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Showing posts from August, 2010

Jewish Homeschool Blog Carnival

Why can’t we have our own carnival??? Let’s do it! A regular, monthly Jewish homeschool blog carnival… why not??? Here are links to all current and past Jewish Homeschool Blog Carnivals so you can see what we’re all about: JHS Blog Carnival #1 (Cheshvan 5771) JHS Blog Carnival #2 (Kislev, 5771) JJS Blog Carnival #3 (Tevet, 5771) What is this blog carnival for? UPDATED November 8! A blog carnival lists blog posts of interest to like-minded folks. Not just a list of blogs, it singles out those posts which are remarkable, special, interesting. So I want to hear from you - your best posts ever; your best RECENT posts; the stuff you're most proud of: Did you have one amazing perfect day with your homeschooler? Or maybe you had a terrible, frustrating day - and want to vent? Did you find a new way to teach a Jewish (or secular) concept? Did you have a great back-to-homeschool picnic with other kids in your area? Are you a seasoned homeschoo

New Jewish Homeschooling Resources Page

This is a little bit circular, but here goes… Shira, another Toronto homeschooling mama has set up a Jewish Homeschooling Resources site , and since she has tons of links to my page, I thought I’d scratch her back a little by sticking in a linkie here . Since every other page I’ve found that attempts to list Jewish homeschool resources is hopelessly out of date, we should probably encourage somebody who’s trying to catalogue the MODERN internet (as opposed to the Internet of 1994, which is what it seems like most of the links pages point to). If you know of any great sites, pleeeeeze contact Shira to add them.  Meanwhile, she’s got some great stuff already – check it out!

Back-to-Homeschool Curriculum Planning

Here’s a rough outline of the way I’m thinking we’ll go this year.  No idea how I’m going to schedule it all just yet… and I won’t know until I see how the extracurriculars are going to be slotting in. ENGLISH / GENERAL STUDIES / לימודים כללים: (* = ordered today from Rainbow Resource ; eta = forgot these!  added Sept 2) Handwriting – continue Handwriting Without Tears / Letters and Numbers for Me Handwriting – begin to introduce copywork of simple, relevant verses (none in mind at this point) Reading – continue with the *next level of Bob Books Readers, add variety of reading material as she grows more comfortable.  Begin/continue Dick & Jane compendium:  Fun Wherever We Are (found at Value Village). Reading – continue with Starfall phonetic reading and online games eta Phonics – continue with Explode the Code, Book 1 – used successfully last year Reading together – continue with Little House and other “living books” Math – continue Funtastic Fro

Menu Plan Monday #28: 20 Elul, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! We are a Jewish family of 6 (2 parents, 4 kids) and all our meals are kosher. Newcomers, you can read my MPM intro here which tells you all about who we are and what we eat, or just visit my super-duper-list-tastic itemization of Everything We Eat . Last week was a total whirlwind, with us away in NYC for most of the week.  but I want to thank Ted for his update to the menu plan to prove that he and the nosy puppies can survive in my absence! Note:  this menu plan was revised on Wednesday, Sept 1/10 to reflect a switch in this week’s “Vegan Day!” Sunday (last night):  Take-out Falafel w/sisters at Mommy’s house Monday:  Steaks on BBQ – must buy gas canisters – argh!  Instant mashpo & salad w/Mango-Poppy Dressing (per Elisheva’s request) Tuesday (Ted’s off day, the NEW Vegan Vuesday):  Stir-fry w/tofu cubes (per Elisheva’s request – can you guess who’s sitting behind me as I type this?) – I have updated this post t

Creepy Wonderful Face Paint

On Friday, my sisters took Naomi Rivka to BuskerFest downtown, and she came home looking like this: It’s hard to tell in the picture, but every centimetre of her face was painted… the centre area where it looks like nothing is actually a very subtle shading of gold/bronze shades. Everybody was amazed.  Ted and Elisheva and I ran around grabbing cameras to take pictures before it wore off, but the paint actually stayed on pretty faithfully, right through bath time and into Shabbos…

Six-Word Saturday: 17 Elul, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! Came home to a computer virus.  :-((( Ugh.  I think it’s resolved now, with no data loss that I can tell.  People, if something pops up that says “you’ve got a virus” – it’s a virus!  Don’t click on it!  And whatever you do, don’t install the helpful software the box promises will fix all your virus problems!!!

125 years of embroidery service…

We’re back!  No time to mention everything, but that’s probably for the best. It was at once a wonderful and incredibly frustrating trip.   Wedding:   yes, yes, yes.  Amazing… and mazel tov to the happy young couple! (dancing… with a girl!) (shh… they’re holding hands!) Yeshiva:  no go.  And the trip out of our way robbed us of about five hours of touristy time.  I have to think Hashem had a purpose in sending us there but it was just SOooo inappropriate for YM.  Gam zu l’tova, perhaps now we know better what we’re looking for.  Hint:  if the place doesn’t pick up its phone, doesn’t return calls, doesn’t keep appointments, and doesn’t seem to know who you are despite having made said appointment, it may not be the place to send your impressionable young son to learn mentschlichkeit.  The upside:  lots of quiet time waiting in the yeshiva’s empty office with nothing to read but the parsha! (I know Judaism offers us lots of wisdom on our perception of “wasted” time, but my favo

Finished-Word Friday: WEBINAR

Seen on a NYC subway, on the Nefesh B’nefesh website, and hopefully never again elsewhere. This is a word that, as far as I’m concerned, should be declared OVER before it really has a chance to get started. (try to spot it word on the poster at left!) The word “web” really has nothing in common with the word “seminar” other than the letter E. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s not enough to go on. Here’s the last word I expressed disgust with: ARTISAN . Stay tuned for more in this series of exciting “Jeninars”!

Menu Plan Wednesday and Thursday

Teddy G. MacLeod here, with the menu plan for the days when J is away having fun and living the good life in NY. My menu plans are usually complex and take hours to cook, that is, when I am not taking care to two little kids who need more attention than pair of nosy puppies. So the menu here will be quite simple and really designed to be cooked and served real FAST! Wednesday: Might as well list all the meals to show how basic it all is... Breakfast - Special K cereal with freeze-dried strawberries Snack - Cheese strings, cookie and peaches Lunch - Wacky Mac Snack - Graham crackers Supper - Perogies, french fries and mixed veg Snack - plums Thursday: How do I top yesterday's feast? Breakfast - Omelets (by request) Snack - Cheese strings, cookie and plums Lunch - take-out pizza at the park Snack - Graham crackers Supper - Home-made Grilled Salmon burgers with french fries Snack - peaches Friday: Everyone comes home this morning, so here are a couple of things I will serve. Br

(Kind of) Fast Fun Easy Rosh Hashanah Shofar Craft!

Spoiler alert!  If you’re coming here on Friday to do crafts, don’t read on… I found this craft in the book “It’s Shofar Time” by Latifah Berry Kropf, though the book itself is now missing so I can’t look up exactly how to do it.  I like it because it doesn’t use too much plasticky junk, but there is some.  Just one, actually:  the plastic “blowy” part of a party blower.  So there you go.  I also like it because it is not too tough, but does reinforce a few kid-skills.  I dislike crafts that are all about adult intervention, but this is on the heavy-supervision side, for me…. Adult step:  Cut two construction-paper shofar shapes.  (cut one freehand, then trace the other)  Make sure the opening will be big enough to insert the blower.  Choose the same colour or different colours.  I used fancy “ripple” construction paper because it only costs a bit more and I thought the added texture would be interesting.  Punch sewing holes down both sides as shown in illustrations below. K

OMG, now I’m scared

Is it possible to die of fatigue while on vacation…?  I have waaaay too much planned for the next 48 hours.  :-o Still – if you take only one vacation a year, and that vacation only lasts 48 hours, well, you have to cram in as much livin’ as possible… right? Wednesday Thursday 6:30 am, arrive Manhattan Penn Stn 7:00 am, Breakfast – Krispy Kreme 11:00 am, tour at Tenement Museum 12:00 noon, lunch - Tiffin Wallah 1:00 pm, subway to shopping, if time 2:30 pm, leave Manhattan via Port Authority 4:10 pm, arrive Lakewood, change (washroom), walk ? to chasunah 5:30 pm, Chuppah Later – supper - Prime Wok , grocery shopping? 9:30 pm, Dancing @ wedding Sleep 7:55 am, leave Lakewood 9:45 am, arrive Manhattan Port Authority 10:00 am, brunch, Mr Broadway or Moishe Falafel

An educational website I hate to love…

Much has been said elsewhere in the homeschooling world about Starfall . I’ll start by saying I despise almost everything about the site.  And then add - but the kids love it.  Naomi adores “guessing” what the word will be as the reading voice sounds it out.  They use kids’ voices throughout, which is very appealing to both children.  They will do almost anything I ask them to do as long as I promise them a “Starfall book.” We are only five books into the Learn to Read series, but these “books” go much faster than the Bob books and other phonetic readers I’ve seen.  They might not be too helpful without the groundwork we’ve already done in the easy readers, but as a way to both reinforce phonics and introduce new vocabulary… fantastic!

Naomi’s First Words

Ted says she spelled these out all by herself, without any help from him, while I was out this evening. Can you guess what they spell?  The two that got wet are probably the ones that will help you the most. Yay, her!  Definitely must add lowercase letters this year, though…

Parsha Poem: Ki Savo / Ki Tavo / כִּי תָבוֹא

Devarim/Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 Note:  This week’s parsha also deals with the Seven Species.  For posts on that topic instead, click here (Parsha Poem) or here (link to a video). All of Sefer Devarim is Moshe’s last speech, The words that he wanted to tell and to teach. He wouldn’t be leading us very much longer, But he wanted us still to learn and grow stronger. When he spoke to the people, he stood at the front, Gathered us all, for he had to be blunt. But in this week’s parsha, Ki Tavo, we’re told He told them about what the future would hold. Before going up into Israel at last, Hashem would give one final test to be passed. On twin stone mountains, we’d all have to crowd To hear blessings and curses shouted out loud. Mount Grizim for half the Jews to gather on that date; Mount Eyval for the rest of us, to listen well and wait. And “Amein” from each side of the mountains we’d yell, While our elders would stand in the middle and tell. They’d tel

Menu Plan Monday #27: 13 Elul, 5770

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out! We are a Jewish family of 6 (2 parents, 4 kids) and all our meals are kosher. Newcomers, you can read my MPM intro here which tells you all about who we are and what we eat, or just visit my super-duper-list-tastic itemization of Everything We Eat . So we’re going to New York City – well, okay, and then on to Lakewood and Monsey – tomorrow night.  Yay! Which means a pretty short week for menu planning.  Ted will be on his own for Wednesday, Thursday and Shabbos.  Actually, my mother is making the main dish for Shabbos; Ted says he’ll do all the side stuff. Sunday:  Ravioli birthday supper at Mommy’s house Monday (tonight):   Chicken BBQ’d on skewers; rice; sweepo oven fries Also tonight:  Mix no-knead dough for pletzl on Sunday – double batch (or triple?); mix challah dough for Shabbos & freeze – ask Ted to take it out to fridge on Thursday afternoon.  Hmm… or mix dough this afternoon, form loaves tonight, then free

That’s my girl!

In the car on the way home today before naptime (aka Quiet Reading Time), Naomi told me she was going to read her princesses book and her Barbie book.  They are both collections of “easy reader” books, with several short and insipid stories in each.  (the Barbies one is from the library, but unfortuntely, we own the princesses one so we can’t get rid of it) I try not to hate the books too vocally, because Naomi loves them.  So I said, “That’s a lot of reading.  If there are five stories in each book, how many stories will you have altogether?” She said, “actually, there are six stories in the Barbie book.” “Okay, so if the princesses has five and Barbies has six, how many stories do you have altogether?” Instantly:  “Eleven.” “What???  How did you know that?  How did you think of that so fast?” “I just knew that if there were five, and then one more, and then more …” She doesn’t actually READ the books yet.  She just stares longingly at the pictures, probably willing h