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Homeschool Diary #9: 20 Teves, 5771


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A bit of a weird week, because our regular City programs aren’t back on yet, and our shul is having special programs to help parents fill in during the “break”! 

We’re doing more social stuff during this time, but there is also learning going on.  We finally managed to get out to Playground Paradise with friends.  Every time we go, Naomi makes me promise we’ll get back there soon… and we never do.  I like it because unlike Woodie Woodchuck’s, where we used to go, there is no “gambling and rides” component to the entertainment – it’s JUST an indoor playground, run by the City, so it’s relatively inexpensive compared to some of the fancier places.  The downside is that it’s a shlep – oh, and not much fun for big kids who only love the gambling and videogames.


  • MATH:  clock math, making “bean sticks” for future place value lesson
  • HEBREW:  reading/writing – Kriyah v’Od, Book 1
  • GENERAL/SCIENCE:  Continue All About Me:  post-Chanukah Lapbook
  • PARSHA:  Began Vaeira parsha narrative
  • READING:  Two review BOB Books (final review of Set 2!)
  • READING:  Dick & Jane, 2 easy “chapters”
  • LITERATURE:  On the Banks of Plum Creek (ongoing; still slogging through…)

PRESCHOOL:  GZ can do “free play” with beans and clocks; choosing a book for Naomi Rivka to read.  He also loves “reading” the BOB Books – his versions are hilarious!  He makes up words, but says them in the same stilted word-by-word way Naomi does.

Tuesday (Ted late):

  • SOCIAL/RECREATIONAL:  Morning drop-in program at shul
  • SOCIAL/RECREATIONAL:  Outdoor time / Playdate with a friend?
  • GENERAL/SCIENCE:  Gingerbread Man poem & glyph activity here – fill out for Naomi Rivka 
  • Evening: 
    • GENERAL/SCIENCE:  Continue Gingerbread Man glyph activity – Naomi fills out a new gingerbread man using answers for one of the other kids

PRESCHOOL:  Social & fun time at shul!  Colouring his own gingerbread man, with dot-dot markers or crayons.  Cutting out gingerbread decorations from construction paper and glue-sticking them in place.


  • MATH:  Intro place value with rods & beans; introduce bundle song; talk about TEEN NUMBERS (from MathWire, a new site I just discovered…)
  • READING:  One old (set 2), one new (set 3) BOB Book
  • GENERAL/SCIENCE:  Finish All About Me:  post-Chanukah Lapbook!
  • WRITING:  Handwriting without Tears w/ rice writing & sensory cards – okay, I really will get out the rice this time!  She loves it!  It’s amazing how lazy I am when it comes to getting out the rice…
  • PHONICS:  Explode the Code
  • READING:  Starfall book/site as a reward

PRESCHOOL:  Choosing a BOB Book for Naomi to read.  Using a frog on the number line to count “teen numbers” to 20.  Starfall ABC letters, definitely; he loves this and is becoming quite phonically adept!


  • SOCIAL/RECREATIONAL:  Morning drop-in program at shul
  • SOCIAL/RECREATIONAL:  Outdoor time / Playdate with a friend?
  • PARSHA:  Review Parsha
  • PARSHA/WRITING:  Begin Ten Plagues Copywork (do 5-7 this week, the rest next week)
  • MATH:  Rods/Miquon Math – dice play & place value, Naomi chooses worksheet

PRESCHOOL:   Fun time at shul!  Parsha reading.  Rolling dice and counting the dots.  Dice cards, if I can get them made (or find some to download/print) in time.


  • PARSHA:  Final Parsha review
  • PARSHA/NARRATION:  Parsha Narration & illustration
  • PARSHA:  Gdcast parsha video (reward for the narration)
  • GENERAL/RECREATIONAL:  Shopping for Shabbos game (face-up with GZ, face-down with Naomi Rivka)

PRESCHOOL:  Parsha reading; video watching.  Shopping for Shabbos game, easy-peasy face-up version.  Free play with Shopping for Shabbos cards, lists and carts.

Boy, am I looking forward to having a LITTLE more time on Fridays to do more with the kids…

Resources we’re enjoying this week!

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As we move towards Naomi Rivka’s 6th birthday, I am also trying to slide more into a formal curriculum, as we discover more about what works for us – “us” being her, him and me.  Optimistically, I estimate that, at this rate, she’ll be about halfway through grade one by September.  I definitely have no problem with that!

Lately, I’ve been bitten by a crazy-big social-studies bug.  I bought Story of the World and plan to order the Activity Book to go along with it (I think I did, anyway).  SOTW isn’t perfect:  its version of history is slightly idealized, with a very Eurocentric bias.  Nevertheless, it seems to mesh well (at least in the Ancient History volume) with what the kids are learning about Judaism and their place in the world. 

Naomi’s always been into maps, and I bought a book that I plan to start perhaps closer to her birthday.

Meanwhile, our science curriculum is still on hold while we finish our “just for fun” All About Me lapbook.  This is an easy precursor to the body science unit coming up in science… mostly while I order the books and wait for them to arrive.

There’s just so much to cover!  And this is only kindergarten!  I don’t know how anybody gets through this without panicking, but I do realize the important thing is NOT to overwhelm the kids – NOT to try to teach them everything in one year. 

We have 18 years to teach our kids… and the important thing, especially at this age, is most definitely the quality of the education, NOT the quantity.

So what’s your Jewish homeschool family doing this week????