Friday, June 19, 2009

Homeschooling Jewish Subjects

In response to a discussion of rabbinic objections to homeschooling in the area of limudei kodesh (Jewish subjects):
"My own fear is that probably many rabbanim would say I'm not qualified in this area.
As a baalas teshuvah, my own awareness of limudei kodesh subjects was VERY limited until my kids started in day school. I have picked up so much over the years: practical things like how to lead kids through the davening, ideas for craft projects, songs for brachos and various yamim tovim, how to read Rashi script... everything I know about Yiddishkeit, I learned from Uncle Moishy. :-)))
At this point, the older kids are far beyond my skills. Sometimes, Elisheva gets frustrated - "why won't you just sit down with me and study Navi!" Okay, maybe if I had some background, I could. She has no concept that an adult would not know elementary-school Navi. These days, I only study with her if she makes up flashcards ahead of time, which actually helps her get her thoughts organized and helps me help her despite my ignorance.
Here's a thing I wrote ten years ago or so about how I began the process of my own Jewish learning as YM started kindergarten (at Yesodei HaTorah - ha ha ha):
http://www.ou.org/publications/ja/5760winter/dear%20jennifer.pdf
My fear now, as I embark once again on this elementary school journey (Elisheva graduated from Grade Eight this week, so they're both finished, just as Naomi Rivka is starting), is that I am still so woefully deficient, still so "making it up as I go along" that there is no way I could offer the kind of living Jewish curriculum that a day school run by FFBs could ever do.
Thoughts on how BT/geir parents can make up for a lack of Jewish elementary education...? (perhaps with an eye to countering rabbinic/community opposition)
Good Shabbos, all!"

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