Friday, August 22, 2014


I woke up this morning fretting about Chana.  We are spending the week with my parents and we forgot her Chumash.  I was planning to do Chumash and math with her yesterday but we didn't get to it.  It's not such a big deal to have a week off.  But this morning, my brain was worrying.  First I was thinking about algebra.  Things are still under control to have her take the regents in June.  That got me thinking if I should have her take the BJEs.  If I do, I have to sign her up.  Most likely, she'll get into high school without them.  But if she takes them, they'll have a more accurate sense of her skills.  But on the other hand, she doesn't have much experience with tests, and is a bit slow taking tests, so is that actually an accurate reflection of her abilities?  I could have her practice taking the exam, but isn't that a lot of effort and for what end?  That got me started thinking about Hebrew regents and her generally dismal ability to write Hebrew.  I've started and fallen off the wagon on regularly working on that more times than I can remember.  Maybe I can talk to Chana about doing it twice a week and have her be in charge somehow.  Then I started thinking about Bamidbar.  We are only in the second parsha.  I wanted to finish Bamidbar and Devarim before she goes to high school.  Can we do that in one year?  Is that too much and too fast?

I realized amidst all this that if Chana were planning to stay home for high school, all of these concerns would melt away.  All of this is based on artificial criteria of "keeping up" to certain standards and has very little to do with actual knowledge or learning.

Chana wants to go to high school to make more friends.  I was once told by a sage Rebbetzin that if your teenager wants socialization, and you want academics, if you don't give them the socialization, you won't get the intellectual growth, either.

I would love to homeschool for high school.  It's a time with so much potential for learning and thinking.  Without the fetters of standards and testing and keeping up and memorization and grades, a self-directed learner can think deeply and creatively and have a fantastic education.  At least in my imagination.  I wonder if any of my children will choose that path.  In the meantime, Chana wants to go to high school and we are preparing for it.  I'm calming down all my concerns because she will be just fine.

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