Religious school education is not just about learning how to read the Alef-Bet, or memorizing prayers, or even learning about holidays. Religious school education is about a hands-on opportunity for children to learn more about their identity. Hebrew school tutoring offers students an intimate opportunity to ask thoughtful and insightful questions, to learn practical skills as well as the history, language, and practices of the Jewish people.
Here at My Learning Springboard we work with a variety of students, ranging in ages and background, Hebrew school education, and family practices. Our younger students get intensive and hands on experience in a wide curriculum, ranging in Torah study, holiday practices, Jewish/cultural foods, Israeli history and current events, conversational Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew, prayers, and more. Our older students receive this same training, but additionally receive training for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, which includes studying their Torah and Haftarah portion and understanding how it relates to their life. A typical hour long tutoring session for any student includes a half hour of Hebrew language study, both Biblical and conversational so they may use their skills when they go to Israel, and a half hour of Judaic study, which varies based on the interests of the student.
Each lesson is filled with new and exciting learning opportunities. Sometimes we use technology to enhance our lessons, music, you tube videos, etc. Other times we look at Jewish texts. And still other times the student has the opportunity to prepare something to teach me about a particular topic. Hebrew language study always includes some dialogue using new and old words, in addition to word games.
Hebrew school tutoring offers children an incredible opportunity to supplement the training they receive in school and at home. It helps to build language and thought processing skills while also engaging the student and helping the student to connect with his or her Jewish identity.
By Faryn Kates, Private Tutor