Now that we have been here for a few months people love to ask us what we think of the schools. Well my answer dear readers is: I have no idea. My kids don't speak Hebrew. Seriously though they understand very little of what goes on during the day. I have spoken to numerous educators about this and they all seem to say the same thing which essentially boils down to missing a year in your education is no big deal. Just keep up with the math. I found that kind of surprising but apparently a lot of what the kids spend their time learning is not that important to their long term educational plan. The caveat being that when I started 8th grade in a new school system I missed their year of geography but hadn't yet had one at my old school. To this day I would be pretty hard pressed to find North Dakota on the map. And by hard pressed I mean that I couldn't do it. (Sorry to any readers from the North). And there was the great Megerman Trivial pursuit championship of 1990 that my mom and I lost because we couldn't name the 5 oceans. She was an immigrant and probably missed that year too!
We have started working with a really incredible tutor. I haven't seen the kids so excited in a long time. He's young, totally laid back, and a good religious role model. Unfortunately, the school has yet to let us set up the tutoring hours during school so we are having to do it on the kids' free time. He said he is going to speak to the principal "it doesn't make sense that they can meet every special need except for the needs of two children who moved here specifically to live in Israel." Well you can see why I loved him right away. Seriously though they are both getting super motivated and doing the assignments he gives and I am feeling hopeful about their learning something.
Lital and I were at a grand opening in Mazkeret this week. We now have a fruit/vegetable shuk. A shuk is traditionally an open air market where you can get inexpensive items from kiwi to a fly swatter to some unique cooking spice. A true carnival for the senses in every way. So being that Mazkeret is a bit gentrified this is more like a shuk that has been sanitized and bright lights added. They had loads of candy they were passing out for the opening and L took some for herself and her siblings. She is so sweet that way. We were also there when they put the mezuzah (piece of parchment with Biblical verse) up on the doorframe. "What fun," she commented "candy we can eat and getting to kiss a new mezuzah."
N has his first baseball game in a couple of weeks, on Hanukkah. The Gezer "Bats" vs. the team from Hashmoniam. Totally excited because the game is in Hashmonaim which is the Maccabees old stomping grounds. This time, however, the Maccabees are going down!