Hebrew for kids
It is better to start learning Hebrew for kids from a young age. Studies have shown that it is easier to learn a language as a child because of the brain's elasticity and rapid neural development babies and young children are able to learn languages at a faster rate. Hebrew is no different. In a perfect world, parents would embrace engaging their children in the Hebrew language at a very young age. Some options to engage children could include helping them learn
Hebrew for kids – the challenges
Hebrew for kids – the challenges should be the new title of a book! With all the research that shows the benefits of learning a language and all the grand ideas for parents to engage their children with the Hebrew letters, it can be highly challenging! Indeed, we do not live in a perfect world. For example, it is very common for both parents to work full-time and do not have the time or the energy to devote to a new language experience, such as Hebrew for kids. Also, engaging their offspring in Hebrew for kids can be extremely challenging if the parent(s) speak a second language other than English.
Another challenge that many parents face is the financial one. Inflation has certainly increased dramatically in Australia and is increasing in other countries, too (albeit not as quickly). The increase in the cost of living is forcing families to prioritise expenses. For some parents making sure their child (or children) learns the Hebrew alef bet make take a back seat in comparison to putting food on the table every night and paying the rent or mortgage. Additionally, living in the diaspora (outside of Israel) may have parents questioning the validity of their children learning Hebrew writing, especially if they still need to learn handwriting in their native language, such as English and how to write the abc.
However, despite financial pressures on many families or changing priorities, there are still ways for children to learn the Hebrew aleph bet and have Hebrew lessons that are relatively inexpensive and easy for parents.
Aleph bet posters
Parents can make their own aleph bet posters for their kids, which is a fantastic approach to start teaching Hebrew to their children informally and economically. Another option is to buy a subscription to the online Easy Learn Hebrew program, which is a beautiful way for the whole family to learn Hebrew together. The best thing is the whole family can challenge each other and learn a new Hebrew word every day! Using this program can also supplement other Hebrew lessons their children may be having.
Some parents know that they do not have the skills or the knowledge, but they still want the kids to learn this ancient language and have a connection to the Jewish people around the world. This desire for their children prompts them to find alternatives to speaking the language as a family. Indeed, if parents want to 'outsource' their children's Hebrew learning and they do not have financial constraints, some families send their children to a Jewish day school. Kids are saturated in the language at these Jewish day schools, having Hebrew lessons almost daily. Still, only some have the opportunity to send their child to a Jewish day school as it can be very expensive or not available in the area where the family lives.
The second popular option is for parents to send their child to Hebrew and Religion Schools at their local Temple or synagogue on a Sunday morning. Attending these classes is a great opportunity for Jewish children to learn Hebrew and make Jewish friends. Also, Hebrew and Religion School is an excellent segway to starting Bar Mitzvah, or Bat Mitzvah studies.
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