More about independent activities and challenges

One of the questions you may have about the activities (grades PreK-3 and weekly challenges (grades 4-7) is will my child do work during the week?

These are developed as activities and challenges, and not work. For instance, consider the final Sukkat Shalom activity for the younger children: children make a bubble solution and try to catch the bubble on their hand (oops, it breaks!). Then they add non-toxic glycerin to the mix, which makes for stronger bubbles that they CAN catch on their hand. We tie that to the idea of a sukkah being fragile – it can break. And our sense of sukkat shalom can break. But just as we have the ability to strengthen normally fragile bubbles, we can find ways to strengthen our sukkat shalom.Are bubble experiments “work?” I don’t think so.

For the older children, in week 4 of Sukkat Shalom, using all that they have considered and created in weeks 1-3, they are challenged to make a sukkat shalom anyway they wish – boxes, legos, Minecraft, recycled materials, old sheets, etc. Might their shelter of peace be a fort, a reading nook, something to wrap themselves in, or ….? And will it be large-scale or small scale? Is that “work” in the traditional sense?

Also, the goal is to offer activities and challenges that children would be drawn to engage in with little parental oversight. Yes, for the youngest children, parents may need to help with materials at times, but there are videos that lead children through the activities step-by-step. We don’t see these at home activities as optional – they are core to the learning. BUT if a child just can’t get it together to do them, parents don’t have to stress out over them. We imagine that by sharing some of the projects that other children post to to online communication app, reluctant learners may realize that they are missing out on some fun!