain meaning of the pasuk. Of course that still stands. But this is a deeper concept that they are learning in addition to pshat.
The plain meaning of the verse from Shema is "and you shall teach them (these words) to your children.
Chazal say: Don't read it "and you shall teach THEM" ולמדתם אותם
read it ולמדתם אתם "and YOU should teach" your children yourselves
This is the ideal.
The thing I need to look up is going to have to be a different blog post. It says:
after age 6 take them and stuff them full of torah like an ox
(how is that? does that mean teach them even when they don't want to learn?)
If a child is learning, this is fine;
i. If he is not, just put him with others who are learning, and also he will learn.
If he studies, he studies, if he does not, let him remain in the company of his friends. To the words 'let him remain in the company of his friends" Rashi adds "and eventually he will pay attention to the lesson".
so i have some research before me. what is the gemara's suggestion for a child who doesn't want to learn?
stay tuned! :)