Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chalk up another…

hebrew 005Yup, yet another curriculum / workbook that annoys the heck out of me… and which Naomi Rivka seems to love!

This is קריאה ועוד/ Kriyah v’Od (Part 1), her Hebrew reading/writing workbook.  The entire book consists of learning all the consonants with the “ah” sounds of kamatz and patach, and it seems to me mind-numbing and dull.  The graphics are weird and the pages seem at once too “busy” and too big and sparse.

Naomi always does the work in it happily, though, so I’ve been sticking it out, and even bought the second-level book when I saw it in a bookstore a couple of months ago.

hebrew 003And then last week, I discovered this file-folder that Naomi Rivka had snuck off into her room and decorated to look exactly like her Hebrew book.  Here’s the cover – house, “letter mem” slide, choo-choo train.

It’s not her best drawing ever, so I was blown away when I opened it up to discover…

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… Two whole pages of Hebrew writing exercises, in exactly the same splashy colourful layout as the workbook!

The early books in this series present stories with words (and specifically, vowels) that the kids haven’t encountered yet, so they use “icons” to represent the words – alef with man eating to represent “ochel”, alef with a woman eating for “ochelet”, shin with hands shaking for “shalom,” etc.  By the end of the second book, most of the icons are gone, but at this stage, there are many.image

In her own workbook, Naomi incorporated several of the same icons – I think they’re so cute!  Here’s BAYIT (house):

Here is SHALOM (hello):

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imageThe book represents ANI with an alef and pictures of either a girl or a boy pointing to themselves.  Here are her ANI icons (the top one is how she is drawing boy hair lately):

Finally, this sheet proves that she is getting the key concept of GENDER, as shown in her colour-coded display for ABBA BA (father is coming) and IMA BA-AH (mother is coming):

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Sometimes, I worry about filling her life with too many workbooks; I think maybe unschooling or montessori or anything else less structured might work better.  And then I get feedback like this and I think,  “nope – for now, we’re okay.”

I have to say how very, very funny it is that my little Ashkenazi girl is totally in love with the word “Shabbat.”  To be fair, Ted calls it Shabbat, and so do many people at shul.  I may actually be the only person in her life who calls it Shabbos. 

Calling it “Shabbat” is actually a way of asserting her independence, aligning herself with all the cool people she knows who are NOT her Mommy.  This doesn’t break my heart or even disappoint me, even a little.  It all just underscores how much I love seeing her enjoy and look forward to Shabbos… whatever she calls it.