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Now entering its third year, Online Cheder continues to achieve its central goal, that of meeting the needs of each and every talmid and motivating them to love learning while building needed skills. The results speak for themselves through the difference in the lives of talmidim who now enjoy learning and who have found a program that gives them both the skills and motivation to go on to learn on their own.
Last year, the Cheder opened a separate girls’ school with the same vision and philosophy. This separately run program is also going strong. The Yeshiva Camp summer program for boys, with a focus on making learning fun and on growing Talmidim Yirei Shomayim is also being offered again. The Yeshiva Camp focuses not just on skill building, but mainly on driving home the real lessons of Torah, helping children grow and appreciate their connection with Hashem in a way that is designed to last.
Information on all full year and summer programs is available at www.TorahChinuch.com, but this article will explain outline the methods we use for the success of your child.
The full day boys’ Cheder has three different streams. The first is a regular classroom setting, coupled with dedication and caring. The second program is central to our mission of leaving no talmid behind, under any circumstances. Its goal is to lift up those who have struggled with skills, make learning real and show them that Hashem’s Torah is their Yerusha too, one that is inspiring and is meant to be their – enjoyable – way of life. The third program has been our most successful and most used, motivating talmidim who have not been served in a meaningful way because their brightness and quick grasp make regular classroom learning boring. We go all out, separately, for each type of student.
The summer Yeshiva Camp is designed to accomplish everything that the Cheder seeks to do throughout the year. The Rebbe speaks about how the summer cannot go to waste, chas vsholom, yet at the same time the current “way of the world” allows children to use the summer to learn areas that awaken their own interests, making the learning more memorable and most of all, enhancing its effects. This is what our Yeshiva Camp is designed to do!
Online Cheder put the needs of every talmid at the forefront. This is our shlichus and our goal. This central mission, along with the brochos that we’ve received, is the reason that we look to provide our all to each child.
The “How To” Of Building Your Child:
More than ever, talmidim need to be reached out to and inspired. They need Torah learning to become meaningful, if it is to become their lives, their “ki heim chayeinu.” Above all, the Cheder seeks to give students the skills that they need to learn, to develop their cheshek in learning and works to make Torah meaningful in their lives. Here are some of the ways that we seek to motivate children and help them grow into Torah following Jews.
Making learning enjoyable and meaningful is also the best way to give students the motivation to memorize words and meanings, the most needed tools for a lifetime of learning. At Online Cheder (www.TorahChinuch.com) the results speak for themselves.
Based on Klalei HaChinuch VeHahadrocha, any cheder has three challenges:
1) to give students the skills they need to learn
2) to motivate children to want to learn on their own
3) to develop the character of each student and to help them grow as individuals
For the above to happen, a teacher must get to know each student, reach each one in way that makes learning interesting and relevant to them and must encourage each student to take steady steps in their service to Hashem.
To be motivated, children need to learn why we do what we do. Learning pirush hamilos, the simple (yet anything but simple) meaning of the words of davening is crucial. Mishna and Halacha must open itself to discussion. Gemara needs to be taught with practical examples, ones which students can act out and relate to. Discussion as to why Torah rules a certain way is key to making all of the above meaningful, understandable and something that students will enjoy and relate to.
Online Learning Must Provide All of the Above and More:
Online learning also challenges teachers to keep students interested. Asking and encouraging questions, praising students for showing initiative and finding out both the interests of students and how they best learn is the job of a teacher and the mission of Online Cheder. On a more basic level, knowing when to switch subjects, knowing when to try a different way of explaining a piece of Gemara to a child, is all the more critical and important. Small groups and caring teachers allow for children to thrive in this setting.
The Frierdiker Rebbe explains that when one learns Torah just on the surface, without trying to really understand it, that is klipas Yovon. Students delve into and discuss subjects, especially when there are key points to be made which give a richer meaning to the Torah being learned or that teach a lesson in our service to Hashem.
One example of how Online Cheder has made davening and pirush hamilos meaningful is as follows. When discussing the greatness of Hashem, discussion went to how one can see Hashgocha Protis in meaningful, practical ways. Hashem must make the brain, numerous signals, nerves and veins all work together just for a person to move one’s hand. This small example points out how Hashem both creates and runs every part of our being and every aspect of our lives. The care to every detail that Hashem shows in making our hands and feet move can be seen in all parts of life. Hashem does what is best for a person’s body and soul, caring for each of us more than a parent would for child – and caring with both our present and our eternal future in mind, at all times. These practical examples are key to explaining Hashgocha Protis and to motivating children to properly connect with Hashem.
Results Speak For Themselves:
In our initial year, the 10/11 year old boys covered 6 mesechtos mishnayos with in-depth discussion and related halochos and minhogim. Students also learned a large part of Rav A. Chaim Noeh’s Ketzos HaShulchan, began Gemara with Perek HaMeiniach (in keeping with the Rebbe’s horaoh to start with HaMeiniach or HaMafkid) and covered much Tanya, Tanach, Pirush HaMilos and more. The next year they covered much of Gemara Bava Metzia, Halacha, Yesodim in Yiddishkeit and a continuation of all of the above.
Throughout the program and on all levels, students covered ground, gained tremendous skills and enjoyed themselves. Here’s how this was accomplished:
- Making davening meaningful by teaching Pirush HaMilos and giving practical examples of key points.
- Increasing Chumash vocabulary tremendously by reading and teitching each posuk, word by word, and having children do same.
- Making Chumash exciting with Midrashim, Halochos and discussion.
- Doing the same thing for Mishnayos, sometimes with chazora games.
- Explaining the meaning of each Yom Tov and Yomai dPagra.
- Going line by line in Gemara, but giving practical and meaningful examples. We rarely used “Reuven and Shimon.” More often, two classmates acted out each side.
- Making Gemara learning fun, memorable and engaging, with skits and plays that bring home the reasons behind the Gemara and the Halachos that stem from it, as can be seen in some of our videos (view the bottom of the Testimonials and Media page on our website for some exciting examples).
- Stopping to discuss obvious questions that come up when learning Tanach.
The last point on Tanach was needed and cannot be overemphasized. Children cannot be half-taught Tanach without risking serious misunderstanding, chas vsholom. Explaining that Achan was mechalel Shabbos and caused the deaths of many and that Yehoshua was trying to comfort him after he and everyone else knew his punishment serves to answer key misconceptions. That Daryevesh Madai (who later conquered Bavel) was born the moment that Nevuchadnetzar removed Yechonya as king, brings Yiras Shomayim. So do the back and forth events of Sefer Shoftim, when Klal Yisroel are saved each time that they listen to Hashem.
Unique Learning Style and Effectiveness:
Parents point out how caring the teachers are and speak of their devotion to chinuch and each child. One can read the outstanding parent testimonials on the website.
Most of all, Online Cheder emphasizes the need to reach each child in a way that will make learning meaningful and enjoyable. For this to happen, learning has to be made accessible to students and Online Cheder staff make sure to work with each student so that they can learn and remain motivated to do so.
See more information about the full day boys’ cheder, the girls’ cheder, the great boys’ Summer Yeshiva Camp Program, afterschool tutoring, or for testimonials and learning methods, please visit www.TorahChinuch.com. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (917) 830-3364. We’d be glad to speak with you and see what we can do for your child!
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