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Morah Mommy

Gila Arnold

Registration, interviews, acceptance committees – these words strike fear in the hearts of the thousands of parents who are now embarking on the daunting process of trying to get their children into school. Some parents, though, can rest assured that their children will always have a spot, and will be highly valued. For these parents homeschool. Why they chose to do so, and parenting strategies they picked up along the way — which all of us can benefit from.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

mother and teacher

 “If I were home with my kids 24/7, by the end of each day you’d have to be peel me off the ceiling. By the end of one week, I’d be ready for a padded cell.”

This was typical of the reactions I received when mentioning to friends that I was working on an article about homeschooling. It was usually accompanied by a raised eyebrow and a wag of the head, as if to question the sanity of anyone who’d willingly submit herself to such torture. I confess to having harbored similar sentiments myself. After all, which mother doesn’t look forward to that blessed first day of school? At long last — peace and quiet!

Funny thing is, though, many of the Morah Mommies out there actually look forward to their first day of school just as much as the rest of us. And, after speaking to them, I have to admit — there’s something inside me that whispers, “I’m jealous.”

While homeschooling can and has been widely debated, it’s undeniable that we can learn a lot from mothers who have taken on the added role of full-time morah. Their parenting duties aren’t put on hold between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Instead, they work to model the behavior they want their kids to emulate at all hours of the day. And since they’re solely responsible for their children’s education, they have had to seriously consider what kind of Jews they want their children to become — spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. Here are some of their stories, and the lessons in chinuch they’ve learned along the way. 


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