Among the important decisions that parents have to make in Israel is which school to send their children to. There are several different types of schools in Israel. The government runs a secular and religious school system. There is also an independent school system run by the ultra-Orthodox. The government schools are free, whereas the independent schools receive only partial support from the government. The rest of their budget comes from donations and from tuition that the parents pay.
My wife and I decided not to send our children to the government-run schools. These schools are often plagued by violence, teachers' strikes, and harmful meddling from certain elements at the Education Ministry. The financial burden of paying tuition is heavy, but we don't regret our decision at all. I am very happy to say that we are very pleased with the education that our children receive. The boys learn in Talmud Torah, and the girls learn in Beis Yaakov schools.
One of the rights of passage for a Beis Yaakov girl is the Musagim BeYahadut(concepts of Judaism) test. This is a test for seventh graders which requires them to learn more or less by heart 289(!) basic Jewish concepts. This of course requires several months of preparation. By us this was a family effort as almost everyone in the family took turns helping our seventh grader to prepare by testing her. Our son Eliyahu(a third grader) tested her a lot and as a result learned a lot of the concepts.
As the test date approached our daughter was under pressure to finish learning all of the concepts. The tension at home skyrocketed. Yesterday she finally took the test! When I came home from work I expected to see my daughter lying on her bed exhausted. Instead, I was surprised to see her sitting at her table doing homework!