*************** warning: rant ***************
When I was a kid, we needed to bring the following to school:
A looseleaf binder ("klasser")
We received all our books from school.
During the year, we did our excersizes on paper, in our binders.
At the end of the year, we returned our books.
This system seemed to make sense. Since the curriculum did not change much from year to year, the same textbook could be used repeatedly. After all, how much has math changed in the last two thousand years?
Not so in Israel!
In her six years of elementary school, our eldest daughter learned math using THREE different methodologies!! Every two years, we purchased a different type of math book. Our youngest daughter, who is in the same school, is using completely different books, representing a FOURTH method of learning math.
This, apparently is typical among all school and all grades.
In Israel, every year, parents are sent a list of books and workbooks to purchase for their children to use during the upcoming academic year.
Each teacher chooses their own books.
There are no "standards."
"New" parents might assume that they can pass on books from one child to the next.
They would be wrong!
Even within the same school, a teacher might decide to use a different book another year, for whatever reason.
At the end of the year, a parent might discover that several books are still brand new, never opened!
Shockingly, one common cause is that a particular book or subject just was not taught that year. It might not be used the following year(s) either.
Other times, children might not "get around" to their assignments. At the year's end, a parent might find it surprising that their child's workbook is either completely blank or that a meager few pages have been filled in.
Get used to it! No one is going to call the parents to let them know that their child is not doing the homework.
Sometimes, a parent might discover that their child did not answer any questions, but did manage to draw (read: doodle) over all the pages! This can be particularly frustrating for parents who want to sell their used/unused books back to the bookstore!
For the last few years, I have made every effort to get school books from friends with older kids. We manage to find most of our books this way, cutting our school expenses down significantly.
Of course, this effort is fraught with pitfalls, the most common being that the teacher demands that the child use a new edition.
And then there are the years, like this one, when all three of my kids need the same book!!
Because they will ALL be learning from the Kitzur Shulchan Oruch, and they all need a copy for school!
Oh, the joy of finding the right sifrei kodesh! (Jewish texts)
Our son's school is requiring specific publications of those as well. And, while we do own a set of Da'at HaMikrah, there is no way we are letting our son take Sefer Melachim (The Book of Kings) back and fourth to school every day!
So now we need to find out if having a copy at home is sufficient, in which case he can use the Mikraot Gedolot version that we already own. In fact, we already have two copies!
You get the idea?
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,