On Facebook last night, I did a little crowd sourcing on a question I had about teaching t’fila to my children.
Here’s what I asked:
I’m looking for some recommendations on t’filah tapes. My 7 year old is struggling with his reading, and therefore has trouble keeping up with davening. Learning new t’filot is especially challenging for him. While I’m working with him on his reading, he’s such an auditory learner that I was thinking maybe some “tapes” (CDs, MP3 files) would help him. Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks to Marceia’s request on that same thread, I am going to share the recommendations that I received — and ask that anyone who has additional ideas please chime in in the comments.
*Bonus* Most of these suggestions are free – or very inexpensive. (You know, in keeping with the whole “on a budget” theme.)
Jane said: Our Rabbi and Cantor make CDs for the kids in our shul to listen to. (Great idea – I should mention this to our Rabbi!)
Amy said: Record his voice and play it back often as he reads.
Tiffany suggested How to Daven as a Baal Tefilah by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein.
Melvin suggested Siddur Audio, although warned that “Be aware, not EVERYTHING is on there. But several are and most are traditional even though the rabbi is conservative.”
Bruce suggested Davka.com, which has a wealth of Judaic software options. Margie seconded that suggestion, saying that they had used Davka’s Tefilah Trainer, which has “lots of options for pronunciation and is easy to use.”
Michelle suggested that I look at Torah Tots, although I wasn’t able to find audio (am I missing something? Please share a link in the comments if I am).
Shoshana suggested that I “ask his teacher if he/she would record her/him self for him to hear so that he could learn the class tune and be able to sing along.”
Surie also went the teacher route, saying that she “ made a tape for my kids. We would always sing bentching while driving anywhere in the car. Once I put a tape recorder (olden days!) in the back of the classroom to catch teacher tunes.”
Chani recommended iShtik, which I just downloaded for my iPhone ($2.99). It’s also available for Androids from Google Play. It looks fun – and I love the Israeli accent on the kid. I’ll try to write a review after we give it a go.
In addition to these great resources, I have found a few others that I wanted to mention:
- Tfilah Trax from Chabad – Morning Prayers with Sephardi Pronunciation. I love that this has all the individual prayers, so if you are focusing on something in particular with your child, it’s easy to pull that out. I’d love to buy a CD, or pay to download the whole set – if anyone works at Chabad.org and wants to set us up with a link, I’d be happy to share that with my reader!
- Ha’Malach Ha’Goel Oti - This is a YouTube video and I used this with my 7 year-old very successfully. It has both Ashkenazi and Sephardi pronunciation and shows the Hebrew, transliteration and translation on the slides. That really seemed to work for my son and I think he’s got it all committed to memory finally. (Note, this recording has a man and a woman singing – so if that’s going to be a Kol Isha issue for you, don’t click the link.)
Do you have any other resources to share with the KOAB community? Please leave your suggestions in the comments section!