Thursday, May 05, 2005

What do I expect to get for my $200K?

So I figured that over the next decade or so, I will pay in the vicinity of $200,000 (not adjusting for inflation) to provide each my kids with a solid, well-rounded education that includes both a traditional religious education as well as a solid secular education that will help prepare them for college.
As someone who went to religious school who's emphasis (at least on secular education) was less holisitic and far less serious, clearly I have a lot of baggage from my negative experiences in school that I don't want my sons to go through in their lives. Sure we've all had a teacher that we didn't get along with, but also a teacher that we loved. But the school that I went to emphasized rote execution of religious practice without the capacity for dialog or discussion. That works for some people, but didn't work for me.
I also to this day firmly believe that the principal had it out for me, but that is a whole other story.
I guess that brings me back to the title - what do I expect? In bullet points:
  1. I expect that he will be able to speak,read, and write Hebrew with a decent degree of fluency

  2. I expect that he will have a decent understanding of how to open up religious texts - Misha, Gemara, Chumash, Halacha, and be able to learn something on his own without relying heavily of english translations.

  3. I expect that he will have a strong understanding of our religion and the tools to be able, as an adult, to determine where and how G-d fits into his life.

  4. I expect that he will have the skills in secular studies that will enable him to get into a college that is on par with his abilities (I don't know if he is a genius or not, but if he is, I want his education to take him to an Ivy League school).

  5. I expect that he will have a good understanding of Jewish History - both from within and from beyond the bible - and how it relates chonologically with world history.

  6. Most importantly, regardless of how my children end up religiously, professionally, and emotionally, I expect them to have not only the ability to think for themselves, but also the desire to do so. For as we all know, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Sound like at lot, even for $200,000, but at the same time, whenever anyone makes an investment of that size, their initial dreams are always big, or else they wouldn't find it worth the risk.

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