Friday, August 7, 2015


We finished a basic understanding of chemistry.  I certainly learned a lot.  It was a lot of fun.  The question is what do we want to do next.  We haven't yet tackled the mathematics of chemistry.  Redox equations, moles, and all sorts of math that I remember vaguely from high school and college.  I would like to take Chana's chemistry knowledge to the next level and show her how it works mathematically.  But I also feel that she might be a little "chemistry-ed out" and want a break.

So I was thinking it's not time for geometry yet, and our next plan was to read Hamlet.  (Chana wanted to do this.  We are currently in the middle of Dracula and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, which is enough for me, who has never been especially enamored of Shakespeare.)

So I asked the English teacher at the school I work at, and she recommended "No Fear Shakespeare."  I went first to the library to see if I could borrow it, but it wasn't there.  So I went online to see what there was.  Well, it turns out that Sparknotes has it online.  Will we end up reading it on Shabbos?  Well, not if we don't have it in hard copy.  To buy a used edition is $1.50 plus $3.99 shipping.  But I think we'll start with the online situation.  I am not sure how to do it.  Do we read it out loud?  Take turns?  I guess I'll ask Chana what she wants to do.

Elazar is still having a great time in camp.  Jack is reading things around him, and still loves doing R' Winder.

Chana and I are still plodding through Devarim.  As usual, in the rashis, she runs out of steam and is bored by the repetition before she achieves the degree of fluency that I think the rashi should have.  Next year, she is going to try two classes in school, Chumash and Torah SheBaal Peh.  I decided against Nach simply because the classes weren't clustered closely enough together.  As it is, I will be driving back and forth numerous times a day next year.  To work and back.  To bring Chana there and to pick her up.  Sometimes twice in one day, when Chumash is in the morning and TSBP is in the afternoon.  I hope I can maintain my sanity doing this.

I have concerns about whether Chana will enjoy classes.  She basically told me that she would prefer to be homeschooled completely, and is going because her close friend (who is homeschooled, and two years ahead of her) is going to not be homeschooled in two years and then she will be lonely.  In fact, when this close friend tried out 9th grade (when Chana was in 7th), Chana was lonely and that was when she asked to go to school.  Then this friend came back home, and Chana no longer wanted to go to school.  I can't remember a single class that involved passive listening that Chana has enjoyed in her life.

I am not sure whether Chana will be better off in the honors or the nonhonors Chumash.  The teacher in the nonhonors class is absolutely delightful and I know Chana will like her.  But she thinks Chana will be bored in her class.  The principal thinks that Chana will be adjusting to coursework and that an easy class would be okay for her.  I feel more inclined to give her a harder work load and have it be okay if she's scrambling to figure out how to take tests.  It's not like her Chumash grades will be on her transcript for college, since as a homeschooler, it's not a required course.

Chana is also somewhat of a closed personality.  The girl she is close friends with now took her two years of seeing each other at the same events and being sort of forced into proximity before they became friends.  It even took Sarah, who strongly desired a group of close friends and who excitedly embraced the high school social scene, two years before she found her chevra.  I don't know if Chana will open herself up to friendships.

Whenever I expressed concern, Chana hilariously assured me that she is quite adept at socializing and knows how to conduct herself.  She just doesn't want to.  I know long term she will be fine, and as soon as she wants to put herself out there, either for purposes of getting a job or to find friends, she will be fine.  I guess we'll see how next year plays out.

1 comment:

  1. can she walk/bike/take a cab/uber instead of you being the chauffer?
    (I'm coming off reading Free Range Kids, so pardon my enthusiasm).