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Jewish Homeschooling Blog Carnival #3: Teves/טבת /Tevet, 5771

Welcome to the December 8, 2010 (aka Rosh Chodesh טבת edition of the Jewish Homeschooling Blog Carnival.

This is an awkward time to put out a carnival, because with Chanukah almost over, it’s not so much fun to look BACK at Chanukah stuff.  On the other hand, I don’t want to ignore all the cool stuff going on out there.  So there’s a bit of Chanukah here, and a bit of just getting on business as usual.

I have broadened my definitions a little to try to include those Jewish parents teaching their kids at home even if their kid(s) go to school all or part of the time.  There’s still a ton of learning taking place at home, and I hope we can all learn from each other.

Nuff said.  On with the links!

learning everyday at home

I’ve got to lead with Avivah’s insightful post on Maintaining sanity on tough days over at Oceans of Joy … don’t we all have those from time to time (if not every day?).  Around here, sometimes I feel like I should rename my parenting / homeschooling blog Oceans of Tears, but clearly, Avivah’s doing something right, so let’s all read it and learn from her!

Wondering why alpidarkomama’s daughter Raizel is begging to go to the fish market?  I sure was… and you’ll find out in Quote of the Week at Learning Al Pi Darko

…And what do you do when your best-laid curriculum plans run aground and you find yourself stuck with a curriculum you’re not enjoying – and your kids aren’t learning from?  Also from Learning Al Pi Darko, a look at switching from Singapore to Saxon in Math, math, math.  (one of my favourite homeschool subjects!)

Elizabeth presents First day of Hanukkah and Day 2 of Hanukkah posted at Creative Learning Fun.  "wasn't sure which post to send in.. so I sent both” – I’m so happy you did!

Do you know about Art Journalling?  I admit, I didn’t know much, but Miriam at Inspired Ima is far more, well, inspired than me, and wants to know if any other Jewish homeschoolers are interested in mailing around a collaboative art journal.  Basically, when you receive the journal, you and your homeschoolers fill in a page (or a couple) and then mail it back to her.  Check out her post 1001 Journals-The Jewish Homeschooler Edition for more and better information!

As a homeschooling parent leaning that way, I’m always thrilled to read of others who hope to inspire their kids through the techniques and philosophies of Charlotte Mason.  Over at Jewish Home Education, Regina shares her thoughts on memorization (hint:  it’s less scary than she – or you – may have thought!)

I’m also fascinated by Montessori stuff these days.  I wish I read Hebrew better so I could follow My Child’s Diary, an Israeli homeschool blog.  It’s sweetly unique because the blogger/mother (I’m sorry, I don’t know her name) writes in the second person – the entries are written TO her son and baby daughter, talking about their own adventures in learning.  Lovely pictures and descriptions of her young son interacting with Montessori materials both classic, like knobbed cylinders and pink tower, and homemade, like these matching tree cards.  In case you think it’s too expensive to do Montessori at home, there are probably some great ideas here.

Thinking of unschooling?  Or maybe scared that your kids wouldn’t learn that way?  Shady Lady at Unschooling Royalty says “for me it takes less faith to believe that this will work than having faith that school would work.”  Find out why in her post, Faith.

CELC Room Daled isn’t a homeschool site at all – actually, it’s a preschool – but I think it’s cool that some of their more notable projects are online and some look worth trying at home.  This painting with oil project was for Chanukah, but you could try it at any time of year.  Here’s a fun dreidel math exercise you could even try after Chanukah is over:  what to do with all those leftover dreidels!

I actually love teaching math – I don’t know why some parents dread it.  Even the stuff my 16-year-old is doing – it doesn’t scare me (yet?).  And sometimes, it is such a revelation, as with this Math Lesson: Money with Cuisenaire Rods, that I find myself thinking, why didn’t they do it this way when I was a kid???

Finally, I love it when a homeschool day just goes totally right.  Apparently, so does alpidarkomama, as she reveals at Learning Al Pi Darko in Our Day of Learning.

learning jewish at home

Avivah again, at Oceans of Joy, this time with a review of Rosetta Stone for Hebrew and how it works in a homeschool setting.  I hadn’t seriously considered this software before she mentioned it last week and now I want it bigtime.  Homeschool Budget Hint:  she went in with another family so paid half the price… and according to the company, it’s completely legal!  Anyone interested in sharing with us???

Do you hyphenate the word G-d?  Some people believe educators are going too far in “distancing” our kids from the name of God.  How do you deal with this when you’re teaching?  What do you call God in your family?  Find out what I think right here at Adventures in MamaLand in Oy, gevalt… the holy yud and hey.

Michelle of Lionden Landing is feeling frustrated with her daughter’s Jewish education in Hebrew School:  it’s all crafts and worksheets – at the kindergarten level.  Are homeschoolers more particular about what their kids are learning when others are doing the teaching?  I certainly hope so!

And speaking of other educators, who better than grandparents to step in and have some of the fun, as Batya shares at her blog, me-ander, in fun gift from the museum.  (in Batya’s case, she also gets the privilege of teaching her grandchildren English – a situation I may find myself in someday!)

Organizing weekly parsha study with your kids doesn’t have to be a drag.  I have been sitting down early in the week and putting together a quick and easy Parsha Overview in an interactive Q&A format, right here at Adventures in MamaLand that covers the basics along with some midrash.  Read here to find out how we use them in our homeschool.  Of course, I’m also still working on weekly Parsha Poems – but they usually don’t appear until rather late on Thursdays.

What better way to reinforce parsha concepts than with crafts?  Birkat Chaverim, a Judaica site selling benchers and more, offers a creative Jewish parenting blog that’s new to me.  Two of the cuter parsha crafts have been decorating storebought animal crackers for Parshat Noach and these cute “mentschie” figures for Chayei Sarah.  I know those were a few weeks ago already, but stay tuned – whoever’s behind this blog has lots of good and (easy) crafty ideas…

A bit late for Chanukah, but The Crafty Crow is a blog I have come to love because the crafts aren’t all stuck-up and hard to do, like some craft blogs.  Here’s a roundup of Chanukah crafts, but don’t avoid the blog just because it’s all about advent right now.  Most of the crafts, like these borax snowflakes or these woven “cookie” stars, would fit in just fine in any Jewish homeschool.

Elana Horwitz presents Technology,Torah and Teaching « Morah Elana's Room posted at Morah Elana's Room, saying, "Teaching my remarkable Room 613 homeschoolers is my new normal. The technological "cool" factor is unique!"

If you have older kids, how do you feel about The Trip?  The trip to Europe, that is.  Mrs. S. at Our Shiputzim looks at both sides of the debate, from an Israeli perspective, in To Go or not To Go.  Is it just an excuse to travel?  What do teenagers really get out of it – and specifically, do they get our money’s worth? 

around the web

Too funny not to share!  Shady Lady shares an image she found on facebook of the perfect sale item – “delicious for Chanukah”! – at Unschooling Royalty.

And, of course…

  • Mazel tov to Phyllis SommerIma on (and off) the Bima – on a new baby boy to blog about!
  • A virtual mazel tov to Mommzy at Our Jewish Homeschool Blog won a Homeschool Blog award a couple of weeks ago.  Stop by to wish her a mazel tov!
  • Shira, at Jewish Homeschool Resources, continues to try to round up the best of the best in the Jewish online world… send her your favourite sites!

Thanks for reading this edition!  Hope I haven’t missed anybody’s wonderful posts, but if I did miss you, please submit your blog post to the next edition of jewish homeschooling blog carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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  1. Thanks for including me. I wasn't quite sure why, But Now That I Think About It...

  2. Thanks for including my post, and happy Zot Chanukah!

  3. Wow, so much good stuff here! Okay, next time I won't forget to enter. I'm planning to write about Hebrew pre-literacy stuff next week.

    Shabbat shalom!

  4. Thanks so much for adding me to your blog carnival!! I wasn't sure how well I would fit in since I don't really, well, fit in. ;-)

    Lots of interesting links!!

  5. I think the point is that as homeschoolers, most of us feel like we don't fit in in some way. I want to give us all a place and a voice, so I'm keeping my definitions here as broad as possible...

  6. Thanks for including me Jennifer! I didn't have any specific post to submit... and I sort of, um, forgot. You know us unschoolers, so lazy ;)

  7. I have never seen better than this site.


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