Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Interesting… interesting… two birds, one stone!

I love Pirkei Avos.  And I am fascinated by Charlotte Mason home education at the moment.

A couple of the more “olde-fashioned” aspects of the Charlotte Mason approach focus on memorization and copywork – improving handwriting and training the mind through rewriting verses.  For Christian homeschoolers, this usually involves Bible verses or classical poetry, and I have been wondering what to substitute in order to take a more Jewish approach.

Okay, I know most of the Christian Bible is Jewish … we introduced it to the world, and all that.  But for some reason, it’s just not a Jewish thing, sitting and memorizing individual verses the way Christians often do in their kids’ Bible studies. 

I think it’s because we are big into context… we’d rather our kids understand the story, learn what major commentators have to say, what it means for us today, etc., instead of just memorizing the words themselves.  Although, of course, most decent Torah study does involve memorization at some point.

Anyway, I was thinking about what I could substitute to find single verses that were not straight out of the Torah, both for memorization and copywork.  Verses that were meaningful when taken both in and out of context.  I was considering Mishlei (proverbs), but that’s a little over my head, not to mention a 5-year-old’s. 

And then I found this booklet of Pirkei Avos worksheets on chinuch.org, and while not entirely perfect, it has inspired me.  Of course!  Although Pirkei Avos is very deep and can be learned on many levels, the simple understandings are very helpful in everday life and they are often things kids can relate to.

I am still searching for a Hebrew “print”  handwriting font that I can use to create more useful copywork sheets.  It’s one thing to see the text in preprinted form, but I really want them to provide examples of actual handwriting.  If my own handwriting was better, I would maybe scan that and even turn it into a font… hmm… anyone reading this have wonderful Hebrew handwriting???