Monday, April 2, 2012

since we've been gone

Today ended up being first "regular" school day since our NY trip. The boys resisted, especially the oldest. As far as academics go, we went over hagaddah, reading parts out loud ( easy when you have been listening to Pesach songs AND looking over hagaddahs laying around, especially the comic one from NY). Both boys did Rosetta Stone.

5 yo did math, more place value through hundreds. 7 yo did telling time to a minute.

5 yo did handwriting both in English and Hebrew. He also asked for reading which was not on the list, so he read to me and I read to him. He was a bit worried about Llama, but I said that I would write half and he wrote the other half.

7 yo got stuck on spelling, he got "witch" wrong again, followed by "neighbor" and "eight". By that point, he was in tears, spelling is not his subject, he should be doing level A ( he's on D). Moreover, when I was telling how to spell words correctly, he wrote them wrong and then was frustrated to rewrite them. As a review, I asked him to type them on the computer and illustrate with clip art--that he really likes.

Then we got to math, which was about telling time to the minute. I got another earful how math is not his subject either, science is. I told him that if he puts in effort, that's what counts, not just what he naturally has talent in. I don't think he believed me.

Then he balked at Lashon HaTorah. I asked to do one page, he sat there, then asked to do half a page. Finally he did that.

At some point, he said that he wants to be uneducated, like Anglo-Saxons. I told him that those did not do so well. He said, that's because the Vikings got them, and they are not around any more, so he's safe. I tried hard not to smile, thinking how much knowledge is required to make all of those uneducated statements.

I have been toying with unschooling idea. I think my unschooling is more like very relaxed schooling, where kids can read a lot of whatever they choose, beg others to play educational games with them, listen to books on tape and ask the meaning of unfamiliar words, retell stories that they heard, make maps of empires, spontaneously sew afikomen bags, go to museums... in case you are wondering what we did for the past week's hiatus, this is what our learning has been like.

On the drive back from NY, 7 yo asked me why people in Israel say "Goal Yisrael" in Shemone Esre, aren't they not in galut any more? That led to a discussion of what is galut, why we are in galut, how do we get out of galut. These little spontaneous discussions cannot be coming from above, they have to come because the children want to know.

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