He won’t do his work again. He’s just sitting there; head down on the table looking at the paper as if the work will just magically be completed if he looks long enough. It’s another frustrating day teaching English. You don’t blame him. You hated English in school, too. Except when they played movies. SchoolHouse Rock ROCKED! It’s the only reason you know what a conjunction is AND its function! (Admit it, you just sang that song!)
This is what you thought homeschooling was. He fills out the paperwork and you basically take on the role of “teacher”. Correcting his work, giving him grades; but now you’ve hit a wall. He’s refusing to do any work. He wants to play video games and watch TV. Anything but learn about conjugating verbs.
Un-schooling is a different. In un-schooling the child decides what they want to learn. They are not learning nothing and playing video games all day (which isn’t entirely a bad thing). As parents we leave “crumbs”. It’s a method called “strewing“. This is when the kids began to question what they find and then seek it out. As Jews we are ALWAYS seeking and questioning. What is the old joke? With two Jews you will get three opinions?
The Tanakh (Bible) also dictates what we should teach our children. In Deuteronomy we are commanded to teach our children the mitzvos, laws and judgments. There are 613 mitzvahs.
That’s a lot.
Thing is, they all don’t apply to us at any one time. However, they do apply to a variety of issues in life. There is a massive amount of laws on just business ALONE.(This covers your subjects in Math, Economics, Financing, etc.)
There are civil laws on how to interact with each other, as well as animal laws governing how to treat animals. (Perfect for fulfilling the requirements for Government or Good Citizenship.)
We have Kosher laws that dictate what we can and cannot eat, defining our Health and Nutrition. As well as Family Purity laws in regards to marriage, surprisingly leading into Human Biology.
Why do we have so many laws?
Because when the Hebrews left Egypt they left without a government to rule them. They needed these laws to survive the desert. Left without a structure they would have probably perished. I mean look what happened as soon as Moses left them alone for a minute! They were building golden calves and having wild orgies. The people needed structure and Hashem knew this.
This isn’t the only time we are told to teach our children. In the Passover Haggadah we are commanded to replay the story of Exodus to our children. (History. See where I’m going here now.) And we are commanded to study Torah which we do with our weekly Parsha. (Reading & Writing.)
So where does un-schooling fall into this?
It’s life. It’s how you, as a Jew live your life. Guide your child how to live their life according to Judaism and you are un-schooling. You’re not just sitting down with paper. There is no test. At least not a test that anyone on Earth can grade. You are just doing your day-to-day stuff.
It’s OK to add anything outside of that, just make it all based on their interest. Again, with whatever bread crumbs you put. Sometimes it’s going to be video games and that’s OK. Talk with them about their video games. Advise them how it applies to Judaism. The more they communicate with you the bigger their vocabulary will become and the more comfortable they will become with talking with others. (Spelling and Public Speaking.) Not to mention how much more they will feel part of this world as a Jew.
Start strewing now. For more ideas on how to leave the breadcrumbs, sign up now for the free “Tips on Strewing” guide by entering your name and email below.