Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And the winner of the Beyond the Sling Giveaway is...

Congrats to
*** SARA ***
Please send your full name and mailing address to:
Jewishmontessori18 at gmail dot com 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guest Blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman: Deep Thinkers...

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 THOUGHT  is the second, beginning with the month of Iyar (April-May).  

People who have this talent think about what they experience and see the big picture. They have overview.  They are naturally conceptual thinkers.  They have  sense of how to plan and they know the right time to share their insights.  People who have the talent of thought are particularly good at giving advice. They are people who think big.

We can be role models for our children by using this quality to be optimistic and by helping them to plan.  It is good to encourage your child’s talent when you see it.  When they share an idea or their understanding of how things work, you can support them by saying,  “I love the way you figured that out,” or “You really thought about that.  Good job,” or “Good thinking!”  

We can encourage our children (and ourselves) to be creative in their thinking, and to think big.

Tools for Developing Your Talent of Thought:
1.  Develop optimism about the future.  Let yourself think big.
2.  Don’t worry (not the talent of thought).  Give yourself some daily time to think deeply.
3.  When the time is right, share your insight with an understanding friend.


 The Kabalah of Thought:
  The month of Iyar links Passover (in Nissan)  to Shavuot (in Sivan), the time of the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  This time is a time of working on ourselves day by day to become ready for receiving the Torah.

  For the 49 days between Passover and Shavuout, which is on the 50th day, we Count the Omer. (See for more information.  My videos on this subject can also be found there.) Each day has its own specific way to work on our own personality traits.  In this way we overcome our old habits (which enslave us) and integrate freedom.
  The tribe which corresponds to the month of Iyar is Issachar.  He was a great Torah sage, even more than his brothers.  He calculated the Jewish calendar that has been used for
thousands of years to this very time.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beyond the Sling--- a Giveaway!

I am sure most have you have read this awesome interview I did with fellow Jewish home-schooling mom, Neuroscientist and actress Mayim Bialik a few months ago.

Although we have never met in person, just corresponding with Mayim via e-mail and reading her blog posts on, she is someone I truly admire. She is such a proud Jewess and is so open and honest about her personal journey in Yiddishkeit.

Yes, she is on a HUGE hit TV show, The Big Bang Theory. Yes, she was the star of the HUGE hit TV show, Blossom. She goes to the Emmy Awards and has Paparazzi snapping photos of her... but what I love about Mayim is that her first and foremost focus is her family, her kids. Which brings me to this fabulous Giveaway which she has so graciously agreed to be a part of.

Beyond the Sling is a book that Mayim wrote about raising and loving kids the Attachment Parenting way.

What I love about how Mayim wrote this book is that she says straight out that not all her solutions will be right for every family. No matter how you birth your baby, feed your baby, carry your baby, or educate your baby, Beyond the Sling goes beyond the labels and perceptions about how certain parenting styles have to look, which I find to be very liberating.

A huge part of Attachment Parenting is about understanding your child’s needs, your needs, and the basics of human development -- an attachment that will stay with you no matter what style of parenting you draw on.

I love many aspects of Attachment Parenting and have incorporated many of them (without even knowing it had a name "Attachment Parenting") into the way we raise our kids. The relationships you develop with your kids is just phenomenal. Its not about the parent being the boss or the disciplinarian. Its about developing this incredible relationship with your kids where there is this trust and mutual respect that is just priceless.

I can go on and on about this book, but let me get to the Giveaway already:)

Do one or all of the following:
1. Leave a comment in the comments box. You can leave a comment every day until the Giveaway is over. Every comment is an entry in the Giveaway.
4. Tweet about this Giveaway
5. Post/Blog about this Giveaway
6. Subscribe to A Jewish Homeschool Blog

Winner will be announced on April 25, 2012.

If you wish to purchase Beyond the Sling, you can get it here.

Good Luck, have fun and thanks so much Mayim!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parshas Shemini- Kosher Animals

Here's a peek at a few things we've been up to/will be doing this week for Parshas Shemini:

Here is the kids adorable Har Sinai Sefirah countdown chart that THEY made today. It was so sweet how they all orchestrated it together, having one make all the flowers, the other painted, another went to go pick some real flowers to stick on- I forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but its up on the wall and really precious, and the BEST part is that THEY did it all by themselves. Mom was just there to make sure the stapler, scissors and glitter didn't get too out of control:)
Kosher fish sorting. We took a magnifying glass to look at the fins and scales on the Kosher toy fish.
Kosher bird sorting:
Math- using sand paper numbers and little fish counters:
Animal Magnet Kosher sorting on a magnetic cookie sheet:
Learning the parts of the fish- concentrating on the fins and scales:
Now this was a really gross activity if you ask me, but my 3 year old LOVED it and spent A LOT of time with his little bug friends. The point of this activity was to remove all the bugs from the fruit and vegetables since bugs aren't Kosher (as if we'd eat them if they were!) I have quite the phobia of anything small and gross so setting this up really was not easy for me, even if all the bugs are plastic... but the little guy was in bug heaven, so here it is:
Here is just a classic Kosher/non Kosher animal sorting activity
These are some great books we are reading, and searching for all the Kosher animals. You would be shocked how many we found!
Click here for some cute worksheets on Kosher animals. Scroll down to the "Brachot" worksheets.

Just a little puzzle we did with the little ones:

These are fabulous stickers that my princess used to make a whole scenario on a farm. She left the non Kosher animals out and put them on another paper.
And just for fun...

Here is where you can get some of the things we are using:

Have a great week,

Monday, April 16, 2012

We MADE it!!!

After WEEKS (or for some of us, MONTHS!) of cleaning, organizing, shopping, planning, cooking, baking, and endless preparations--- we did it. We all made it through another Pesach.

I often smile to myself when I think of how happy us Jewish ladies make our creator during this hectic time. I mean, ALL of this work for just 8 days of the year. It's pretty amazing. WE are pretty amazing.

And as nice as it would be to be able to take a little breather (aka- vacation) to recover from all the hard work, life must go on. Which means more lists, more planning, more organizing, to keep our precious families running as smooth as possible.

It was nice to take a break from life's routine over Chol Hamoed and take the kids out on a few 'special' trips. My crew are still young, so bumper boating was about as exciting as it got, but the kiddo's had a ball and that's all that counts, right?

But in the back of my mind, I knew that once Pesach was over, life will go on as usual and so I made these Workplan Templates to try out for the remainder of the school year.

It is actually very simple: One is an overview of the month. You write down any holidays and special dates happening that month. You can then fill in different activities in the different subjects provided giving you an idea of what you can cover over the next month. The second one is the same thing but with Parshah. You just plug in the Parshah name and any activities to do for that Parshah. The nice thing is, you don't need to write in every single box, and it will give you a good idea of the areas you are covering more then others.

I have already filled out our plans for the upcoming Hebrew month of Iyar. Click here to check it out.

Click HERE to download the clear Template and print it for yourself. You can laminate them and use them each month, or print and fill it in each month to have for your records. We're just trying it out. If it works, we will use them for next year.

That's a big thing about Homeschooling (at least in the early years). You are CONSTANTLY trying to figure out what works and change the things that DON'T work.

Here are a few things I've been pinning on Pinterest for Lag B'Omer and Shavuot. Some things are mine from this blog, some are from others. I'm a very visual person, so seeing all the different crafts and activities we have done over the years on one screen is really helpful!

I would love to hear some of your good ideas for Sefirat Ha-omer charts, Pesach Sheini activites, Lag B'omer projects and of course, Shavuot~ got a good (and EASY) cheesecake recipe? Send it to me- I'll post it.

Wishing you all a great week, and an easy transition back to the daily grind...

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