Sunday, January 11, 2015

jumble of thoughts

  • Chana's math hit the point where I can't speak Hebrew anymore.  I would do a combo of Hebrew with a lot of English thrown in.  But it got too complex and we're just straight English basically.
  • We have been bickering like mad over algebra.  I'm super proud of how we keep our tone (fairly) calm and keep de-escalating.  But tensions are high and emotions are high.  Tonight I realized that she says she doesn't understand, I ask her what she doesn't understand, I go back and slow down and try to explain it (with a slight edge of "you should know this" even though that's a lie because I didn't explain it, which is very damaging to do to students!) and when she finally understands, she reproaches me for not having explained it to begin with.  I started telling her that's what I think is happening, and then she said, no, I don't understand, and we started the whole little dance again.  We now have what we've been jokingly referring to as "the aftermath" where we have to recoup and stop disliking each other.
  • I don't think Elazar is really getting the translations of Shema.  There are a lot of elements involved.  1. Understanding the general concepts of the paragraph  2. Understanding how those are related to the Hebrew words he is reciting. 3. Trope.  4. Familiarity with the translation.
    I could recite it over and over with them until he becomes familiar with it, but it seems to me that it's just as efficient to wait until he's older and more conceptual.
  • I was talking to a fellow homeschooler who told me about the marvelous unit study she did with her children and Percy Jackson and Greek culture and how much they appreciated what it meant for the Jews to fight against a conquering enemy.  She explained how Chanuka was so meaningful for them.  It was so beautiful and inspiring and I loved hearing how a fellow Jewish homeschooler is passing on the mesorah of our Torah and the deep concepts in our traditions.  It also made me realize how I've almost completely forgotten what it's like to be inspired to create lesson plans.  I felt a little sad by that.  Also very grateful that I know about unschooling and thus still have a way of educating my children that I believe in when I am in a place where I am uninspired to coax education.  But it reminded me of my excitement from thirteen years ago and I am just in a different place, educationally and emotionally.
  • I'm not in the dregs of infant and toddler parenting anymore.  My youngest is 3yo and although I still have a hard time leaving the house and managing "appropriate" public behavior if there are places where movement is restricted, the day to day drudgery in my house has majorly eased up.  The constant mess and constant crying and constant feeding and carrying have eased up.
    Despite this, most days I feel like I can stay calm and loving and guide my children's emotional development OR I can do academics.  
    Tonight I started Chana's work after 7pm.  I cleaned up but didn't vacuum.  I have a major house project that I didn't get to.  I did straighten up.  I did navigate a half hour tantrum with sangfroid.  I did take everyone out today.  I didn't put my 5yo to bed and it's 9:45pm (he sleeps late, though).
  • Elazar is making tremendous strides with reading and writing even though I am not teaching him anything.  It's really cool.  I'm waiting until he actually reads fluently (this could take another two to four years) and then I'll detail the process.  
  • Aharon knows "shin/sin" even though nobody quite taught it to him.  

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