Monday, June 14, 2010

TORCH Rundown

Wow. Wow. Wow. That's pretty much all I can say about the incredible experience of attending the Torah Home Education Conference yesterday. It was a grueling trip. (I left at 11:05 pm Saturday and returned at 10:20 pm Sunday with only 2 hours of sleep on the plane heading to Baltimore.) I met some amazing women and listened to quite a few incredible speakers. Mrs. Avivah Werner outdid herself and I'm already excited not only to put new ideas into action, but to learn even more next year!

First up was the keynote speech by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I've had the pleasure of hearing Rabbi Lapin speak at our bet knesset a few times before. I wasn't aware the he and his wife home educated their children and was thrilled when I learned about it.

Next was the choice of sessions with Mrs. Chana Lazaroff  or Mrs. Susan Lapin. It was such a difficult choice to make, but inertia won out and I stayed in my seat to hear Mrs. Lapin's tips for making the transition back/into institutionalized learning. She shared pitfalls her family encountered and ideas to stay involved with the greater Jewish community.

Following the Lapins was Rabbi Yosef Bentzion Bamberger. Rabbi Bamberger spoke to why the Day School/Yeshiva is broken and what we can do to successfully educate our children and the children in the system.

After lunch I attended a session with Mrs. Yehudis Eagle who spoke about tefilah and how to ignite the spark in our children (and ourselves).

Next was Mrs. Malky Adler who shared her experience being the only home educating family in Oak Park, Michigan. (Now one of two families in the community.)

Finally Rabbi Simcha Feuerman spoke about creating a vibrant and engaging limudei kodesh curriculum.

 I'll be going through my notes and writing up detailed thoughts on each session I attended throughout the next week or two.