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Jewish Homeschoolers: Support & Information Thread

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
I'm a non-observant Jewish mamma who is home educating a 3 year old BeanBean and an 18 month old BooBah. I'm always looking for ways to introduce not only religious studies and ideas to my children, but to instill in them the same sense that I had growing up: that Judaism is an ideal religion for bright, inquisitive children, one which encourages questioning and learning at all ages and in all stages of life. I've seen homeschool support groups for all sorts of Christians, but never for Jews. Is there a list somewhere of Jewishly themed homeschool supplies? What about resources for teaching/learning Hebrew at home? Torah studies, mitzvot in daily life, learning Hebrew... this is the thread to chat about it! Anyone have ideas or suggestions?
post #2 of 58

I'm a homeschooling wannabe!
post #3 of 58

When I homeschooled my DS, we found many things at the local Jewish Supply Place, here in my area is "House Of David", and we used L'Shani series to teach basic Hebrew and we read Bible Heroes for the weekly Torah portion.

That was ten years ago.

I did find a Jewish Homeschooling group through the mail in Oregon and in Massachutsetts; they are out there, and with the internet are easier to find. I used ABeka, a Christian textbook series, after third grade for math and Macmillan for phonics. I used the McGuffy readers for early reading.

He is doing well. He will soon be fourteen and is in a private religious school I teach in since my DH passed on. We are now looking for a high school for next year, and he should have no problems getting into the best and most academic.

Well begun is half done.
post #4 of 58
Rynna, there are a couple Jewish homeschooling yahoogroups if you're not already on them. I think the one Jewish Homeschoolers is the best.
post #5 of 58

like Nicole, I'm a wannabe also.

Though I like to think that I am hs'ing my DD now (2.3 yo). We usually do a craft activity in the morning and I will write her words on a painting and put it up on the fridge. People have come over and said, "wow, looks like you're running a preschool here."

I tried doing a caterpillar curriculum in the fall when she was mezmorized (sp) by the caterpillars in the park. We got as far as getting all sorts of books on caterpillars from the library.

Then again, she *is* only 2!
post #6 of 58

The "chevra" group on yahoo is good too, but very gabby.

I've been having major "Christian envy" lately about all the resources that are available to Christian HSers on every aspect of Christianity imaginable, as well as the stuff that's on regular subjects like math but incorporates religious material. I weave it in myself when I can, but it's not quite the same. My rabbi just invited me to come browse his bookshelves, though!

I like "The Torah from Aleph to Tav" - a collection of the major Torah stories combined with basic aleph-bet and exposure to some Hebrew vocabulary. It has nice big print too (we have some vision issues here). I've used Behrman House materials too - good for little ones. I would love to find a parsha of the week type guide for young readers, with thought-provoking questions - I haven't liked any of the ones I've seen so far.

ETA: there used to be a web page called "Jon's Jewish Homeschooling" or something like that that had a wealth of links.
post #7 of 58

My 5.75 yr old goes to a G/T school. We don't do Hebrew school yet because I don't see him enough at home. We are definitely hser wanna bees, but here in TX all the homeschooling groups are so Christian oriented AND Little Bear has health issues that keep us at appointments all day. So off Bigger Boy went to school. I miss him during the day, and he's picking up bad habits. But he's also learning some math and some reading. We'll see. I've only made a one year commitment. I would really like to hschool next year though.

Oy, what do you do when child comes home and says "Is Jesus the son of God? Because Jansen asked me if I believe that Jesus is the Son of God." What I said was: well, what did you tell him? He said, "I told him, no way. What are you talking about?" I responded, "Some people believe that jesus was a very important man, almost like a God. But Jews believe there is only one G-d and that IF Jesus existed, he was just a person like the rest of us."

But oy!

I would really like to find some Hebrew-learning-to-read stuff. Links?

And I would LOVE to have a book if it exists that was a day of Blessings: from the time you get up to the time you go to bed---what you say and in what order. Both in Hebrew, English, and Transliterated. That would be so very cool. With pictures so my non-reader could follow along.

Anybody know of such a thing?

post #8 of 58
No longer a Jewish homeschooler, but we h/s'ed my oldest last year (dh did most of the Judaics, I did the English). There is an e-mail group - e-chinuch.org I think is what it is called? Torah u'mesorah has the 'creative learning pavillion' with resources for traditional classrooms and homeschoolers.

Good luck ladies!
post #9 of 58
Originally Posted by mamaverdi
And I would LOVE to have a book if it exists that was a day of Blessings: from the time you get up to the time you go to bed---what you say and in what order. Both in Hebrew, English, and Transliterated. That would be so very cool. With pictures so my non-reader could follow along.
Artscroll makes a transliterated siddur w/ translation.

For learning Hebrew, my dh is using a great book for teaching adults. One of my kids is using this book to reinforce grammar with a tutor. It is good for learning grammar, and by the end of the book you can read the book of Ruth in Hebrew.

For just learning to read Hebrew, not grammar, translation, I know people have had good luck with this book.
post #10 of 58

homeschooling in Israel

I'm in my third year of homeschooling in Israel to dd12, ds9, dd4.5. Theymight go back to school next year, since it is really unusual to be homeschooled here, and they are kind of "out" in terms of fitting in to Israeli society. The homeschool Jerusalem group is very Anglo, as is our shul, our neighborhood, etc. and it bothers me as well as my Israeli-born dh. It is fun for now though!

We are unschoolers, and obviously the Hebrew/Jewish stuff comes pretty naturally, but I would like to see them have better formal text skills, and they are not so into that. I don't know if it is important because I feel my lack, or because I feel peer pressure for their lack, but they aren't motivated to do it on their own (even though dh is a fabulous model and resource) and I'm nervous that the gap is widening between them and their peers.

Today, since my folks are in for the bat-mitvah in one week!! we are doing some touring and going on the new double decker bus around Jerusalem (2 hours). Yesterday, my son had a great lesson on the Byzantine/Roman period at Cesearea.

If you can manage it, I'd say one week trip to Israel = 1 year Hebrew school learning. There really is no greater "field trip" than this.
post #11 of 58


But anyway, we planned on HS'ing and never did ... and even just sold some of my HS'ing books ... but anyway ...

http://www.e-chinuch.org is not a list, it's an INCREDIBLE educators' site with amazing Jewish resources. It does have a discussion board with a homeschooling section, but back when I used to frequent it, found that it was not that active. Might've changed by now.

Have found stray Jewish sites that are good for kids just by googling and the like. And for older children the Chabad.org site has good stuff, too.

Will just sort of enviously lurk ...

post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
Good to see you all!

I can hardly wait to check out all those links... on Shabbos :. We do what we can!

This week, BeanBean discovered the joys of "Zum Gali Gali" thanks to a wonderful CD which a friend sent to me.. I'll have to see if i can find a link to it.

I've been wondering what kind of siddur to get for BeanBean, too... He's not quite a fluent reader in English (to say nothing of Hebrew!) but that's not what worries me; I just want a version with nice illustrations so that I can explain things to him. I'm also wondering if there isn't something along the lines of the Story of the World activity book, only for Torah/Brachos that exists...
post #13 of 58
Subbing too. :

Jewish ethics and attitudes are so much a part of our daily conversation around here. We do not belong to a synagogue, but I wish we could incorporate more ritual and formal Judaism into our lives.
post #14 of 58
Thread Starter 
Hm. Maybe we could start a "skill of the week" kind of thing? There are lots and lots of things that I'd like BeanBean to learn in terms of Hebrew and Judaism, but I'm not quite sure where to begin...

I think I'd like for him to learn to say the She'ma. The trouble is, we go to bed at random times and I never know if he's going to get back up again, so I don't know when to do it until he's already asleep.
post #15 of 58
Maybe start with something in the morning when he first gets out of bed. Washing hands?

I would like to teach bigger DS1 the prayer about "if everything did not open and close at the appropriate time we wouldn't be alive"---it's especially applicable given our Little Bear, and I think he (DS1) would get this.

Problem is: I'm not usually awake in the morning with him, and my dh is a bit of a bear in the morning. So I don't know that he (dh) would remember to do it.

post #16 of 58
GAtes of Prayer for Young People is a nice siddur - it has morning prayers, Shabbat services etc. in two different versions - one for older and one for younger kids. Ds (6) has enjoyed it for a couple of years. It has English, Hebrew and some transliteration.
post #17 of 58
We are currently homeschooling three youngest ds 6, ds 4 1/2, and ds 2 1/2, well ds 2 1/2 is not really "schooling" but we just include him anyway. e-chinuch.org is an amazing site which i visit often and have donloaded lots of aleph bet activities, parsha projects etc; We have just started singapore math with ds 6 and we do dovening every morning, and we try to do some aleph bet games or crafts etc; every week I read to them a little about the parsha a great book is by Rabbi juravel, we usually do a related craft game and just talk and act out a part of the parsha. dh was born in Israel and I grew up there so we speak hebrew at home ( even though the kids speak english to us and each other they understand us very well.) they just received a gift from mil, jump start and some other game for the computer , so we have just started that although they really spend a LOT of time playing and building with lego kinex magnetix and wooden blocks, they have a LOT of play time and also get to garden, run and swing outside go to the library, on field trips, help me make challah , bake and ofcourse interact with their older siblings, another good site for young kids is torahtots.com they have the parsha every week plus all the chagim and coloring pages and activities. the only thing missing is that there are not many jewish homeschoolers their age around here, and the older kids are in school all day.
post #18 of 58
Thread Starter 
I just found a really fun website with great aleph-bet coloring pages. Akhlah: The Jewish Children's Learning Network.
post #19 of 58
The Artscroll Children's Siddur is beautiful! It's English and Hebrew (and transliteration if I remember correctly; it's on the shelf in the other room and I'm too lazy to go get it). We also bought this book Simcha's Kinder Torah which was a little advanced at times for ds#1 (4) but paraphrased well. Also, there is a website Torah Tots which is really cool - dh and I learned quite a bit of basics of Hebrew reading from there. (We were considering conversion for a while over the summer ... .) And here's some titles from Behrman House for grades K-2 ... we have the guides for the holidays ... pretty simple and to the point.
post #20 of 58
Hopefully dd will be going to a part time preschool (dayschool) program in the fall, but until then I really want to start her on doing some basic things. We were doing a letter of the week in English/Hebrew for awhile and then we wnet on vacation and our routines got totally disrupted. So, we're starting again with Chet/H this week. partially inspired by this thread, and partially inspired by my dd's love of the Chet skit in Shalom Sesame's Chanukah video. That link to Akhlah was great, and I have some words to put up around the house. I remember when I was dd's age learning to read and there were 3X5 cards pasted up all over the house
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