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Showing posts from May, 2011

FREE! Shavuos / Shavuot / שבעות Lapbook – and more!

UPDATE:  Pictures of the lapbook in progress ! Well, I’ve had a busy evening… creating the following lapbook components that you are free to use however you want.  If you use them, I’d love to hear about it and maybe even see pictures!!  These printables are totally free.  If you use them with a group, co-op, or in a classroom setting, or if you’re just a super-nice person, please consider sending a teeny tiny donation to cover the lattes that keep me up late creating these marvellous resources. The first one, Walking to Yerushalayim, is not specifically for lapbooking… I wanted to do something for the theme of “walking” tied in with the Hebrew word “regel.”  So kids can use these two maps to create footprints – real or miniature, using a fist – to help envision themselves “walking” to Yerushalayim. Everything else here is decidedly more lapbooky, including: NEW!  (and the absolute last item for this year) Copywork Aseres HaDibros Mitzvah Train mini-book Shalosh Regalim “Feet”

Oy, vey, Shavuos! Homeschool Resources Roundup

Now that I’m back, it’s (past) time to start thinking ahead to Shavuos / Shavuot – which will start and end next week.  This little chag too often gets overlooked, by me as much as by anyone else.  We never even HAD Shavuos when I was growing up, though… at least my kids get more than that. I’m planning on making up a few lapbook components (not many), which I’ll post here as they’re created, along with some outside resources that will hopefully help you and your kids get ready.  For simplicity, I’m going to call it Shavuos because, well, that’s what I call it.  Shove-OO-iss.  You can call it what you like.  Great! Free printables right here on my site! Free Shavuos Lapbook and more – 7 fun and fascinating mini-books to cover almost an entire Shavuos curriculum.  Enjoy! Printable Shavuos Easy Reader Mini-Book to cut and staple together Here are two helpful links from Shavuos Q&A – basic questions for a preschool level, also helpful for creatin

Back from the Torah Home Education Conference

I’m back!!! And it was good.  Nay, wonderful . I’ll write up some highlights tonight… but meanwhile, my quick take were that the top picks were talks by Elijah Cox, a 2nd-generation frum homeschooler, and the closing talk by Dr. Hadassah Aaronson, which offered chizuk and SOooo much more. Another huge highlight:  despite my avoidance of F2F situations , getting to meet Michelle of Lionden Landing .  She’s a science educator by background – between the two of us, we could probably come up with the GREATEST Jewish homeschool co-op ever conceived… but alas, she lives over 12 hours away.  Still, it was a treat – not to mention wrapping up the day yummy Chinese food at David Chu’s China Bistro . By wrapping up the day, I mean the conference part of the day.  My bus didn’t actually leave until 11, from a remote mall in the far, far nether reaches of Baltimore.  I did a little sightseeing, but after a night on the bus and a day at the conference, me and my feet didn’t have the hear

FREE Printable (blank) Weekly Parsha Narration Page

You know how I love having a form for every purpose!  This is a very simple blank page where your or your child can narrate or “tell” the story of the parsha.  There is a space at the top for a drawing, and an extra-large triple-ruled line for copying out the name of the parsha in English and/or Hebrew (we do both). (Please ignore the text of this sheet!  It’s pretty much rubbish; she said the same thing twice and stood around whining for much of the time that she couldn’t remember anything… it’s been a rough week.  But the picture and copywork turned out nicely!) I actually started out creating copywork sheets because I have such lousy handwriting.  Especially in Hebrew, I probably COULDN’T create copywork pages worth copying, although my print handwriting is definitely improving.  But now that I have learned to touch-type in Hebrew, it’s easy to rattle off a parsha copywork sheet. Although we have begun using pencils for most of our schoolwork – oy, vey, does having an elect

Parsha Poem: בְּמִדְבַּר / Bamidbar

בְּמִדְבַּר / Bamidbar / Numbers 1:1-4:20: Read it ;  hear it ;  colour it . Printable PDF version available here . Parsha narrative overview here .  No copywork this week – check back at the regular page next week! Thanks to Marc Chagall for this week’s amazing paintings! We’re counting and counting and counting again, Counting through snow and counting through rain; Hashem counts the Jews to show we’re unique – Each one so special, each day of the week.   Six hundred thousand – oh, my, how we’ve grown, Once a family of twelve, Hashem’s bounty has shown; Separate still, serving in their own way, Was the shevet of Levi, still known to this day.   You’d think that a people who’d been under stress, Would not have grown so to be more – only less; But slavery truly helped Am Yisrael, We grew, for Hashem and his brachos can’t fail.   But in all this counting and naming of sons, Two are quite absent – so who are those

Wishy, wishy…

Okay, I give up.  I want one of THESE: Call it a kobo, a bobo, a babbo or bindle… a nook or puck or whatever stupid name you want to make up*, the fact is, there are bazillions of ebooks out there on PDF.  These are CLASSICS and living books – many far better than the “modern” alternatives – and I want them and I want them paperless but as close to the paper experience as possible, if that makes any sense. I have been holding out for years, partly because of the cost but mostly because of Shabbos:  what’s the use of a book you can’t read one day in seven???  (If you’re new to this blog, welcome!  As observant Jews, we spend the time from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday without computers, phones, e-readers, or techology of any kind!) Plus, if everybody migrates to e-books, there will be no actual book-books left for me to enjoy on Shabbos.  This is a nightmare; if not for me, than for my grandchildren. It would be like the Rapture:  everything on paper with

Bamidbar / בְּמִדְבַּר Parsha Overview: Life in the Desert? Count on it!

Please forgive the crude formatting that follows.  I'm off my regular computer, typing on a broken-keyboard laptop, running Ubuntu which doesn't as yet have decent rich-text blog posting software installed (recommendations?).  So I'm sending this from gmail instead! בְּמִדְבַּר / Bamidbar / Numbers 1:1 -4:20:   Read it ;  hear it ;  colour it . Welcome to a brand new Sefer of the Chumash! This parsha and sefer are called Bamidbar – that means "in the desert" or "in the wilderness." We were in the midbar for a long time: forty years. We'll learn why in two weeks, in parshas Shelach! Vayikra, which we just finished, has another name – Toras Kohanim; Torah for the Kohanim. Bamidbar also has a different name: Chumash HaPekudim; the Chumash for counting. In English, it's called the Book of Numbers. Let's find out why! A few months ago in the parsha, Hashem counted bnei Yisrael. Now, He is counting them again! What

The Best-Laid (Curriculum) Plans: Year 1

After a year of planning and evaluating various options for Year 1, it’s finally done – our super-schmancy, fine-and-dandy Complete Jewish Homeschool Curriculum!  Sort of.  It’s an ambitious list, and I’m scared I won’t be able to do it. Points to keep in mind: I’m flexible.  If something doesn’t work, I drop it – period.  Maybe pick up something else, or maybe drop the subject if it’s not a crucial one.  I am very open to this, though I think everything I’ve chosen for the year is do-able. It LOOKS ambitious, but most of it is just extensions of what we are already doing.  Nothing here will be a big surprise if you’ve been reading this blog all along. Most lessons are VERY short!  Depending on the lesson itself and Naomi Rivka’s co-operation, an average lesson is about 10-20 minutes.  Some subjects in some weeks will really involve ZERO additional minutes; they’re just books included in our regular family reading schedule.  A typical lesson in First Language Lessons tak

Menu Plan Monday – 19 Iyar, 5771

Why the weird dates? Click here to find out!  Other “weekly challenges” I have not been doing very regularly with since Pesach: Six Word Saturday Homeschool Diary Welcome!  We’re a homeschooling Jewish family of 6 (2 parents, 4 kids) and all our meals are kosher.  Read my MPM intro here or just visit my big ol’ list of Everything We Eat .  We eat mostly vegetarian, with one vegan meal every single week – on Vegan Vursday , of course! It’s Victoria Day, which we don’t normally observe because Ted works holidays, but this time around, Ted’s taken Naomi to Ottawa to see his parents.  They’re away on Monday and Tuesday, so I’m home alone with Gavriel Zev for probably the first time in his life. Sunday (last night):  BBQ at Mommy’s (aka Bubby’s) Monday (tonight):  Homemade Pizza w/ part-semolina dough Tuesday:  Hmm… something with meat?  Dunno!!!  Wings? Wednesday: Hmm… something with fish, perhaps?  Not salmon; we eat enough salmon.  Cornmeal-crusted

Our Big List of (Chapter) Books to Read Aloud

Updated July 6/2011! Here are the chapter books we’ve read since we started “formally” homeschooling in the summer of 2010.  I decided it would be nice to make a list, since I’m starting to lose track. But first: Who are we? In case you have no clue who “we” are – I’m Mommy, the main reader, and mainly who I read to are our two younger homeschooled children, Naomi Rivka, age 6.5, and Gavriel Zev, age 3.5.  When do we read? We don’t have a reading schedule, as such.  On most regular homeschool days, we have two major reading times:  one in the middle of the day and one at the end of the day.  I try to include the three “regulars” every day, but that doesn’t always happen.  It often doesn’t happen. How we read: Most of our chapter-book reading is just that, reading , with little or no schoolwork attached to it.  EXCEPT:  they are expected to narrate each chapter or section as we read it.  That’s simpler than it sounds.  I finish the chapter and ask the kids, “next time, w

Shabbos Food!

Supper Challah Chicken Soup Shake n’ Bake Chicken Israeli couscous Tomato zucchini aka Incredible Shrinking Garlic Zukes Our Shiputzim Carrot bread kugel – caution, this is NOT a dessert! Corn Desserts Lunch (cholentless) Challah Potto salad (pottos from the cholent, which I vetoed bc of warm weather) Blintzes (just a few) Ted’s Blintz Soufflé Ketchup Salmon w/onions on top Our Shiputzim Carrot bread kugel – caution, this is NOT a dessert! Lettuce salad, which Ted will painstakingly make and serve and nobody will eat … and don’t forget the Cheese and Pickles!  Ted said, “I want you to make sure you add the cheese and pickles,” lest, perhaps, you think of us as a family without cheese and pickles. Desserts Desserts: Rhubarb/Apple/Strawberry crumble pie (garden rhubarb, yay!) Ted-made-from-a-mix Nanaimo Bars One more dessert made by me…

Lemon Shame and Leaf Pile plants

My beautiful lemon tree from a seed died!!!   At least, I think it’s dead.  At least, I dare not officially hope that there might still be some life in it.  It shot up like crazy over the winter, so now it looks like a spiky dead stick in a pot.  Hope, hope, hope.  I don’t know what went wrong, really, because it was sitting beside the mango tree, which survived beautifully.  Sad, sad, sad. Here’s an experiment for this year’s growing season:  Pile a bunch of dead leaves at the bottom of the driveway.  There’s already a bit of soil gathered there because there’s a bump in the driveway.  Let the leaves sit over the winter.  In spring, stick some weedy plants in.  Let weed seeds land there and sprout.  See what happens.  I’ve planted horseradish, which is weedy and I figure it can grow and take off pretty much anywhere.  I’ve also stuck in some hens-and-chicks, because I really don’t like them.  And a couple of spare marigolds.  And now I will neglect this pile and let the weeds c

Parsha Poem: Bechukotai / Bechukosai / בְּחֻקֹּתַי

וַיִּקְרָא / vayikra / Leviticus 26:3-27:34:  Read it ;  hear it .  colour it . Printable PDF versions here:  Ashkenaz / Sefard No parsha overview this week - sorry! Copywork and parsha activities available at this page – updated weekly. “Im Bechukosai” – on the path that I Show you how to go, for that’s the road you know. Just walk here in my ways, stay here all your days; But if you leave, don’t grieve, I’ll always welcome you.   Blessings first, then curses – in these sacred verses, The lessons I gave for my people to save, Showing you the path, concealing all My wrath; But if you stray, just pray, I’ll always welcome you.   Grains both old and new – always here for you, Plenty in your lands, your life within my hands, Torah’s mighty words take wing like soaring birds; But if you err, I care, I’ll always welcome you.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Parshas Bechukosai 5771 (video)

From Britain’s Chief Rabbi Dr,. Jonathan Sacks, fascinating thoughts on Supersession / Replacement Theology, its history and the reasons why Christian assertions – of all stripes – are very simply unbiblical. Full text if you don’t want to watch the whole video:  The Rejection of Rejection . “…the claim on which Replacement or Supersession theology is based – that G-d rejects His people because they rejected Him – is unthinkable in terms of Abrahamic monotheism…” It is true, as Sacks points out that many Christians are now too well-educated (or polite) to mention replacement theology.  It’s also true that many mainstream churches (including the Catholic Church since Vatican 2) have attempted to sever their historical ties with these theological teachings (though individual clergy may veer wildly one way or the other). However, as I’ve said here before, there is a growing movement who believe that while Jews are still God’s people, Christians have joined our covenant; the graf

FREE! Hebrew “Plant Life Cycle” Printable מחזור החיים של הצמח

This is for the next unit in our Botany and Plant Science series.  Nothing fancy; just basic copywork, but it will hopefully get us talking about plant life cycles in both languages. This copywork page is available in Hebrew or English. Download these printable PDFs from my General Studies printables page here . For Limudei Kodesh (Jewish Studies) printables, including weekly parsha copywork, click here . Related seeds and life cycle videos on YouTube – because I think it’s only through time-lapse that we can see plants really looking “alive”: Amazing – jaw droppingly beautiful pea germination video and bean germination (please, take my word for it and check it out) plus many more from this YouTube user. Seed Starting talking plants animation from Appu Series (with cute Indian accents!) Life Cycle more talking plants from Appu Series Harold and his Pet Seed (vintage Disney video) (8:15) Very short fun time-lapse video of radishes sprouting.

The opposite of “kvetch” is…

A good review !!! The new hard drive arrived today – shockingly fast, so of course, I left a good review on .  Within an hour or so of the Purolator guy leaving, I had it installed in the laptop, formatted and running ubuntu – yay, me!  If only the printer would work, but unfortunately, it’s networked through a Windows machine, and has always been a bit flaky… (when the kids write their Shabbos divrei Torah on the laptop, they have to email them to me to print; even on the windows desktop computer itself, they cannot print, for some reason – so, again, they have to request that I print their documents for them) Speaking of good reviews, if you are a Rainbow Resources customer, you can win store credit reviewing books and resources at their website.  I have only written a few reviews there, but have already won three times.  They choose new winners every month.  So far, I think I have won $10 twice and $5 once.  It’s just a little bit, but it can at least h