This is a sponsored guest post by Jessie Vigorito, co-founder of the Virtual Hebrew Academy.
As the slow, lazy summer draws to a close, parents and children are preparing for school, homework, hectic schedules, Sunday and Hebrew school. Add in other extra-curricular activities, and life during the school year can be overwhelming, and can seriously detract from family time.
When the time came for our eldest to begin his Jewish education journey, we were both proud, and quite sad. The loss of his free time, and the additional burden to his schedule impacted all of us. But, we were more fortunate than most, since we are Hebrew school and Judaic teachers. Our son was frequently in a class taught by one of us, or at the very least, we would see him running around the building. We continued to teach, even after our second son was born, and again after the third. But then, we as parents, decided to stop teaching in such a way because we had a revolutionary idea for the Jewish community.
Jewish learning goes well beyond Hebrew – Israel, Torah and Mishnah must be taught. We value family, commitment, doing good deeds, making the world a better place and so much more. Our rich heritage and history are vital things to impart to our children, for the future of our people. Yet, some of the most common comments that we heard from parents while teaching in supplementary schools were: “I can’t help my child in Hebrew, I don’t know how to read it” “I don’t know about this holiday” “I don’t know how to observe Shabbat” “I don’t know the Torah stories well enough to share them with my child”.
These comments made us so sad, because children first and foremost model their parents. Other parents had enough Jewish background to impart to their children, but lacked an organized and confident way to impart it. Judaism is a vital connection between parent and child, yet all of these families are falling through the cracks in traditional supplementary schools, losing these precious opportunities for joint learning and bonding.
So, we created Hebrew Virtual Academy, an online Hebrew school that instructs children in Hebrew, levels Alef through Hay, and even offers Bnai Mitzvah tutoring. We bring Hebrew learning into the home, with a program that utilizes live learning, and Behrman House’s Online Learning Center. We have online classrooms that create unity, and online games that offer fun reinforcement. All classes are recorded, so a student can easily make up if a session is missed. HVA offers a flexible Jewish education that fits into YOUR schedule.
Parents can learn, or reinforce learning right alongside of their child! The level of parental involvement is entirely up to the parent!
Jewish Home Leaners is a monthly subscription service for Pre-K-8th everything else. Mitzvot, Shalom Bayit, Torah, Ethics, Israel – there is so much more preparation that a child needs to embrace Judaism at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah than just Hebrew.
Once per month, your child receives several packet/magazines full of fun activities and learning. Also included is a family and parent guide, chock full of ideas and activities for parents to discuss and do WITH their children!
The response so far, has been very powerful and impressive. Military and rural Jews have been searching for years for a way to educate their children in the rich culture and heritage that we share. Bringing Judaism into the home, giving back family time, and making this learning flexible are the keys to Judaic commitment and longevity.
Exclusively for KOAB readers, you can save $200 off of Hebrew Virtual Academy and/or $100 off a Jewish Home Learners subscription when you enroll and use the voucher code KOABSUMMER. These are our biggest discounts of the year!
Please note that no other promotions or discounts will be applicable.
Aaron Tetelman is a father of six and a high school science teacher. He has been working as a teacher and curriculum developer within the Jewish world for over 15 years. Jessie Vigorito is a mother of six, and homeschools her children. She has been teaching Hebrew and Judaics for almost 20 years. You may reach either of them for comments or questions at [email protected] or on their Facebook page.