Wednesday, March 30, 2005

"Slicha, Ha'im Atem Mevinim Ohti?"

Blogroll Me!

Hebrew for "Excuse me, do you understand me?"

Last night I was at another meeting of the committee I sit on at my children's day school: the chinuch committee, ie. the education committee. Of course we talked about this, that and the other, throwing around old as well as new ideas that relate to the betterment of our children and to our tuition dollars.

An opportunity arose for me to speak, and this is similar to what I said: "You offer an Ivrit b'ivrit program (Hebrew immersion) from preschool on and you really just don't know how much a child absorbs. I've tried over the years to speak Hebrew to my children at home and they whine and don't want to hear it. I figure I'm helping them along because I'm reinforcing what they learn in school, but oftentimes they've turned a deaf ear to my husband and I.

"Once in a while, though, I'll start talking to one of my three children and my oldest will answer or comment about everything I've said; he has no desire to do so in Hebrew, but at least I have clear evidence in his English responses that he's understanding everything I'm saying.

"Several times I've wanted to say something to my husband so that my children will not understand, and I revert to Hebrew. My husband says, 'Why are you even bothering? They understand everything we're saying!' So true -- that is how I learned German and Yiddish at home!

"We don't realize just how much like a sponge a child and his/her mind are. Until we are forced to use a language, we don't truly know just how much we've absorbed."

Zeh ha-kol; ayn ohd. (That's it; there ain't no more!)