Sunday, December 23, 2012

And the Winner of the Morah Supplies Giveaway is..........

Entry #71 
 ***** Tiferes Levy *****

Mazel Tov:) 
Morah Supplies will contact you with your Gift card!

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No More Guilt!

As Jewish moms, it is in our DNA to feel guilty. There are always things we can find to feel guilty about. And as Homeschooling moms, I am sure we have a few things in common.

If we are not sitting down with our kids, workbooks open, pen in hand and smiles on everyones' faces, we feel guilty that they (in our opinion) didn't learn anything.

If we are not showing flashcards to our 2 year olds and trying to "teach" them, then we feel guilty that we are not educating them.

If we spend the morning blowing bubbles and picking flowers, we feel guilty that we "wasted" the morning.

I get so many email from moms, just like you, saying these very things. They play the guilt card on themselves because they don't feel that they are "teaching" their kids.

Well, guess what. Put the guilt card away because whether you like it or not, your kids are learning. Whether you sit there with Alef Beis flashcards, or whether you don't, they will ultimately learn to read Hebrew. 

When they are little, and I am talking ages 0-6, you really do not need to be shoving information down their throats. Their little brains are so curious and are dying to just figure out everything around them. Let them!

Let them color, paint, blow bubbles, use stamps, stickers, blocks, dolls, cook, clean (yes, clean!), sweep, jump, run, climb, giggle and just be a kid. They have their entire lives to be fed information.

So now that you know that its not your job to feed your 3 year old facts, you can offer them lots of fun activities to do which will keep them super busy and having fun. 

A while back I made these busy bags for my tykes. Below you can print out the labels and using shoe boxes, Ziplocs, trays, whatever works for you, set out a few activities for your little ones every day. They will be perfectly happy. 

Sure, if they have the patience to sit through the story of the Parshah and do an art project, go for it! But don't feel bad that you missed out a week or two. They WILL ultimately learn about the Holidays and the Parshah as they get older!

So breathe in and out and realize that right now, its their job to play and explore and discover, and the less you help them, the better.

Here are a few great activities I highly recommend for the little ones:

We all like routine and so do the little ones. Below I have included a new Daily Routine printout that has been helping me tremebdously. It really helps me utilize each section of my day so I know I am not doing something (a load of laundry) when I shouldnt be (kids class time) and keeps the day flowing.

The nice thing is at the end of the day I can look back and see what I got done and what needs to get done the next day.

I fill it out the night before or first thing in the morning.

Here is an idea of my day:
     And here is a blank one for you to customize for your own use:

I am not an organized person by nature which is why I am constantly looking for ways to get more organized!

So no more guilt, much more play:)

Have a great week and if you haven't entered the Giveaway to Morah Supplies yet, you have until Monday to do so! (Click Here to Enter)

Good Luck and have a great week,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Morah Supplies Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce this Giveaway to this fabulous website-

They have SO many fabulous products for teachers as well as homeschooling mama's like you.

Head on over there (just click here) to check out their huge selection of Arts'n Crafts (Jewish projects as well as general supplies), Jewish games, Jewish toys, Jewish puzzles, Jewish dress up gear, Bulletin Board displays, Jewish posters, Aleph Bet goodies and pretty much everything you could possibly need to set up a Jewish Homeschooling classroom.

Their prices are so fabulous and there is such a great selection of products to choose from.

And whats more? They have graciously given me a $25 Gift Certificate to give away to one lucky reader:) Yes, I know---pretty awesome!

So here is how you enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and come check back with us in a week to see if you are indeed the lucky winner:)

And as an added bonus, Morah Supplies has given all the readers of A Jewish Homeschool Blog a 15% discount on your total order from now until December 24, 2012-
Use the coupon code Homeschool at checkout!

Happy shopping and have a great week!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fun and Pretty Art Project/Gift

Just thought I would share this adorable art project we did using the magnetic wooden alphabet letters from Melissa and Doug, some craft glue and LOTS of glitter!

As much as I would love to tell you that my kids use those magnetic letters all the time to make words, they really don't. And so we have a fridge filled with these magnets and today we decided to collect the letters of our names, paint them with glue and dip them in glitter (the surface).

They came out gorgeous and now each of the kids have their names up on the fridge all sparkly for all to see. We even made some for our cousins which we will send as gifts.

Below are some of the supplies we used as well as some other supplies you can use in this project.

Coming up this week is a fantastic Giveaway to a fantastic Jewish website... so stay tuned, you just may win:)

Hope you all had a wonderful Chanukah,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Talent of Anger- with Guest Blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman

The Power of Using our G-d Given Talents (and Helping Our Children Recognize Theirs.)

There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar. The talent of ANGER is the tenth, the month of Tevet (December-January.)

We are all familiar with the emotion of anger, the almost automatic reaction to hurt feelings resulting from a perceived insult or injury. Feelings of irritation, frustration or rage often lead to behavior that is unhealthy, aggressive, and out of control.  Learning to manage our anger is part of the process of becoming emotionally stable and mature. 

What is the “talent” of anger and how can we recognize it?  Counter-intuitively, a person who often feels the emotion of anger does not have the “talent” of anger.  A person who has this talent has the ability to control his anger and, in addition, is dedicated to standing up for what is right. This talent is the ability to make positive change by demanding that injustice be corrected. This talent does not tolerate indifference to evil.    

When a child has this talent and sees his class-mate being bullied, he cannot ignore it. He feels dedicated to defending his fellow student.  His innate principles guide him to take action on behalf of his friend. 

We can be role models to our children by helping them manage their emotions. We can teach them to think before acting out. A parent needs to notice whether our child is just angry or whether he is responding to an injustice in the world. It is essential to actively listen to our children and help them to choose how to face challenges with the strength of their talent.  

Tools For Developing The Talent of Anger:

1  Don’t make something unimportant into an issue. 
2  Notice whether your ego is involved or whether you are standing up for what is right.
3  Practice doing what's right and keep your emotions in check.

The Kabalah of the Talent of Anger: 

The second commandment, that there should be “no other gods before Me,” is the basis of the talent of anger.  Based on G-d’s Torah, we must do good deeds.  We must also recognize what is against G-d’s Torah, which must therefore be rejected. 

The tenth day the month of Tevet is a fast day.  It commemorates the seige 
(1273 BCE)  of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, leading to its destruction
 and the ensuing exile of the Jewish people from our homeland.

The tribe of this month is Dan.  During the travels of our people in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt, this tribe traveled at the rear.  It was their job to return objects lost by those of the tribes who marched ahead. Some members of the tribe of Dan struggled with idol worship. (They did not strongly reject what they should have rejected.)

Chana Rachel Schusterman is a Jewish spiritual counselor and coach. If you would like to contact her, please email me at

Monday, December 10, 2012


As a homeschooling mom who's kids are home for most of the day, it is imperative to have some sort of orderliness going on in the house. I am not talking spotless floors and dustless table tops, but kids- in fact all people- need order around them. It affects us whether we like it not. So if our homes are somewhat tidy on a daily basis, it really helps with the home environment.

Now this is coming from someone who has learnt the hard way and it has taken me literally years to figure out how to get to this place... but now that I have figured out my little formula, I am sharing it with you and hopefully it will help you as much as it helps me. 

If you stick to the following rules, I can guarantee that the clutter will decrease and your mind will feel a lot more free:) And please remember that this is a life long journey- not something you do in a day (although that would be nice:)

Rule #1:
If something does not have a designated place in your home, give it one. And yes, a Junk drawer is considered a home as long as you clean it our every few weeks. If you can't find a home for something and it seems to just float around your house, get rid of it.

Rule #2:
Now that everything has a home (a designated place) when you or a family member are done with it, put it back where it belongs. Don't leave it out for someone else to put away or tell yourself you'll do it later.

Rule #3
Like I mentioned before, don't push it off for later if it can be done right away. Obviously there are things that cannot be done right away, but if it could, do it.

Rule #4

If you have stuff that does not have a place/use in your house or life, have 3 options always readily available: 

1.Throw it out if it is broken or has no use. 
2. Donate it or sell it if you don't want it but don't want to throw it out. 
3. Recycle it. 

Have a "Donate" box and a "Recycle" box somewhere in your house that you can constantly fill up and send away.

Don't just store it in your house because you have no where else to put it.

And most important, give yourself 5 seconds to make the decision of whether or not to keep it. The more you think about it and all the possibilities you may have to use it (when you haven't used it or wore it for the past 5 years) the more of a chance you have at keeping it around for absolutely no reason.

Its all about simplifying our lives and making things easier.

Ever since I have this system, and believe me, it is never ending (there are always things to get rid of) I find it so much easier to find things, and clean up at the end of the day is so much easier and quicker. The kids benefit as well and it really creates a sense of order in the house.

(Please don't think for a second that my house is neat and tidy all day- on the contrary, it is very lived in! But it takes minutes to tidy each room and the kids are more then happy to help as it is easy for them to put things back when they know where things go)

So happy organizing to you and I would love to hear how you keep a sense of orderly sanity in your home!

Have a great week and a Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fabulous Science Activity for Preschoolers

I found this on Pinterest and gave it to my very active 3 year old to do while I made Challah today.

It kept him busy for almost an hour, no joke. I had to share this with you as its just so simple and keeps them occupied for a really nice chunk of time...

Take a shallow dish or tray and fill it with baking soda. Get a few droppers (you can also use small spoons) and dye vinegar different colors using food coloring.

Using the droppers (or spoons) put the vinegar into the baking soda. It starts to bubble and fizz and when you use colors it makes all kinds or cool effect. 

My little guy LOVED this. One he used all the vinegar, he played with the baking soda with his hands, making hand prints, squishing it, and although some got on the table and floor, it was fine with me as it was baking soda and vinegar so it took seconds to clean up.

We also did another cool Science project- 

Get 3 clear cups and place them side by side. Put food coloring and water in the 2 outer cups. Leave the middle one empty. Take 2 pieces of thick paper towel and place one end of each piece in the water and the other end in the empty cup. 

It took about 10 minutes for the water to climb up the paper towel and go into the empty cup, but once it did, the colors mixed to form purple. 

Very cool indeed.

Wishing you a wonderful and restful Shabbos,


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Beauty of Boundaries

So many people ask me how I 'do it all'. Homeschool my kids, run a home, run Jewish programs, make time for myself, time for my husband and still manage to manage.

I will tell you a little secret that has worked wonders for me. Aside for my house help which I would not be able to live without and in my opinion is essential, I have one word: Boundaries. I have set up very clear boundaries in my life.

From 8am-12pm its school time. My friends and family know not to call me and if they do, they get the machine. This time is dedicated 100% to my kids.

From 1pm-3pm its mom time. Some of my kids nap, the older ones figure out what to do to keep busy. They are allowed to watch a video, play on the computer, anything as long as its inside where I can see them. My kids know this is mom time. Don't bother me unless its really important. And these 2 hours I use to make dinner, chat on the phone, do things around the house (organize a closet, go through the kids stuff etc.) and plan things for the kids for school. If I have any programs coming up, I use this time to plan them. But its mom time to do things that mom needs to do.

The rest of the day I am on again, there for my kiddos, to go out, play, bath, eat dinner, bed time.

Being that my kids are still young, bedtime is at 6:30pm. Once they are all in bed, I tidy the kitchen and by 7pm I clock out. From 7pm until I go to sleep, its time for me and time for my hubby. That's when I'll go online and check email, Facebook, surf the web, blog, and just relax. We'll have a cup of tea, catch up on the day, and just hang out. We try go out once a week which is really nice and once in a while I'll go out with a friend in the evenings. But it is just SO important to have time to yourself. The housework will never end. There will always be laundry to fold, dishes to wash. But you can only stretch yourself so thin.

Our families need us, and if we take care of ourselves we will  really be able to take care of everyone else around us. But if we keep pushing ourselves to keep doing more and burning ourselves out, then no one wins.

Obviously there are times of the year where we need to work harder, stay up later and have a lot less time for ourselves (I am referring to the Jewish Holidays and special events) and that's okay because it is only a few times a year.

But like I said, what has worked for me is setting up clear boundaries in my life. This works for me and it works for everyone else around me. It keeps me sane, and happy, because I know that whatever stage of the day I am in, I can give it 100% and not think of everything else I could be doing at that time.

Try to take a look at your own life and see where you can put up some healthy boundaries. 

Have a wonderful week,

Monday, November 26, 2012

35 Fun Activities for Chanukah!

I compiled a bunch of stuff we have done for Chanukah over the past few years (including this year) and put it all together in this e-book.

Consider this my Chanukah gift to you and your cutie pies:)

I hope this comes in handy over the next few weeks in preparation for Chanukah!

Have a great week~

I make these booklets for my kids and for you. Should you come upon a typo, you are welcome to let me know! I am a mom, not an editor:)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CAP IT Hebrew Reading Program

We were given the awesome opportunity to review the CAP IT Hebrew Reading Program.

It has been a bit of a challenge in the Hebrew Reading department with my 5 year old as she is a very hands-on learner and doesn't enjoy sitting and reading for too long. She would much rather color, paint, draw or dance. Which is fine, but I needed to figure out a way to make reading a little more enjoyable for  her.

Well, along came CAP IT Hebrew Reading, and I can tell you that from the moment we opened the box, my little princess could not wait to begin. I know. I was a bit shocked myself. Maybe it was the box of miniature toys it came with. Maybe it was the bright colors and the simplicity of the pages. Read on to hear more about this brilliant program.

You see, the cleverness of this program is that it provides Tactile Visual Mnemonics™ for every letter in the Alef Bet. In simple English, you get a box filled with miniature toys that serve as the Visual Mnemonics. Each toy in the box looks and sounds like a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

For example, for the letter BET- there is an actual little ball in a box. You have the "B" sound as well as the visualization of a ball in a box, like the actual letter BET. Simply genius.

There is also a song that connects to each lesson, hence we can get up to do a little dance to our song making reading just super cool. And the thing that really was amazing were the instant results. She read "ABBA BA". She was beyond proud of herself and couldn't wait to go on to the next letter to see what the next toy would be.

The entire curriculum comes in this box:

And in our humble opinion, the best part of all...

This is the PERFECT Hebrew Reading Curriculum. It makes Hebrew reading FUN and the kids see instant results which makes them feel so good about themselves.

Head on over to their website to check it out for yourself...

We also received the CAP IT Read Fluent Hebrew Siddur Edition which focuses on the kid's decoding skills and builds up a word bank of the most common Siddur words.

This was so fabulous for my son who is already davening, but at 100 miles an hour and not really saying the words correctly. It gave him an entirely new insight into what he is saying and how important it is to say the proper words.

This company gets an A+ in my book. 

The awesome folks at CAP IT Hebrew Reading have given the readers of A Jewish Homeschool Blog a 20% discount off an entire order - 

***Enter HS20 at checkout for 20% off your order!***

In my opinion, this is a great investment in your kids Hebrew Reading education. Highly highly recommended.

If you have any questions in regard to this curriculum, feel free to email me or the wonderful people over at CAP IT Hebrew Reading.

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

These products were given to me for review purposes. I was not paid for the above posts. All opinions expressed in the above posts are mine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Adorable Handmade Chanukah Review

Today we my kids received a package addressed to them in the mail from the wonderful folks at Kiwi Crate... 

Kiwi Crate is a company that sends out different crates filled with all different crafts with everything you need to do them. They have individual crates or you can buy a monthly membership and receive a crate every month with different crafts inside. Check out their website to see what they are all about...

You can only imagine the excitement going on, I mean who doesn't LOVE getting packages, right?

They wanted to just rip it open, but mom made sure to be careful and open it up step by step... oy, the  suspense of discovering what was inside!

And Voila!

 This is an absolutely adorable crate filled with two beautiful crafts for Chanukah...

It comes with EVERYTHING you need to make this gorgeous Menorah...

And this super cool dreidel...

What a great gift for Chanukah! 
So head on over to their website, and check out all their awesome products- you have just enough time to get your Chanukah crate in time for Chanukah! 

Thanks again to the wonderful folks at Kiwi Crate!

And coming this week... I have an AMAZING Hebrew Reading Curriculum to share with all of you~ stay tuned!

Have a wonderful week,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Montessori Activities for Chumash Bereishit

Over the past few weeks I have been putting together a booklet of activities that we have done for each weeks Parshah. Feel free to download it and use any ideas for your own kids or your students.

You will have 6 Montessori inspired activities for each Parshah in Chumash Bereishit.

Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kabbalah of SLEEP... with Guest Blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman

The Power of Using our G-d Given Talents (and Helping Our Children Recognize Theirs.)

There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar. The talent of SLEEP is the ninth, the month of Kislev (November-December).

Individuals who have this talent in a developed way have a profound sense of tranquility. It is essential for them to be well rested. Sleep  provides them with refreshed mental, emotional and physical energy. Taking even a few minutes to rest and integrate their experiences revitalizes them. Then they can go forward with peace of mind.

Rest, sleep, and dreams have important connections with the inner life of  people with this talent. Before going to sleep, they can consider how to proceed with a specific situation. Often they will wake up with new inisights and solutions.  People with this talent need to be conscious that dreams can give them meaningful understanding about life in general.  

We can be role models to our children by encouraging them to have some quiet time in between activities.  We can teach them that rest times are peaceful and positive.  We can walk or sit quietly with them, teaching them that it’s good to have peaceful times that are not filled with chatter.  When they come home from school, we can greet them with love and warmth.  After some quiet time, we can ask them about their day.

Tools For Developing Your Sense of Sleep:

  1. Rest between activities.
  2. Trust that G-d is taking care of you and therefore you can sleep peacefully.
  3. When you need to make a decision, have the question in mind, and then ‘sleep on it’.
  4. When you’re tired, rest. (Don’t eat or get sidetracked.)


The Kabalah of Sleep:

During the month of Kislev, we read the Torah portions about Joseph and his many  prophetic dreams. His dreams guide him and those around him. The resolution of the events comes through Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, who is the progenitor  of the tribe of this month.

Trust in G-d is the basis of sleep.  When we wake up in the morning, our first words are “Modeh Ani Lifanecha, Melech Chai V’Kayam,  Sheh’hechezarta Be
Nishmati B’Chemlah, Rabah Emunatecha.”  (“I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.”)  We go to sleep with trust in G-d.  We wake up and place our trust in G-d.  Therefore we have a sense of peace and tranquility.  

When we rest, we take the time to strengthen this trust. Too much sleep is a metaphor for exile.  When we sleep just enough to be rested and refreshed, we wake up with new power to do what we are in the world to do.

Chana Rachel Schusterman is a Jewish spiritual counselor and coach. If you would like to contact her, please email me at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"I See Me" Chanukah Book Review

Okay... Chanukah is in a few weeks- and although we do not have the custom to give our kids actual gifts (we give them Chanukah gelt) I know there are plenty of families out there who do...

Now I was lucky enough to create a personalized Chanukah book for my kids to review from the folks at I See Me Inc. Personalized Childrens Books. This is such an adorable thing to have for your kids- story books with THEM as the main character:) 

Take a few minutes and hop over to their website and check out their fabulous products... just click here- but come right back so I can tell you a bit about the Chanukah book they made for us:)
 Here is some info about this super cute book:
One of our popular personalized gifts for kids. In this beautifully illustrated, personalized story, the child lights the Menorah, plays with a Dreidel, enjoys chocolate Gelt and Latkes, and on day eight receives the gift of a cuddly bear. Sure to be a family classic, the story is written by award-winning author Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Wilson Ong.

One child is the "star" of the story and his or her name is featured throughout the story.
The child's name and the names of his or her siblings or family members are included on an illustration of gift tags on presents around the menorah.

It is really easy to personalize- so head on over to this page to order and create your very own Chanukah book starring your sweetie pie!

Here are 2 promo codes for my dear readers to use at check out:
For 10% off an entire order- enter HANUKKAH  expires 11/21/12
For FREE SHIPPING enter hanukkah1  expires 11/14/12 at midnight

Enjoy and have a great week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Toldot Trays

Some activities for this weeks Parshah~

Making little replicas of Yakov and Eisav to reenact the story- includes a Torah for Yakov to learn, weapons for Eisav to hunt with and a bowl of lentils:

A RED Collage since Eisavs skin and hair was RED (I put red food coloring in the glue, came out pretty cool):

In connection to Yitzchak "feeling" Eisavs hairy body (which was actually Yakov) this is a classic Montessori activity- get lots of different fabrics with different textures. Cut them in two and place half the fabrics in a bag or box and half in a basket. Have the kids pick one piece of fabric, feel it, touch it and then close their eyes and using their sense of touch, try to find the matching piece of fabric in the bag or box: 

Since Rivkah helped Yakov cover himself in fur, we made beards and arm covers: 

In connection to twins, even though Yakov and Eisav were such opposites, this is just a color matching game with stickers:

I wish I were more consistent in posting what we do each week, but like they say- Life happens and we all get caught up in day to day activities. 

I am working on putting together an e-book of all our Parshah activities so hopefully that will be helpful when it is complete!

Wishing you a wonderful week,

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