Jewish Homeschoolers: Support & Information Thread - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Learning at Home and Beyond > Jewish Homeschoolers: Support & Information Thread
Nickarolaberry's Avatar Nickarolaberry 10:16 PM 01-05-2006
ooooh, good one, thanks!

eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 02:29 PM 01-06-2006
Something that has totally slipped my mind from childhood-- the Parsha of the Week; is it the one that you read on the Shabbos before the week, or the one that you read the following Shabbos? In other words, this week's Parsha, will it be read tomorrow or was it read last week?
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 03:14 PM 01-06-2006
I believe this week's Parsha will be read tomorrow. You might check OU or Chabad site for this sort of info though if no one responds.
HappyMomof3's Avatar HappyMomof3 04:23 PM 01-06-2006
The parsha to be read this week, for tomorrow is Genesis (B'Resheet) 44:18-47:27. That is listed on our calendar on the 7th of January (Tevet 7), and that is what will be discussed on that date. We read it with our children during the week prior to the 7th, and color 1-3 of the coloring pages with them, from the website I mentioned earlier. I hope this helps. I'm sure there is a website some where with all the parsha readings listed, and the dates they would be read/discussed/reviewed (can't think of the right term for it). If I have time I will look around and post it. All of our children have chest colds at the moment, so I'm staying very busy.
Nickarolaberry's Avatar Nickarolaberry 04:26 PM 01-06-2006
Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up that (the Chabad publications site) is having a 50% off sale until Monday.

They have a whole section for Jewish educators, including books of interesting craft/activities ideas for parsha, etc. They have great kids' books, and I also just ordered a CD called "A New Day" which teaches the shacharit (morning davening) through songs, etc.

Good Shabbos!
Nickarolaberry's Avatar Nickarolaberry 04:28 PM 01-06-2006
This week's parsha is "Vayigash" and it's read in full tomorrow (Saturday) in shul. Parts of it were also read this week on Monday and Thursday, which are the weekdays the Torah is read in part during Shacharit services in shul.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 11:04 PM 01-06-2006
Thanks ladies, I knew I could count on y'all.

So... shall we begin motzei shabbos with a discussion about how we're incorporating next week's parsha into learning with the kiddles?

I wanted to share a few adorable, Jewish moments that I've had with BeanBean & BooBah over the past 24 hours:

BooBah's been carrying a stuffed bear around lately. Last night, I asked her if the bear had a name. "Name?" she pondered. "Firstname Middlename?" she asked me. "That's BooBah's name. Does the bear have a name?" "Yes. Name's Shehah." "The bear's name is 'Shehah?'" "Yes," she said, and put her thumb back into her mouth. BeanBean looked up and said, "She means 'Shehakol,' the bear's name is Shehakol." BooBah affirmed this. Isn't that cute?! I almost melted.

This afternoon, BeanBean was lining things up. He said, "These are my candles," and then proceeded to say the first bracha for lighting Channukah candles! : He remembered the whole thing, I was so tickled. It made me feel a bit sad that I don't have any Shabbos candlesticks (to say nothing of candles). What a lovey!
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 02:50 AM 01-08-2006
Ok so get some candlesticks from your Mom, Rynna. Or geez, I'll send you some. The candles are pretty darn cheap....gotta be the only thing Kosher that is.

Off to look at that website for the SALE!
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 05:54 PM 01-08-2006
Originally Posted by mamaverdi
Ok so get some candlesticks from your Mom, Rynna. Or geez, I'll send you some. The candles are pretty darn cheap....gotta be the only thing Kosher that is.

Off to look at that website for the SALE!
My mom hasn't lit Shabbos candles in at least 20 years... probably longer. If she has candlesticks, she has no idea where they are.
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 10:09 PM 01-08-2006
D'oh! Well, I don't think you need anything particular---oy or do you? We have a lot of different candlesticks. PM me, maybe I can trade you a few things. Did you ever find snow boots for BeanBean?
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 11:12 PM 01-08-2006
I'll send you a PM.

So... what's this weeks Parsha, and how shall we teach it to the small people? The Torah Tots website is very cool, but it crashes this computer. I am soooo looking forward to our return this year! :

You know, I've never had a strong desire to be frum, but I have to say that there's something so stirring about hearing my son say brachos, it makes me seriously consider changing my lifestyle. Many changes are completely out of the question, of course; there's no way that we can afford to keep kosher in this town, for example, and even if we could the initial changeover (getting new dishes?!?!) would be beyond us. I'm wondering what else I can do, though. Mike and I have discussed the concept of Shalom Bayis (a peaceful house) and it's one that he can totally accept/agree with. We talk about the fact that we like it when our kids ask questions, and that we want to encourage that all the time, which I think of as a particularly Jewish thing (Mike does, too). So, I guess we're making progress... I am slowly but surely reading a book about Jewish family traditions, and I'm going to read that book about Jewish interfaith marriage that I have around here someplace cover to cover... I just feel a strong pull to give my kids *more* Judaism, and all the time, as soon as possible. It's amazing, I never thought that I'd feel this way in particular, but the more I live with the kids the more strongly I feel.
chanale's Avatar chanale 01:26 AM 01-09-2006

Here's the parshah schedule for this year. If you click through, you'll see the haftarah as well. This year we double up on some of the shorter portions because there's no leap month. This week's parshah is Vayechi (Bereishit 47:28-50:26). I was just thinking today that the last few months have really flown by; I can't believe we're almost to Shemot.

I don't know if anyone has posted this, but Chabad publishes kids' crossword puzzles weekly, which can be printed out (DD is far too young for it, but I thought someone here might find it useful):
Nickarolaberry's Avatar Nickarolaberry 11:29 AM 01-09-2006

Amazing Savings near me has silver-looking candlestick sets under $5 for two. I'd be happy to pick up a pair for you if you'd like.
Also, most grocery stores have those little "tea lights" and we often use those for extras. If you need some, let me know!
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 02:39 AM 01-10-2006
So can we talk cirriculums for a minute? Five in a Row... is it very Christian? Is there any room for Jewish perspective? I see they have a supplement that is Christian, but how does it play into their other lessons?

We have the opportunity to join a homeschooling co-op that says it is diverse---who knows what that means, maybe Methodists and Baptists. Would be typical of Houston for people to say that.

I'm not sure of two things, one if the group will go fast enough for ds1, and two if it will be antithetical to Jewish principles. How would one go about discerning these things?
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 03:16 AM 01-10-2006
I flipped through Five in a Row, and while the booklists are nice they're just about the only things which I found "editable;" In other words, the activities often come across as very Christian to me. I wish I could remember some particular examples, but I just remember flipping through the book and thinking, "No, no, no, no... definately not," and putting it back on the shelf. While I'm pregnant, things often go in one ear and out the other...

As to the co-op-- have you tried posting in Finding Your Tribe to ask about the group? There may be other homeschoolers here who take part in it, and could give you a bit more insight. I'd just flat out ask people if the group is a Christian one or not, and what they mean by "inclusive." Will it go fast enough for your son? Maybe they have programs for older children which he could take part in? Some groups are more rigid about age grouping than others, so I'd look into that. I have yet to find a group around here which isn't, which is a shame because BeanBean is really quite the kindergartener, despite the fact that he's only three. The group I started is inactive at the moment... I'm hoping to get it kicking again when I'm able to check my email regularly. *sigh* The crappy computer strikes again!
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 03:41 AM 01-10-2006
Parshat Vayechi-- It looks like this is the one where everybody packs up and moves to Egypt (aka Eretz Mitzrayim) and then Ya'akov blesses his sons and grandsons, right? Is this the first place where the Shema appears in the torah? One more reason to find a good time to teach that to BeanBean.... I think we'll start doing it right after we read together. The bedtime reading thing is going very well.

I'm thinking of adding a few things... for example, I'd like to teach BeanBean a line from the parsha each week (in Hebrew). I'm not sure where to start, though. Has someone collected interesting lines from each parsha (or, in the case of the more boring weeks, from the haftorot? ) which would be easy for a little kid to memorize? Or would this necessitate me finding a decent Chumash and dusting off my Hebrew? So much to think about, neh?

I'd also like to do a Mitzvah every other week or perhaps every month; to introduce a specifically Jewish idea to BeanBean, and try to work it into our lives... but I have no idea where to begin with that one... I'm just at a loss. I'm going to have to find a Jewish calendar somewhere, too, but I think I know where I can get my hands on one... we'll see what happens.

BeanBean was very confused when I told him that his name starts with aleph... I'm concerned about messing him up for life. How can I help a just-emergent reader learn things like this without confusing him even more?! I just don't know what to make of it...
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 04:03 AM 01-10-2006
I flipped through Five in a Row...
This is the impression I got from the site too. I'm wondering how faithfully they follow the activities. It's the co-op that uses it.

As to the co-op-- have you tried posting in Finding Your Tribe to ask about the group? There may be other homeschoolers here who take part in it, and could give you a bit more insight. I'd just flat out ask people if the group is a Christian one or not, and what they mean by "inclusive."
I want to know also if they are politically conservative or ... there are several things I want to know.

As for ds1 and the speed issue...well, they say they have 7 kids ages infant to 7 years and they focus on the 3-7 year olds. It doesn't sound like they select out.

It's just that I already tried asking some questions and just got their standard response.

I will try FYT.

As for the Hebrew learning, here at the Conservative Day School anyway they begin with conversational Hebrew, and begin learning to read and write in first grade. FWIW.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 09:08 PM 01-15-2006
What's this week's Parsha? What are we doing with our kiddles? I'm feeling super chatty , so I'm going to make a concerted effort to listen for a little while.
Nickarolaberry's Avatar Nickarolaberry 01:36 AM 01-16-2006
This week's parsha is Shemot, the first parsha in the book of Shemot (Exodus). Interestingly, in Hebrew the word "Shemot" means "names."
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 04:49 AM 01-16-2006
Wait... isn't Shemot the one that begins with all the geneology? (As if there's only one... ) The first several pages are so-and-so begat whosit and thus'nsuch, right?
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 07:43 PM 01-19-2006
Can anyone help me with colors in Hebrew? For some reason, all I can remember is cachol, and I can't remember how to spell it... chaf-chet-lamed, maybe?
Brisen's Avatar Brisen 07:56 PM 01-19-2006
I hope you ladies don't mind me butting in with a question. I am not Jewish, but I am attempting to learn Hebrew to use in my study of the Tanakh (I hope I spelled that right!). Mostly I'm using online resources, and I have found a few where there is Hebrew text, with the transliteration and the translation to English. One thing is puzzling me -- I have seen the word Ad---i, and it is written yod-yod. Can anyone tell me why this is?
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 12:36 AM 01-20-2006
We don't use the word Ad---i except in prayer. It's for directly addressing the One. I'm not sure why y-y is used though if you are asking in particular. Try Religious Studies...
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 10:28 AM 01-20-2006
It's an abbreviation for the name that can't be pronounced.
Brisen's Avatar Brisen 11:34 AM 01-20-2006
Thanks! I was thinking there was some rule about yod changing pronounciation with those particular vowel marks, but I couldn't find anything.
eilonwy's Avatar eilonwy 05:05 PM 02-14-2006
Raising a thread from it's not-so-final resting place.

I have a new computer. This means that I can do all kinds of cool things at home, like print and look at more than one website at a time. In another month, I'll have my van back and good as new, so I'll be able to get out of the house and do normal things. How is this relevant to this thread in particular? Well, it means that I can take BeanBean's Jewish studies much more seriously than I was able to before (all of his studies, really... ) and that I need more input/advice than ever.

I seem to have missed Tu'B'Shevat this year, which is a bummer because I think that BeanBean would have enjoyed it immensely. The next holiday is, I believe, Purim (please, please, please correct me if I'm wrong... and soon!), so I'd like to concentrate on that, as far as holidays go.

I'd also love to do a kid's Torah study group here, if anyone's interested....?
Mama Shifra's Avatar Mama Shifra 07:40 PM 06-30-2006
Originally Posted by mamaverdi
I would really like to find some Hebrew-learning-to-read stuff. Links?
For learning Hebrew I like L'shonee - Part 1 by Sol Scharfstein (published by Ktav Publishing House, It is meant for Jewish day schools or afternoon (supplementary or "Hebrew") schools to teach basic Hebrew reading and comprehension. It describes how to pronounce each letter and vowel in English, so it can be used even if you cannot yet read Hebrew, although I can't quite describe it as a text for self instruction. It is also dated with male/female stereotyping and uses language not used in Israel.

If you already know how to read Hebrew and want to teach Hebrew reading to your children, Haveri 1, (also by Sol Scharfstein and published by Ktav Publishing House) is the classic reading text for day schools. Both my husband and I learned to read Hebrew from it. Like L'shonee, it is dated in both content (some male and female stereotyping here) and language (some of the Hebrew terms are not used in Israel today, although they are used in the Bible), but it is very systematic and through. Your kids should come out being able to read Hebrew after using it!

For modern, spoken Hebrew, if you can read and understand basic Hebrew yourself, you may want to try a curriculum called "Nitzanim" for children from kindergarten through second grade published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Centre for Educational Technology in Tel-Aviv for Jewish (though not necessarily religious) children in the diaspora. There are 3 levels in the Nitzanim program, with 7 booklets per level. Three of the booklets deal with general topics that concern and/or amuse children, and four of the booklets deal with the Jewish holidays. There is also an activity booklet called "Talking Pictures" which has other conversational activities for all the levels. Teacher's Guides are available in both English and Hebrew for each level. Gozlan's Sefer Israel, Inc. (, 212-725-5890) distributes Nitzanim in the USA. Just a warning, however, this series is not written from a religious perspective! It is written for Jewish, secular or non-Orthodox schools.

Sefer Israel also carrys Hakol Chadash, a "ulpan" program (for learning to read and write modern Hebrew) for immigrants to Israel for grades 2-5. It is also written for Jewish, secular or non-Orthodox schools. You would need to be able to read and understand basic Hebrew in order to use this program.

A new program for teaching modern Hebrew to kids is HaSifronim Sheli, which is written from a ultra-Orthodox perspective and may be offensive in their male/female roles portrayed in the books (ie. Mommy is the one cooking in the kitchen, etc.). HaSifronim Sheli has 4 sets, each containing 4 books. I have been using them with my 5 year old daughter to teach her modern Hebrew and I like them very much. (Just to let you know the author of these books is a former teacher of mine). HaSifronim Sheli can be obtained from CKY, 2 Omni Court, Lakewood NJ 08701, Tel. 732-886-6516. Again, with this program you would need to be able to read and understand basic Hebrew.

In homeschooling my 5 year old daughter, I have also used My First Parsha Reader, which is a series of 5 books written in English, one for each book of the Torah. They really explain the Torah clearly and concisely to preschool children.

Hope this helps.
Kimmie213's Avatar Kimmie213 11:28 PM 04-12-2007
Bumping this up, as I have started the search for HSing DD.
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