Thursday, February 11, 2016

Homeschool Chumash: the High School chronicles

Now that Chana finished the Chamisha Chumshei Torah, I'm not sure what to do next.  It's funny how I so strongly wanted my children to read and translate all of the pshat of Chumash.  I didn't want them to skip around.  I didn't want them to miss any pesukim.  I wanted them to read it the whole way through.  I did that with both Sarah and Chana.

Now that the boys are completely unschooled, who knows what will be.  I still value the idea of going through pshat.  And I hope that when they are old enough to do Shnei Mikra they will actually go through the Parsha inside every week.  But I doubt that we will end up doing Chumash the way I did it with the girls.

But boys aside (I am not dividing boys and girls by philosophy; it just happens that the girls came first and then the boys), now Chana is ready to learn on the next level.

Her skills are medium good but not excellent.  Her rashi skills, in my opinion, are fairly poor but not abysmal.  She is taking Chumash class in the High School where I work.

The question is, do I go for the next level of skills (advanced translation and mefarshim) or do I go for a deeper analysis and understanding of the text?  If you've been reading, you've seen me vacillate back and forth over the question of whether my childrens' moaning about skills was something good and necessary, or if unschooling might have been a better choice.  Or if maybe I could have chosen a different way to teach that would have caused less angst.

But all those questions aside, I think that more skills is not my current priority.  I want Chana to feel the excitement of Torah.

It kind of feels like the Pesach Seder all over again--what topic can I choose in Torah that will excite Chana and show her how intriguing and full of wisdom it is?

Here are some of my thoughts:
Eikev, Perek 8.  Just because I love it.
The Ramban on Shiluach Hakan.  Has the advantage of hashkafa and skills.
But probably the best approach is to ask her which character in Torah is most intriguing to her and to read the pesukim more carefully and see what emerges.
Also, she asked to do more Dovid Hamelech.  So really I should do that, since that's what she asked for.  But I think she just wants me to continue telling it to her like a story.
(And I'm still working on the Moshiach sources.  I got through Yishaya but still have Yirmiyahu, Yechezkel, and Trei Assar.)

Another question I have is should I prepare in advance, like I would (and do) as a teacher?  Or should I sit down with her and relax and see what emerges?

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