With a full day virtual boys or girls school, mesivta and afterschool program, TorahChinuch.com ensures the success of each student by balancing structure and curriculum with responding to the students’ personal questions and interests.
Online Cheder was designed to give each child a strong desire to learn. If chas vsholom the complete Geulah is delayed, the cheder is set to begin its 3rd year next week. Its mission is to offer full day Kodesh classes to all grade levels. It also partners with a sister school for girls classes with the same dedication and methods. Looking at its website, www.TorahChinuch.com, you can see some of the philosophies that make this school unique.
This is Online Cheder’s mission – to ensure the success of each student. For some, this means advanced classes and deep discussion. For other talmidim it means showing them that they can master skills and understand what they didn’t think was possible before they were shown how to. For all students, building a geshmack in and cheishik for Torah means facilitating lively discussions that show that our Torah is a living Torah that students can love, with exciting discussions that bring the lessons to life just as Torah should be learned.
Torah learning is never supposed to be rote. Lessons must come to life. Why a Gemara rules a certain way must be understood by the talmid, as must a lesson from Tanach or the reason for certain areas of halacha. Chasidus must also be explained so that the talmid can relate to the concepts. Parroting words is not learning. A talmid’s understanding the points and life lessons of the part of Torah that they are learning is absolutely necessary to gaining and keeping their interest.
Online learning especially demands that far more time be spent gaining a student’s attention. Detailed explanation, lively discussions and allowing for questions and debates are all absolutely necessary to gain a student’s interest. A student will only develop a love for Torah if the Torah is understood and attainable.
Gaining a student’s interest instead of just meeting set goals plays out in all areas of learning and is absolutely crucial. A child cannot develop a love for, or even an interest in, an area that he was never explained or that remains beyond the talmid’s grasp. To this end, Online Cheder offers the following:
Gemara – Understanding why the Gemara rules a certain way and why this is the fairer of the two options is key. When discussion turns to why the psak of the Gemara is more just than the alternative, children develop not only an interest, but also a respect for the Gemara and see it as the way of life that it is meant to be. This is also key to fulfilling the “nishma” part of our vow to Hashem at Matan Torah.
Chumash and Tanach – The word “Torah” means instruction or life lesson and its lessons are eternal. A mechanech’s job is to point out these lesosns. Doing so means the difference between a child being connected with the learning or, chas vsholom, mistakenly finding it irrelevant. For example, the entire Sefer Shoftim has one main theme, that following Hashem’s way causes Hashem to bestow blessings and protection. Sefer Melochim explains how Hashem runs the entire world based on our Divine service down here.
Sippurim – Stories of Hashgocha Protis are most necessary. Stories from our own generation bring home the point. The Rabbeim’s description of Hashgocha Protis or of how one should lead life, fills a talmid with the knowledge and desire to live a life based on these goals. Stories of true modern day examples of Hashgocha Protis fill a child with emunah and trains one to lead life in a way that befits this reality.
Davening and Tehilim – Nothing develops one’s connection with Hashem more than davening. The Rabbeim explain that the very word “tefilla” means coming together as one and the Rebbe writes how this is the “la’asos,” the action demanded by, Toras HaChasidus. Telling children how Hashem cherishes their words and how the malochim lift up each word of davening to a hire level helps.
Yet there is simply no substitute for knowing the meaning of the words and being encouraged to think of at least a few lines during each teffilah. Teffilah should also not be a game, but a meaningful time that a child uses to develop their connection with Hashem. The same with Tehillim, if we want children to be excited in reciting Tehilim, spend time going over the meaning of the words.
Chasidus – Every concept learned needs to be explained as it is. The mosholim, examples, that the Rabbeim give are precise. At younger ages, explaining the true and practical lessons of the Parsha or of a concept are key. As a talmid grows, explaining how a midah or idea is within the person and how much greater that idea is above, using the exact descriptions found in Tanya or Maamorim, is crucial.
How does one accomplish this?
Learning can be fun. Memorizing words with a game is a tried and proven way to gain a child’s attention. This helps them love class and love learning. Discussing the back and forth of a Gemara and how it might relate to practical situations is a great way of learning and making the lessons memorable. Doing skits or writing stories that emphasize ideas and stress key words is also necessary. Learning in this way is the only way to encourage a child to grow up with Torah as “chayeinu and orech yomeinu,” a concept that we remind ourselves of and say in front of Hashem every night.
Caring about the overall talmid, knowing their strengths and weaknesses and seeing how to give them knowledge in a way that true affects and encourages them is the most important aspect of chinuch. Caring also demands that a teacher figure out what works best for each child, what leads to progress and how much each child can learn well. Different types of fun assignments to solidify lessons learned is also a “toitzo’oh,” a byproduct, of this caring and thoughtful approach. This needed approach also mandates spending time working with parents to make sure that each child grows.
Online Cheder has made all of the above the basis of its method. This is expressed by the parents as well. Parental testimonials are available on the Testimonials and Media page of TorahChinuch.com, including these:
”BH with the dedication, care and guidance of Rabbis Postelnik and Scheiner, our son has flourished and grown so much over the past 2 years with Online Cheder. We have been witness to our son fall in love with Tanach, enjoy the learning, and develop his skills academically all with positivity and encouragement. – Mrs. Shaindy Bass”
Reb Doniel Berry added, “Baruch HaShem we have been so thrilled with Online Cheder for our son! The class experience is very engaging and the teachers balance structure and curriculum with responding to the students’ personal questions and interests. I highly recommend it for parents interested in a Chassidishe avir that is tailored to individuals.”
Online Cheder is administered by Rabbi Pinchas Scheiner and Rabbi Yomin Postelnik. For more information please visit www.TorahChinuch.com, email [email protected] or call (917) 830-3364. The dedication, caring and personalized teaching that your child deserves is being offered in the full day program at very affordable prices. The difference made in our talmidim has been profound and we invite you to see if our full day cheder, the boys or girls school, online mesivta or afterschool program are a great fit for your child.