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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plans for Grade 3 and beyond…

image A friend asked a couple of months ago, now that I’m so invested in homeschooling – emotionally, philosophically, and yes, even monetarily (just bought more Grade 1 stuff from Rainbow this evening), how I’m going to turn my back on it all and send the kids to school once we make aliyah.

I definitely want them to go to school.  For one thing, it’s a bargain compared to Jewish education here.  The other things, the REAL things are:  it’s the best way to learn the language, and it’s the best way to make new friends quickly.  I don’t want to deprive either kid of those things.

(Big kids?  They won’t be kids anymore, though, of course, at 19 and 17, they will still have a home with us.  I hope, in addition to the “year in Israel” that they’re planning, that they will both take advantage of whatever ulpan is available to their age group and demographic.  But back to the little kids – who will still be little.)

So here’s my thought:  Israeli school days are surprisingly short by North American standards.  Most kids only go to school until 1-2 pm, much to the bemoaning of many Israelis, but perhaps to the benefit of a parent interested in providing a classical English education on top of a comprehensive introduction to Hebrew and Judaic studies.

If Canadian kids can spend however-many hours a week in Hebrew school on top of their regular education, how stressful could it be to spend 1-2 hours a day with Mommy studying English literature, grammar, world history, etc?  We could probably safely drop some subjects, like math and science, though we might get to visit them as “homework” – I don’t know how Israeli schools deal with this and how much is expected at each grade level.

Anyhow.  This “plan” is kind of helping me embrace the simple fact that I would really LOVE to continue watching my kids’ minds blossom.

I realize I am overlooking many realities that may intervene, such as the fact that – with some Hebrew (I can touch-type!) – I may be the more immediately employable wage-earner in our family.  I don’t know.  Perhaps Ted’s “funerary” skill set will transfer well… or maybe he’ll actually find work in his field, doing graphic arts and illustration! 

Too many unknowns here, but the fact is:  I love teaching my kids, and I want to keep doing it as long as possible… even after they start school.

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