pros, cons and questions about torah based homeschooling

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da...@rogers.com

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Jun 2, 2009, 9:16:52 AM6/2/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
lets start to talk about all of our ideas, concerns and information
about this subject and put everything on the table.

rzelunka

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Jun 3, 2009, 10:49:59 PM6/3/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Ellie,

Yasher Koach on opening up such a discussion. Mark and I are very
torn at the moment on this particular topic. On the one hand, we
aren't sure that any of the Toronto Schools will have what we want in
a school. On the other hand, our Rav who we consult for chinuch
shialas - Rabbi Kelleman was very anti-home schooling as his hashkafa
as was Rav Volbe z'l that schooling is for socialization, learning
middos through dealing with people, etc. - not to learn torah/etc
which should be more importantly transmitted in the home (paraphrasing
of course)...

That being said - we also feel that when it comes down to it, there
will never be that "Perfect" school and part of being a Jew is to try
to create unity wherever possible. So in that vein, we hope that
rather than schools dividing more and more and parents feeling more
and more isolated, perhaps people will take the responsibility to
compromise and come together as i'm sure Hashem wants.

Thats it for now - as you can see, from our perspective, we're not
sure. I have yet to read your notes.

Thanks,

Rachel

Jay3fer

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Jun 3, 2009, 11:12:49 PM6/3/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Thanks for opening this up!

I have weighed this heavily for the last 4 years, having played around
with hs'ing Yerachmiel Meir (14) a couple of times (this year - Grade
9 - via online correspondence, in Grade 6 just via impromptu home
study).

I think it was Stuart Hytman who was explaining the evolution of
Jewish schools at one point, and it made an impression (just not the
speaker's name, I guess!). He said basically every father used to
educate his own sons... the problem was that there were many kids in
the community who were getting left behind because their father had
died or couldn't educate them for whatever reason. So the system of
yeshivos was founded, where the community provides for communal
education of all kids, equally.

I believe this is an important thing, in principle, and I support the
principle of yeshivos (and girls' schools), which leaves me very
torn.

For one reason because, these days, the school system is so segmented,
and not every family fits into the "niche" of a school perfectly. We
are finding this right now with high schools; some will barely talk to
us because YM has had problems in the past, others fear he won't fit
in because of his "mixed" background.

Also, some of the schools are not very good in some areas, and because
budgets are tight, they have trouble meeting specific needs of
students in a way that a hs environment would very naturally.

There's also the obvious issue of money. Even with subsidies,
tuitions are cripping, just crippling. They're designed to be
crippling. They give you a form, you fill in how much you can afford,
and they send you back a letter with another, much higher number typed
in. And tuition doesn't cover uniforms, books, lunches,
transportation. Can I say the word crippling again, just for fun?
Ridiculous.

(As Rachel said, if schools are supposed to be a community
institution, I would prefer to see fewer yeshivos that were more
centrally-funded... but nobody could get along long enough to pull
something like that together.)

Anyway, the big kids are in school for better or worse.
As for the littles, I have pretty much committed to hs'ing Naomi Rivka
until Grade One, and probably the same thing for Gavriel Zev. I
realize that's not a huge committment - those are not the biggest
"schooling" years of their lives. :-)))

So it's mostly just socialization and some basic stuff that we're
doing anyway... I'd love to get together with other parents for this
component of it!

BTW, Rachel, one of the BIG uninformed objections to hs'ing is that
kids won't learn midos, socialization, etc... remind people if you're
talking about it that your kids will at no point be living in a box
where they won't see other people from one day to the next. If
anything, I've heard hs'd kids often end up better socialized because
they interact daily with people - kids and adults - of all ages, and
therefore are better able to communicate in the real world. How
often, in the real world, would you end up in a workplace where
everybody is within a year of your exact age??? :-)

HOWEVER. I have more qualms about hs'ing a boy than a girl. At the
risk of sounding like a throwback to pre-Bais Yaakov days, boys'
education definitely is more community-based and especially later on
when they're with chavrusas, from what I've seen that type of peer
learning is essential to the study of mishna and gemara. It's also
ideally-suited, according to modern educational experts, to the way
boys learn: orally, standing up (at a shtender), moving around so
they're not physically sitting in one place for too long,

So... little boys, yes. Bigger boys, not sure. And I'm not sure
where the line is.
As for girls, I have seen good things and not-so-good things in
schools... again, I'm not sure where I'd draw the line, but I doubt
I'd hs all the way through high school, or maybe even elementary
school. Elisheva "dropped" into Eitz Chaim in Grade 6 and it didn't
affect her too much, socially or academically. So maybe that's a good
age to switch, but that's only one child and one experience.

Too long of a reply, and too all over the place. Sorry!!! (I'm
tired)
The answer is, yes, I'd love to get together with other families. I'd
love to not be the only Jewish one at hs get-togethers, like the field
trips to Humber Arboretum we went on a couple of years ago where most
of the other hs'ers were Muslim.

I'd love to know who else is out there...

Shira

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Jun 5, 2009, 8:51:52 AM6/5/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Hi Everyone,

I was emailed the introduction email to this group and I am very
excited! I would love love love to homeschool/unschool any and all of
my kids who choose that path. I only have one hand to type right now,
but I'm sure I'll be back to write more.

I think the key resource this group could offer to us all is a way to
connect and build systems of learning for the Jewish subjects. I
didn't receive a Jewish education, and my husband (being frum, but
also uneducated) fears that our children won't learn as much Jewish
content as schooled children. I however really don't like the system
of learning that the elementary schools use (i've heard about a lot of
reward and consequences systems in use).

I think that we could work together to create a wonderful HSing
community that fulfills all of our HSing needs. That being said, our
oldest is only 3, so we have a ways to go...

In case anyone here has younger children, I started a Yahoo group
(great minds think alike) before I heard of this group, for attachment/
gentle/consensual/unconditional/etc... parenting for Jewish parents in
Toronto, to pool resources, find each other, make dates, etc...
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JewishTorontoAlternativeParenting/

I think the two groups might complement each other nicely :)

Shabbat Shalom!
Shira

da...@rogers.com

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Jun 5, 2009, 2:00:39 PM6/5/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Hi Shira,

Welcome to the group, and your enthusiasm is fantastic. Yes, I also
feel that one of the keys to this group is to build a solid network of
people that we could all choose from to school our kids with for all
or different subjects, and for families to dialogue and share
resources and tools for educating our kids in the best way possible.

Your attachment parenting group sounds great, I will check it out
after Shabbos. We also have followed many of the precepts of this
parenting movement and for sure will love to hear of others out there,
what worked for them and what didn't and how to problem solve some of
the inherent issues in this path as well as appreciate the inherent
positive outcomes.

My oldest will be 3 in July, so we have young ones also, and my aim is
to take the next year or so to build community, make a plan and begin
schooling in September 2010. This way we should have lots of the
issues worked out already, and hopefully had a chance to meet each
other etc.

Wonderful to hear you, looking forward to hearing more.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ellie.

On Jun 5, 8:51 am, Shira <shirarock...@yahoo.ca> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
>
> I was emailed the introduction email to this group and I am very
> excited!  I would love love love to homeschool/unschool any and all of
> my kids who choose that path.  I only have one hand to type right now,
> but I'm sure I'll be back to write more.
>
> I think the key resource this group could offer to us all is a way to
> connect and build systems of learning for the Jewish subjects.  I
> didn't receive a Jewish education, and my husband (being frum, but
> also uneducated) fears that our children won't learn as much Jewish
> content as schooled children.  I however really don't like the system
> of learning that the elementary schools use (i've heard about a lot of
> reward and consequences systems in use).
>
> I think that we could work together to create a wonderful HSing
> community that fulfills all of our HSing needs.  That being said, our
> oldest is only 3, so we have a ways to go...
>
> In case anyone here has younger children, I started a Yahoo group
> (great minds think alike) before I heard of this group, for attachment/
> gentle/consensual/unconditional/etc... parenting for Jewish parents in
> Toronto, to pool resources, find each other, make dates, etc...http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JewishTorontoAlternativeParenting/

da...@rogers.com

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Jun 5, 2009, 4:49:55 PM6/5/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Hi Rachel,

Just a short response before Shabbos begins. I think it's an important
discussion, especially the questions about socialization. My
experience has been that most socialization happens at home when
young, and then through peers and role models when older. I would like
to create a community of kids that will learn and socialize together
with a tremendous focus on middot, character development, concious
social interaction and relationships with self, others and Hashem.
This is my ideal, and I feel that perhaps we could acheive this within
a smaller community of like minded learners, peers, parents, teachers
and role models in the community. I have seen a lot of socialization
within the school experience that I would not want my kids exposed to.
I don't want to shelter them from the world, but I do want them to
have the best start possible when learning how to be with themselves
and others, and I just haven't seen the evidence of this in other
places yet. Perhaps this is also somewhat idealistic, but I would like
to have a vision, and then approximate this as best I can with the
help of others who also see this as an important issue.

I feel that in order to create great learners, teachers and leaders we
have to provide exceptional experiences and examples from the get go.
So this is one of the reasons I've begun this discussion, and how I am
looking at the socialization issue. Also, from those that I've spoken
to that have either homeschooled, or are homeschooling, there are
tremendous opportunities for interacting with so many different types
of people, and to learn how to be with them. Wouldn't this be a great
way for kids to learn to lead in terms of showing the positive
experience of having an observant lifestyle...kiruv from the
start...hmmm

So happy that you are open to talking about it, I so look forward to
more of yours and your husbands input in this.
Thanks,
Shabbat Shalom,
Ellie.
> > about this subject and put everything on the table.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

da...@rogers.com

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Jun 5, 2009, 4:51:35 PM6/5/09
to Toronto Jewish Homeschoolers
Hi Jennifer,

Loved your response, covers so many issues and things that we are also
thinking about. I would love to hear everyone weigh in on all of the
different things you have addressed here. I would be so happy to have
you on board, and will for sure respond more in depth to what you
brought forward after Shabbos.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ellie.
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