Saturday, June 9, 2012

are we done for the year?

It's a funny question...

We bought a whole bunch of books in Israel. As soon as boys laid their eyes on them, they started reading. Friday, all three kids took turns davening with the singing siddur. 8 yo wanted to use it, too, so we compromised: he used it for the tefilot that were in it, and supplemented the rest from his usual siddur. 6 yo had fun looking which tefila goes with which button. He also noticed that the order is different. 8 yo noticed that some words are different. After the boys were done, 2 yo took it to her room and sang with it for 45 minutes. Later, during the day, I caught her singing some davening softly to herself. Now my kids will daven with sefardic pronunciation.

Yesterday, I also read parsha from Parsha of the Week for Children. It was lighter on midrash than a whole lot of books we saw and focused more on the content. 6 yo remembered about quail from last year. He also reminded of quail he saw at the Botanical Gardens, so he knew exactly what the Jews got. He remembered about Miriam getting tzaraas, but he kept calling her Sarah.

8 yo have been reading these parsha books non-stop. I got everything except Shemot. He also read first two books on Nach. I just knew it: I can get these books, leave them accessible, and he will swallow them up. I also got Pesach Hagaddah: Elishama and Ephraim Leave Mitzraim and The Children of Shushan Fight Haman. They are set up as comic books, very colorful, with small reading bubbles, but they have a list of sources in the back for each illustration. Back in the fall, when 8 yo was in school, there was also a Bikkurim one, and I was quite impressed by how much care was taken to illustrate the halachot of bikkurim. These books are a hit with 6 yo, as he can read them. Stealthily, to himself, of course, so that there would be no pressure to prove anything. This Shabbos afternoon, after lunch, the boys sat in the playroom reading the books. I sort of had to pull them away to go play that their friends' house.

That's the funny thing with homeschooling; learning never ends, it might morph, it might look more or less like traditional school, but it is always going on.

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