Judaic Studies Program
Our Yeshiva, an affiliate of the Chofetz Chaim Torah Network, recognizes that its responsibility is not merely to impart knowledge, but to instill a joy and passion for learning. In our skill-based Limudei Kodesh curriculum, you will not find a focus on rote memorization. Rather, we offer an emphasis on becoming creative thinkers and developing critical thinking skills. As we encourage our students to become independent learners, we instill in them a meaningful life-long enthusiasm and love for learning Torah. Our program is built on the devotion and expertise of our Rebbeim and Moros, each of whom has spent many personal years studying Torah and Middos, so that the lessons and values they impart are given over with heartfelt depth and clarity.
Guiding Curriculum Principles
Our Torah Studies curriculum contains four broad objectives:
Our students learn and master vast portions of Chumash, becoming familiar with the style and format of the Pesukim, as well as reading, decoding, and translating. Content and comprehension is covered with the commentaries and Midraic interpretations. The learning and reading of Rashi, Mishnayos, and ultimately Gemara, are learned and covered in depth as the grades progress. Students learn many sections of daily Halacha including the laws of Tefilla, Shabbos, and Berachos. Yomim Tovim are covered in depth, and the words and meaning of Tefillos and Berachos are learned and mastered. Dikduk and Ivrit are integrated into class programs. Navi is learned in the older grades as well. Special class and school programs focus on general Yedios and knowledge.
Learning and Analytical Skills:
Our objective is far more than the acquisition of Torah information and knowledge. Our goal is to help our students become life-long learners by giving them the skills to learn on their own. A love and desire for learning, coupled with the skills and vocabulary necessary to open up a Chumash, Gemara, or any Sefer on their own, empower our children to discover for themselves the vastness, depth and beauty of Torah learning. Understanding and mastery are stressed over memorization. In Chumash, Dikduk skills and recognizing Shorashim is stressed; In Rashi and Gemara, analytic skills to decipher questions, answers, and proofs are developed. Training in understanding and recognizing implied questions and reasoning allow our students to become independent learners in their quest for greatness in Torah learning.
Middos and Character Building:
A primary focus is placed on building character and developing Derech Eretz. Throughout all grades, our exemplary staff model for the children how to speak and interact with dignity and sensitivity. Concepts and character traits such as respect, kindness, honesty, and generosity are brought out in class topics and classroom interactions. Classroom lessons and school wide programs focus on developing Menchlichkeit - acting with dignity with one's elders, peers, and oneself. Our students are inculcated with the understanding that all human greatness must begin with the foundation of being a refined human being.
Torah Outlook and Values:
Above all, we endeavor to share with our students the relevance and beauty of living a Torah way of life. The texts are the springboard from which we lead our children into the world of Torah values, Torah attitudes, and Torah living. Our Rebbeim and Moros share the depth of their own commitment and dedication to Torah, and show how the Torah's timeless lessons can be practically applied to the students' lives and to the challenges of the 21st Century.
General Studies Program
Torah Academy of Boca Raton offers an education of excellence in General Studies. Torah Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its intensive curriculum meets and exceeds state requirements for elementary school certification. Our students begin exploring the various disciplines that constitute the foundation of the general studies curriculum that will prepare them academically to meet the challenges of their continuing education.
Guiding Curriculum Principles
The General Studies Education at Torah Academy provides a great deal more than academic information and skills. At each grade level, the teachers incorporate the year's curriculum with activities that allow the children to think, to use their own skills, to accomplish tasks that are reasonable for their developmental level, and to take pride in their work. These aims are made possible by our educational philosophy which dictates that teaching a child is much more than imparting information. Rather, it is the combination of teaching skills, while simultaneously nurturing the proper development and moral structure of the child. Thus, we offer a curriculum appropriate to the age and development of the children without creating undue stress and competition at a time when children should love to learn!
Our reading/writing program effectively reflects our philosophy. A phonics/literature-based reader is used in Grades 1 - 4, providing a sampling of fine stories, poems, essays, etc., and giving the children practice in the fundamental phonics/language arts skills that help create a proficient reader/writer. Exercises follow the stories and the students have the opportunity to practice phonics rules and their application, grammar, spelling, syntax, etc. Grades 1 and 2 also work with a supplemental phonics program, providing additional phonics application to help ensure mastery of the skills necessary for successful reading. In addition to this phonics program, however, each class beginning with Grade 2, reads a minimum of 4 novels in school, during which time opinions, predictions, interpretations and reactions are a main focus of classroom learning. Each child is obligated to respond to questions about the segment of literature, in a way that taps not only writing skills, but emphasizes the value of a personal, substantiated opinion, and of critical thinking. We try to build egos as well as skills.
Our math program develops skills and understanding utilizing the critical thinking emphasis of our math series, that focuses on higher level problem solving as well as math basics. Throughout first and second grades, teachers utilize concrete objects, coins, unifix cubes, cuisinaire rods, etc., in order to enable the children to ultimately work with math concepts. Everyday experiences are replete with numerical and mathematical abstractions and we try to emphasize the relationship between our lives and the use of math. Towards the upper grades, we infuse the curriculum with logic and word problems, brain teasers, and puzzles in order to fine tune critical thinking skills. In the upper grades, the students learn how to set up equations and begin to think algebraically to solve for unknowns.
Our science and social studies programs expand beyond the scope of the textbooks in our constant attempt to develop more caring and sensitive children. We teach the children to be aware of their environment and what they can do to make a positive impact on curbing pollution. We discuss the rain forests, endangered species and other areas of concern for humanity. We try to develop in the children a sense of pride for their community, their world and certainly in themselves. We teach them, in conjunction with the Judaic Department, respect for themselves and for those around them.
Guidance - Torah Academy has an on-staff learning specialist who helps determine individual student's needs. Teachers work with the principal and parents to meet the needs of the children. Referrals for outside educational and emotional/behavioral support services are made by the principal following formal staff meetings with teachers and parents.