The Passover seder is a time when families come together, and for families with children, there is a great emphasis placed on involving them and guiding them to learn.
The Haggadah essentially provides parents and educators with a strategy for how to teach children well. A strategy that was revealed to us long before “new age” education systems adopted Ignacio Estrada’s famous saying, “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach them the way they learn.”
For many parents, the real challenges of education hit hardest in the teen years. While we once may have thrown our hands in the air, blaming rap music and that it was no longer acceptable to discipline with a paddle – we now know that teenage behavior is yet another area where we must look at how children learn in order to teach them well.
For example, with the ground-breaking research of Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore on the adolescent brain development, we can understand and therefore properly address the issues associated with teenage decision making.
Additional research points to the teen years being a time when it’s of high importance to establish a sense of independence, which can easily take on the form of parental resistance and rebellion.
Furthermore, studies show that while teenagers need the same amount of sleep as they did when they were younger, up to ten hours a night, they rarely get it. And it’s not because they’re out partying. The fact is that high schoolers have a more intense and stressful workload in and out of school, on top of being encouraged to engage in healthy physical activities, social clubs, and community consciousness and so on… resulting in a shortage of hours in the day to let their body and mind refresh for the next one.
So now that you know there’s a reason beyond music choices and disciplinary issues, what can you do to teach your teen? What system can you set in place that provides a quality academic education as well as teaching them community values, interpersonal skills, independence, and personal growth?
For some parents, the answer lies outside their immediate surroundings, all the way to Israel with the programs offered by Naale Elite Academy and its network of free high schools.
The Naale Elite Academy is fully subsidized including a full scholarship for tuition, free airfare to and from Israel, room and board, health insurance, trips and more. Since its inception, more than 16,000 high school students have come to study on the Naale program, with 85% graduating with a full matriculation, an internationally recognized high school diploma. There are a variety of high schools in Naale network, ranging in academic and religious tracks.
Beyond the benefits of an excellent education at no cost, the Naale program provides Jewish teens with healthy outlets for exploring life, friendships, culture, creativity and so much more! At Naale, teens learn to be the adults they will become—adults who can one day go on to teach their children well.
This Op-Ed is the author’s personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of JerusalemOnline.com