By a mother
For the past four years my children have gone to the Chidon.
This year one of my children decided he didn’t want to go. My husband and I offered encouragement and incentives but my son wasn’t motivated this year and we told him that was okay.
Tuesday evening before the Chidon my son told me that he is going to be the only student in school because everyone else who is going to the Chidon won’t be coming to school. I spoke to the Hanhala who said that in the past the kids who didn’t go to the Chidon simply wouldn’t come to school so there was no need to have programming, including morning minyan.
It is obviously very difficult to teach a class with one or two kids. After my insistence, the Hanhala decided that all the boys will be in a group, and be taught by rotating teachers throughout the day, while the other teachers will attend professional development sessions.
I would like to suggest, to all schools, that during the Chidon, a weekend that celebrates Kol HaTorah Kulah, the children who don’t go to should attend classes that would inspire them to want to come to school.
Perhaps together with parents, the kids could be motivated to come to school. Perhaps bochurim from the nearby Zal can be encouraged to join the elementary minyan and add some Chayus and inspiration.
Perhaps the boys can go to the Zal, learn morning Chassidus, and join the Yeshiva’s Shacharis. Perhaps the children can have more individualized attention from their teachers and learn something different and exciting that makes them feel like they are worthy. Perhaps the children can learn Yahadus from the next year’s Chidon book so they will be inspired to participate in the next Chidon.