Night learning with Jack (almost 4) and Elazar (6). I sat down to read them a book and opened an aleph-beis book. Jack and I sang it together. Jack didn't know aleph, despite us going over it many times in the past. While I was trying to read, Elazar was breaking a pencil. I have asked him many times not to break things. He said we didn't really need this pencil. Jack didn't see him actually break it, so he got another pencil (one that nobody uses, he said) and spent some time trying to break it--with his hand, with the bed, and finally he succeeding with the knob of the dresser. I was beginning to feel a little irritated because I usually try to teach something at this time. And then I realized that Elazar and Jack were learning. They weren't learning what I was interested in putting into their minds. But they were extremely interested in learning exactly how much force and what type will break a pencil. It got me thinking of how Adam was told "v'Kivshu'ha": go forth and conquer [Earth]. And how all humans, but especially boy humans, really prefer to learn by making some sort of impact on their environment and seeing what happens. Why am I fighting their design?
Elazar then moved on to sharpening his pencil. Then he spent a while writing. He's making a list of things he wants to buy. It had: TOOLS, CEMENT, GRAHAM CRACKERS. Tonight he added MARSHMALLOWS, CHOCOLATE BARS. He remarked how his S has greatly improved. It's true. His writing is looking pretty good. He only writes at his own initiative. When he wrote the CH, Jackie, who was lying on his stomach in bed watching him write, said, "Is that an aleph?" It does look a little bit like a script aleph C l. A bit out of order. Jack had insisted on writing alephs a few times when Elazar wanted to, and I guess he does know what it looks like. In script.
During snuggle, Elazar was thinking about Minecraft, so I told him the mitzva of not cutting down a fruit tree. And about orla. He thought orla was strange, but isn't abstract enough yet to ask more specific questions.
Chana and I did mathtv.com last night. We went through the first unit on fractions. We only used the video if I couldn't explain it in a way that Chana understood. They have a few different people explaining the same problems. We already have our favorite teachers. The videos are often under a minute long. Perfect. Chana was actually looking forward to doing it tonight. In Chumash, she breezed through chamishi so quickly this afternoon, I had her sit down and do shishi tonight. She complained, but finished it in about 5 minutes. Hoping for Chazak Chazak V'nischazek for tomorrow...
But it's just about 9pm and we still have to do math tonight.