Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Megillah musings


In an ideal world, I would tell you exactly what this was all about and my two cents on it, too. In my world, I know that I have to put his link up now, before I forget, and you can read it and judge for yourself. I am currently on chapter 18.

The boys davened, one at a time, while the other one was doing Rosetta Stone. Then we did the beginning of third perek. We spoke about Haman's rise to power and how he might not have noticed that Mordechai was not bowing down, but the guards tattled.

Today was chilled out for the kids, mommy was going to the dentist and my friend graciously allowed kids into her house while I was being numbed and drilled. When we got back, I was planning on baking hamantashen, but 7 yo asked to do more megillah. We did six more pesukim, through the lottery and the Achashverosh's lack of reaction to Haman's plan. I explained that the lottery was for picking auspicious month. 7 yo brought in example from history that he read about chickens on boat on the way to Carthrage not eating grain and that being a bad omen. We also discussed how the ring was used to seal the decree and to show that it came from the king.

My husband came home for lunch and took all three kids with him to vote. They came back, chests puffed, with "I voted" stickers, and were whispering theatrically about which candidate daddy voted for. Then they wanted to watch the results of the election tonight.

My friend came over with her kids and we baked free-form hamantashen. The kids segregated by ages, 5 year olds went down to play while 7 year olds shaped the cookies. Then, after some time, 5 yos came up and the older kids went down. Chocolate chip filling was top choice, and 2 yo kept sneaking the chips and eating them.

While the cookies were baking, the boys went into the backyard and spent a good hour there. 5 yo popped in in a bit, with an "eaglet" feather. Then 7 yo came in, informing me that they built a teepee. Meanwhile, I was trying to clean up the kitchen.  2 yo came in, carrying watercolor and paintbrush, asking to paint. I set her up and showed how to drip water onto colors to make them soft. When the boys came in for good, I asked them to decorate Shalach Manot bags. By then, acrylic paints made an appearance. 5 yo painted the names of his friends on his bags. 7 yo did designs. 2 yo kept painting as long as there was empty surface.

I have been thinking about the way we're doing megillah and how it is going smoothly. I know that there are a few factors involved:

  • The text is familiar. 7 yo read it a bunch of times in English, so he knows sequentially what is coming up next in the story.
  • There is a tangible, quickly achievable reward of the kind that fits his motivation.
  • We have been drumming up Purim, so there is high interest there. It also means that the whole exercise is finite, and the end is in sight. ( Stay tuned to see whether we will continue learning the Megillah after Purim.)
  • The pace is quick. He reads the pasuk in Hebrew, and I let him translate as much as he knows, and just supply him with unknown words. There is no chazara.
  • The story is fast-paced, unlike Vayeira, and we played with it a few different ways already.
  • There are pictures on almost every page. They reduce the amount of text per page (the illusion of covering a lot in short period of time) and they serve as visual cues to context.

I am wondering which of these factors are worth replicating in Chumash.

1 comment:

  1. What amazing hashgacha pratis! I am also reading "Stop Stealing Dreams." In fact, I had a copy made and picked it up from FedexOffice this afternoon. I would love to compare notes when we both finish.