Eli's comments today (R Applebaum)

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Aug 14, 2009, 3:03:48 PM8/14/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Eli, I hope you will get a chance to post on here what you mentioned
today in person. To sum up what I took away (sorry - I was busy in
the background!), it is that he's concerned that with a small group of
people, you will not be able to satisfy everybody because everybody
will be coming from a different place "hashkaficly" - such that we
will never be able to agree on a set "curriculum."

In anticipation of that, I'd like to say (now that I have had 3
minutes to think) that perhaps he misunderstands what we (at least I)
mean when I say "homeschool coop." (gotta drop the hyphen in coop -
it's annoying!)

In my mind, anyway, it's not a substitute for school; we are certainly
not going to get together to offer a full curriculum. If we wanted
that, maybe we'd just find schools!

A homeschool co-op can be as little as a meetup once a week, or even
less often. It can be circle time; it can be field trips; it can be a
library of pooled books / toys / games / CDs / DVDs / texts (funded &
approved by a majority of active co-op members). (yup, the hyphen's
back in for now)

It depends how many people we get, also. With three members, we can't
do as much as with fifteen, obviously.

With respect to the rabbi, it doesn't necessarily even have to get
into hashkafa. Most of what he mentioned are problems with schools,
that the schools are not addressing all that graciously. With
apologies mainstream day schools, but I don't believe building new
schools to suit smaller and smaller "niche" markets is a way to foster
achdus! (which Bais Yaakov is my daughter going to again? oh, yeah,
the "middle of the road" one!!!)

(and don't even get me started on how Yerachmiel Meir chose a yeshiva
- or which hat he'll be required to wear to go there...)

I was surprised, when the kids were in the lower grades, to find that
they were using the same textbook, at Netivot, that their friends were
using at Associated. I realize there are differences in hashkafa,
however, especially with younger kids, they don't necessarily notice
all that much.

IF we do actually get to the point of hiring (a) teacher(s), I think
we should be inspired less by the current day schools and more by the
model of the small-town cheder: covering the basics in a way that's
as uncomplicated and fun for the kids as possible.

That will definitely be easier said than done!!!

Just some more thoughts... anyone else?

Good Shabbos!



Aug 14, 2009, 3:22:33 PM8/14/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Wow, you really write so well Jennifer. I love reading what write.
Its a joy. I can never think quite so clearly. I agree with
everything you said. I feel that hashkafically, we can come together,
or choose to do something apart, as the needs arise. If there are
large differences, we can decide what to do as it comes up. Given
what I've seen of us three families (today... so just a tiny glimpse),
I don't see so many differences so far. Hashkafa is such a small piece
in education, anyways, and even in big schools there is a huge range
of hashkafa, and the teacher might be teaching from one or the other
side, but not quite line up with what all the students parents are
like at home. Children take from us first, hopefully, in
homeschooling, and hopefully we could also find teachers (if we were
looking for teachers) who meet our requirements, or are willing to
learn how to implement out requirements. This also applies to
discipline (or lack thereof). I have quite alternative view son
discipline, and I would never use a babysitter (for example) who
wasn't willing to come and see how we parent, and try their best to
step in accordingly.

I think the other issue was that coming from a not FFB background, it
might be difficult to teach what we want taught. I've been recently
kind of imagining going back to school (homeschool) and being able to
learn from the beginning, everything that frum kids learn. And in
twenty years, when Temima is all done growing up, lol, I'll finally
know everything I think I've missed. Ha! Back to reality and

I'm not sure where I'm going. I don't think I got such a clear idea,
Eli, of what your rabbi was saying/intending, because, as Jennifer
said, we were all pretty distracted with the kids.
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