We started Chumash Shemot with 10 yo. I went to our local Judaica store, to pick up a copy with Rashi with nekudot, but they did not have it in stock, so they are ordering it for us. In the meanwhile, I pulled out regular Mikraot G'dolot.
10 yo seemed eager to start. He even talked about doing an aliyah a day. (I panicked, since I only prepared about 15 pesukim, assuming we will stick with 5 a day, and Purim being at the end of the week.) We ended up doing 10 pesukim. He seems ok reading Rashi without nekudot, although he vocalizes any way he pleases. He asked, why is Yosef not mentioned as one of the children of Yakov, but then he figured it out from the p'shat. I showed him Rashi on women having 6 babies at a time, and then we discussed whether it really meant that. I used example of post-Holocaust families having more children than average, and how that, going on for a few generations, results in appearance of teeming.
We also discussed whether this was a new Paro, or the same Paro. He asked me whether Paro was from Amalek, since he was being cruel to the Jews. I said that Paro was Egyptian, and we will see the differences in Paro's approach vs. Amalek. So far he figured out that Paro felt threatened by the Jews' reproduction rate to the point that he felt they were more numerous. I told him to consider how many Jews were there entering Egypt, and how many Jews came out, compared to the number of the Egyptians. I am finding this a nice segue into both Purim and Pesach.
Speaking of Purim, I feel like I have totally slacked off. I pulled out Purim stories after my daughter repeatedly asked about them. I have not read over the megillah with either boy. Well, actually, 8 yo read the first three pesukim to me. He read them pretty smoothly, and even translated quite a bit. That was a pleasant surprise. And then the rest did not happen. I thought, maybe we'll get through the first perek, but it does not look like it.
Every year I think, it's OK, we'll get to it next year, and every year, something is going on. I downloaded the Purim Story from Mostly Music, so the kids listened to it on our trip to the conference last week. The boy rejected my usual Purim music; they are getting too old for this stuff. I did make them compare the book that we got from the PJ library to the real story of Esther, and write out the discrepancies. In fact, the book was so bad that I ended up recycling it. My daughter asked me to read it to her, and after the first reading, I just could not bring myself up to keep on reading such inaccurate story. I recommend "Queen Esther Saves Her People", another PJ library book that we previously got.
I leave you with a picture from this book. See if you can catch what's wrong with it.