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Showing posts from November, 2010


Perhaps to make up for last night’s stormy behaviour, Elisheva braided Naomi’s hair tonight.  I think it looks wonderful – thoroughly bohemian! Naomi didn’t want to show me at first – I think she was afraid I’d make her pull them all out…    

Cheap n’ Cheerful Cuisenaire Rod Rack for Math

Math table!!!  Big kid doing math test, little kid doing rod addition!     Following my new choose-her-own-Miquon philosophy , Naomi chose and worked this entire sheet almost without complaint!  Numeral reverals are still troubling her, and she gets very frustrated when I point it out, so I have backed off a bit.     Rainbow Resources sells a Cuisenaire Rod Track and I decided it would be a good thing to have – two days too late to add it to our order last week.  The track itself costs only $4, but with shipping, well, a lot more.  So I decided to make one to tide us over until my next Rainbow order (this was only my third, so really, they’re not very frequent). Here’s the REAL THING: And here’s my DIY version! They didn’t have any trays that were a) this long, b) this sturdy and c) not quite so seasonal … sigh.   There is exactly 1cm between the rulers, allowing up to 30cm of rod length to slide neatly in between (the original is 50cm long).  The three rods at le

Mikeitz Parsha Overview: יוסף/Joseph’s Story Continues…

Adapted from the Vayishlach pages of Parsha Pages for Sefer Bereishis , this is a basic overview of the continuation of the parsha story in a traditional “Q&A” format, easily reworked for kids of any age.  Answers in brackets are traditional responses, from parsha text and midrash.  But be open to anything your child might have to say!  Please see below the Vayeishev overview for how we use them in our homeschool!  I also have several copywork sheets to go with the weekly parsha. In the beginning of this parsha, יוסף is still in jail!   פרעה had two strange dreams: In the first dream… (seven skinny cows swallowed seven fat cows) In the second dream… (seven skinny stalks of grain swallowed seven fat stalks of grain) פרעה ’s שר המשקים (wine butler) told him about a person who could explain the dreams… ( יוסף !)   יוסף told פרעה that the dreams meant a famine was coming!   How many good years would there be first?   (se


A dreaded word when you have a newborn.  Dreaded and yet a blessing – at least you know there is enough, unless there is too much and your baby is drowning every time your milk lets down.  It happens:  gulp, gulp, gulp – he has to pull off, take a break, because you are the proverbial milk factory. Now that my baby is three years old, he is no longer in danger of drowning, to say the least.  Now, I am rarely sure anything is “going on” when he has his nummies; now, I savour every last one of our cuddles, because he’ll announce “all done” at any second; now, he is falling asleep on me less and less often (how will I know when it’s the last time I feel his body twitch and go perfectly still, his breath a soft melody against me); now, I know he will not be mine, in the same way, ever again – and now, being engorged is a welcome feeling. Now, it reminds me sweetly of when he was small.  Of course, it is never too painful now, just a fleeting pang-iness when I have missed bedtime and

Menu Plan Monday #33: 22 Kislev, 5771 (Chanukah Edition)

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  Other “weekly challenges” I participate in that may or may not interest you: Six Word Saturday Homeschool Diary Hi!  We are a Jewish family of 6 (2 parents, 4 kids) and all our meals are kosher. Newcomers, read my MPM intro here which tells you all about who we are, or just visit my super-duper-list-imization of Everything We Eat . Last week was pretty bad, mealwise, with not one but TWO pretty major crash-n-burn episodes.  Not literally burn, or crash, but it always feels like a massive failure when I cannot get supper on the table by 6:15ish.  On Tuesday, I wasn’t feeling well and Ted was home, so we ordered pizza, for a change.  And then on Thursday, the sourdough cornbread turned out very, VERY badly.  Nothing much we could do except eat it, but nobody has touched the leftovers.  Sheesh – I just realized; what a terrible week in bread . Perhaps to help with the burnout, Ted seems to have stepped u

Neat scheduling idea…

Check out this inexpensive homemade magnetic bulletin-board idea for scheduling your family’s activities!  (or arranging various homeschool subjects and events!) In this context, it’s a meal plan scheduler (and yes, I know it’s Monday and I don’t have my menu plan up yet!), but I can think of about a bazillion more uses… NEAT!

Hebrew Kids’ Book We Like: Chanan Haganan – חנן הגנן

Last thing before I turn in – I forgot to put in a plug for our current Hebrew book (in addition to the Hebrew Mr. Brown can Moo!) It’s called חנן הגנן/Chanan HaGanan, and it’s a very cute story by רינת הופר/Rinat Hoffer/Hopper?  (I have no idea, really!) The rhymes are so catchy I quickly found a way to sing the refrain of the book and the message of this story is wonderful.  Chanan sells his fruits to five children, promising a treasure inside every one.  The kids eat the fruit, but complain that all they see is the pit.  He tells them gently that the pit IS the treasure.  One by one, they plant their seeds, and five wonderful trees spring up, each one bearing fruit, and each fruit carrying its own treasure. A great story for Tu b’Shvat or any old time.  The vocabulary is not very challenging, and it introduces good vocabulary like אילן, עץ ,פעמון ,גן, and, of course, many exotic fruit-names!  We have never tried most of the fruits, including persimmon, guava, dates (fresh).

Homeschool Diary #7: 22 Kislev, 5771 – the Chanukah Edition

PLEASE JOIN US! If you teach your kids at home, please add your blog to comments section below! Other “weekly challenges” I participate in that may or may not interest you: Six Word Saturday Menu Plan Monday I missed a week in there… please forgive me.  No excuses, and lucky me, here’s another week just beginning! Last week was actually a very good week, school-wise.  We got tons and tons of stuff done, just didn’t have a bunch of time to blog about it.  I felt we made great strides in math, reading and a bunch of other stuff – seriously.  And we had fun, too.  One day in there was the most miserable day ever.  I forget which day.  It was just a terrible, overwhelming time.  Everybody cried, I think.  And everybody yelled and screamed, including me.  Awful. This week, well, I know there will NEVER be a normal week.  I am reconciled to there never being a normal week.  So I’m happy to announce that this week will be completely befuddled and interrupted by… Chanukah.  O

Rethinking Miquon Math: A Revelation

I have been getting more than a bit frustrated “doing” Miquon math, and I had a revelation over Shabbos.  Which I always hate, because I can’t write it down… on the other hand, it forces me to keep whatever it is IN my thoughts so I don’t forget. So here was the revelation:  I’m working too hard to do it in order.  Of course it’s dull doing so many pages of counting or number lines or whatever – you’re not supposed to do them in order .  That’s Part One.  Part two is:  I’m trying too hard.  Miquon is supposed to be student-directed, whereas we’ve been doing it like our other subjects, where I demonstrate a concept, Naomi explores it for a bit, she works on the worksheet, and DONE. No, no, no, no, no. I reread the First Grade Diary, a guidebook that (kind of) shows how one teacher (the woman who created the program) teaches math with Miquon, and it hit me like a lightbulb. In the First Grade Diary, the lessons are usually divided into at least two parts, one teacher-directed

The finished - decorated - gingerbread house

  Last night's gingybread is done!  I think it looks great, and you know I don't say that about most of the slapdash craft projects that take place around here... I love this roof! Here's what we used for decoration: soft mints as colourful accents Golden Grahams for shingles - they look perfect! Twizzler Nibs for columns - good, use them up; I can't stand them! mocha lentils around the windows pretzels for random accents and a heart on the chimney Won't you come inside, little children, so I can fatten you up...???

Gingerbread Night!

Hi!  Welcome to my blog!  For some reason, this nondescript entry has become one of my most popular posts of all time.  I have no idea why.  It’s not entirely typical of this blog.  So if you think this is weird and random, click here to get to the REAL excitement.  If you’re here for gingerbread-baking tips, which the blog is NOT about, well, read on.  :-) (oh, and check out my baking blog here) It’s gingerbread time again!  This is an extremely goyish thing, I know… and yet, and yet.  Being at Pioneer Village last weekend, surrounded by the waft of gingery aromas in all the houses… well, we may be Jews, but we’re also Canadian, and gingerbread is a Canadian thing – NOT an Xmas thing.  Especially if it’s still November while you’re doing it! I chose an interesting pattern online, for a haunted house, but that’s okay… I like the jaunty angle of the walls, but otherwise, it looked simple enough. (it says to print the squares to one inch – I enlarged it but mine still came out sm