Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: My Bar Mitzvah Tutors

I can't believe that in 13 months Ben and Shira will have their Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony and will be officially teens.  How did this happen?  Just over thirteen years ago, I was single, living in South Africa and never for a moment thought I'd be the mom to the world's most marvelous twins and planning a Bar Mitzvah.

At the start of this school year, the kids started their Bar/Bat Mitzvah prep with an online Hebrew school, My Bar Mitzvah Tutors, and we could not be happier with our choice to skip the local Hebrew schools and go with Dani from My Bar Mitzvah Tutors.  

The kids adore their classes with Dani.  She's one of those rare adults who brings an energy of child-like wonder to her classes whilst still imparting serious information. 

I love listening to my kids' classes with her.  I hear excited voices, laughter and joy.  What better way to learn about your heritage?  I hear so many children and parents complain bitterly about their children's Hebrew schools and I keep on asking why they continue with those schools?  The answers are always, "Because that's what our parents did and that's what our community does!"

People, it's time to break out of the molds.  If the local Hebrew schools are not offering you what you want, don't use them!  I highly recommend Dani and her crew of tutors for Hebrew school.  You don't have to worry about discipline problems because it's just Dani and your kid/s.  There is no wasted time because Dani teaches at your child's speed. It doesn't matter if your child learns quickly or slowly, the class progresses at your child's speed.

Dani is sneaky about testing the children's information retention.  Instead of giving them tests, she plays "Jewpardy" with the kids.  Ben and Shira just love playing this game (I think it is because it brings out the competitive spirit in them)

As a homeschooling mom, I really appreciate the homework that Dani gives the kids. It does not involve pages and pages of worksheets, instead, she asks the kids to answer questions that require thought and understanding of the material.

Over the years I have homeschooled my children, I've looked at many programs for teaching Hebrew. I have to say that the program that Dani and her sister developed is the best I have  yet seen. 

She starts off teaching a few Hebrew letters and their sounds. Then the children are given a story to read (a funny story about a boy and a dragon) where the newly learned Hebrew letters replace the English sounds they represent.  This allows the children to practice the Hebrew while reading a language  they've mastered.  It made the entire process of learning a new alphabet completely painless.

As a family, we thoroughly appreciate Dani's weekly D'var Torah that she offers in both audio podcast and written form.

If you are on the fence about putting your kids in a brick and mortar Hebrew school, give My Bar Mitzvah Tutors a try.  You can schedule Hebrew school to fit your schedule.  You don't have to schlep the kids during rush hour and then wait two hours for them to finish, because the class happens in your home at a time convenient to you.  Your child doesn't have to spend years and years in Hebrew school because with one-on-one tutoring, learning happens much, much faster.  Instead of bad memories of wasted time in Hebrew school, your child will have joyful memories of learning with a teacher who is passionate about her subject and who imparts that passion with every lesson.

One of the best things, to me, about using My Bar Mitzvah Tutors is that they help you plan your Bar Mitzvah ceremony.  We're going to be doing ours in Israel and the good folks are going to help us plan the entire trip. I'm always happy to elicit help from people who have done this many times before.

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