Readers submit chinuch questions to a panel of renown educators
This week's question:
Our son entering first grade is blessed with a unique and complicated visual disability. Details aside, the bottom line is that he is not a candidate for Braille learning or glasses, but is unlikely to be able to read more than three letters together unless they are memorized sight words. With much siyata diShmaya and hard work, he's currently at that level and has learned close to 30 sight words (in English as well).
For the coming year, should we continue to put the majority of his and our time and efforts into memorizing more sight words or should we temporarily shelve the kriah work and focus on his attaining “baal peh” Chumash and tefillah skills – such as tunes, teitch, comprehension, etc. - even though this will detract from his reading?
He has a very full day and needs some down time after school and tutors, so concentrating fully on both isn't a realistic option. Can a boy survive the system baal peh?
For the response, see this week's printed edition.