Sunday, December 29, 2013

Jewish Lullabies, Book Sets and Chumash Tutoring

Here are some fabulous Jewish resources that I personally use and love- each comes highly recommended by yours truly and loved by all of my kids- I hope they are helpful to you!

These are beautiful soft Jewish Lullabies. I play them for my little ones at bedtime and it really sets such a calm and relaxing mood for them making bedtime so much easier. Here is a link to get an idea of how the lullabies sound:
Really soft, serene and relaxing. So great to calm the energy at the end of the day.

Mish and Mush

I have mentioned many times before how much we love reading in our house. Now that my 6 year old is starting to read by herself, she is constantly looking for books at her level to read. We received a bunch of books from the amazing folks over at Mish and Mush. My kids LOVE these books. They are perfect for them to read by themselves, the illustrations are adorable, the messages are all meaningful and based on Torah and the kids learn so much from each book. I cannot recommend these books enough. They are from Australia but find out if your local Judaica store carries them, or you can buy them HERE. The App is also adorable, as I mentioned in this post. Your kids will love them, my kids really do!

Now this recommendation is for older kids (7+) who have started to learn Chumash. If you have been following my blog for a while, by now you know that I truly believe that a true education is not about feeding kids information. It is about giving them the TOOLS to figure things out by themselves, and teaching them HOW to learn.

My oldest son has started learning Chumash. His comprehension is off the charts. Tell him a story and he will repeat it back to you word for word. Explain a concept to him and he will get it right away. But he has had a hard time being able to open up a Chumash, translate the words and put them into a sentence.

Along came Rabbi Levi who is the brains behind The Shreiber Method. He sits with my son via Skype once a week and teaches him HOW to learn Chumash. He shows him how to break up each Possuk (sentence) and where a pause or a coma needs to go. He shows him how to translate the words and then put them together to understand what it is saying. My son actually came over to ME on Shabbos and asked to go over the Possuk he had done last week with Rabbi Levi to show me how he did it all by himself. He has actually grown to LOVE learning Chumash and looks forward to his tutoring session every week.

For those whose kids are just starting to learn Chumash, I cannot recommend The Shreiber Method enough.
Contact Rabbi Levi HERE and see for yourself how he will awaken this incredible love for learning Chumash in your child.

There are so many wonderful Jewish resources out there and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Chumash Shemot and the Hebrew letter TET

The Hebrew Letter TET Activity Booklet

Montessori Inspired Activities for Chumash Shemot

Have a fantastic week!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thank You Hashem Unit and the Hebrew Letter Chet!

 Here is a Chet Activity Booklet: (for Activity Booklets on the letters Alef-Zayin, Click Here)

And here is a mini Unit on "Thank You Hashem" to remind our sweetie pies (and ourselves!) that everything we have comes from Hashem and how we should always be happy with what we have. Enjoy~

A Thank You Hashem Activity Booklet

Here are some wonderful Jewish Books and Songs on Thanking Hashem and being happy with what we have:

Have a wonderful week,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Getting to know Ourselves and our Kids

The other night my hubby and I were sitting on the couch, feet up, both doing work on our laptops when suddenly he looks up at me for a few moments and goes, "Now it all makes sense. This is you. I totally get you now."

Someone had sent him this info graph:

I've never considered myself an introvert as I thought introverts were anti-social and shy, two qualities I can say that do not describe me. But after reading up on Introverts, I am proud to say that YES- I am indeed an introvert!

My hubby, the absolute extrovert (introverts often marry extroverts) never understood how my idea of date night is making pop corn and watching a DVD together on the couch in PJ's. I could not think of anything more enjoyable! To him, its getting a babysitter and having a night out on the town. We have been married almost 10 years and although he clearly see's that I am not a quiet person, it was difficult for him to understand how I just love being home.

Now having discovered this, I now see very clearly how one of my kids is a textbook introvert. I could not understand how he is super social when kids come over or when at the park playing with other kids. But yet he is just so happy staying at home playing by himself. It didn't make sense that he was a loner as he really enjoys the company of others but on the other hand, he also thrives on being by himself. This little kiddo is my little introvert! So instead of thinking something is wrong or strange that he likes his quiet time so much, I now know that not only does he enjoy it, he NEEDS it.

Discovering these things about ourselves and our kids really helps in our entire approach to raising them. 

My in-laws were just here visiting and my very wise mother-in-law (who raised 11 amazing kids) was telling me how wonderful it is to get know the talents and qualities of your kids to help them become the best people they can be.

Having tapped into this, I now see how one of daughters needs organization around her. She keeps her bedroom neat and tidy and does not do well if things are out of place. This helps me help her in her day to day activities and it also helps me understand her certain moments of frustration. 

One of my sons is a very visual person. When he talks to me, he needs me to look at him and answer him with YES, not 'uh huh.'

So for those of you who know me, yes, believe it or not, I'm an introvert. I love being around friends and family and enjoy social events, but I need my time alone like people need air to breathe. 

It also explains why I love writing this blog so much.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nursery Rhymes... Are you Kidding Me?

In our house, we read. We read a lot. My motto is that you can never have too many great books. Our friends know how much we value reading, so we are often gifted with books.

Our latest gift was for my little ones. An absolutely gorgeous large print, colorful book with gorgeous illustrations called Nursery Rhymes for Children. On Shabbos, we love snuggling on the couch to read, and sing Shabbos songs. So we took our new book, on the couch to read/sing them and as I am paging through this beautiful book and my kids are enjoying me singing the songs, I am actually reading what some of these nursery rhymes are saying and it is ridiculous!

Most of us grew up hearing these rhymes and probably never thought anything of them, but as a mom, I now see the world very differently.

Okay, some nursery rhymes are sweet- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush and Baa Baa Black Sheep. And apparently a lot of them have some historical significance or whatever.

But in this book, we meet the Queen of Hearts who BEAT the Knave because he stole the tarts. Don't even get me started on Rock-a-bye Baby... "Down will come baby, cradle and all." Seriously? then Old Mother Hubbard who has NO food for her poor dog! And then there's Jack and Jill who both broke their crowns tumbling down a hill and an Old Woman who lives in a shoe who whips her kids and doesn't give them any bread. And to top it all off, Goosey Goosey Gander talks about taking an old man who doesn't say his prayers and THROWING him down the stairs.


Now to some of you, this post will not matter as you may not have Nursery Rhymes in your home- but for those who do, I have put together a really adorable Jewish Book of Songs and Rhymes to replace these insane nursery rhymes that the world apparently thinks are okay to sing to children- and I don't care about how poetic or meaningful some of them may be- children hear things at face value.

So here it is! Print it out on card stock, staple together and you will have 10 really sweet Jewish Children's songs and Rhymes to read and sing with your sweetie pies~

We live in Olam HaSheker- a world of lies, and it is up to us as mothers to only show our children that which is true. Which is something that is so beautiful about Judaism. There is only one truth to be learnt and taught.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Shabbos,

Monday, December 2, 2013

And the winner of the Giveaway is...

Mazel Tov Rena N! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you are all having a fabulous Chanukah!

Enjoy your week,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jewish Mom's Plan-It! Review and Giveaway!

Okay ladies, this is the daily/monthly planner you have all been waiting for, and it is built around the daily needs of the Jewish mom! 

It's the Jewish Mom's Plan-It! Take a second to check out the website to get an idea of how awesome this planner actually is- Click Here.

This planner has Hebrew and English dates, meal and snack ideas, Shabbos menu ideas, a Shabbos checklist, a household maintenance list, a grocery list and for each day there are several lists- to do before 11 am, appointments, to do, to email, to call/text, to delegate and other. Each day has a Torah thought for the day, an inspirational quote, a checklist to make sure you are drinking enough water, exercising, davening, reflecting. Honestly, I have no idea how Liba Andrusier managed to fit this all into one gorgeous planner but it is just genius.

You can literally sit down in the morning and see your entire day planned out before your very eyes in full detail.

So while I suggest you hop over to Jewish Mom's Plan-It! website and buy yourself, your sister, your mom and your best friend a copy, Liba has generously agreed to give one very luck lady her very own copy in a Jewish Mom's Plan-It! Giveaway!

Enter below and Good Luck!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chanukah in Box and other Reviews

Below are some products I have reviewed for Chanukah along with links to where to purchase them- enjoy!

      Chanukkah In a Box Family Fun Kit from Jewish Holidays in a Box {Buy it Here}
      Inside the box you will find:
      * Chanukkah Bingo Game (4 players + 1 caller)
      * 4 Dreidels
      * Chanukkah Recipes & Chanukkah Songs
      * Blessings Tutorial on CD
      * Core Concepts, Background, Glossary
      * Chanukkah Thank You Notes
      * Coloring Activities & Chanukkah Decorating Materials 
Chanukah Bingo Game {Buy It Here}

The Jewish Holidays-Stories of Empowerment, Activities and Games for Kids, Teens, Teachers and Parents {Buy it Here}

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Something about Sundays

In Deepak Chopras book The Spiritual Laws of Success, he calls Sundays "The Law of Pure Potentiality". 

The Zohar says that each day has its particular function (Zohar, part III, 94b)

In Hebrew, Sunday is called Yom Rishon, "the first day". Each Sunday is literally a first day, the first of a new time cycle which repeats, from the beginning. {source}

We are moms. We have SO much on our plates. We need to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for our families. We need to keep track of family appointments. We need to prepare our childrens school work and teach them. We need to plan outings and run errands.

After reading Rivka Carolines book From Frazzeled to Focused (about 50 times by now) one of her many many brilliant points that she makes is that running a home is a lot like running a business. 

We are the CEO's of our homes and to ensure a home that runs smoothly we need to make the necessary plans. My very wise father in law always says, "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Perfomance."

So thats where Sundays come in. Sunday is the first day of the week. It is a day that gives us time to prepare for the week ahead.

To ensure a week that runs as smooth as possible, make Sundays your friend. Set aside an hour or as much time as you are able to and plan the following things:
-Make a menu plan for the week and a shopping list to go with it
-Make sure any appointments are up on the calendar for you to see and make any necessary babysitting arrangements
-Plan your kids activities for the week, both Homeschool activities as well as outings. 
Put all this information up on the wall for you to see. Try it once, it will give your week an entirely new meaning even if you don't religiously stick to the plans.

Here's an example of what my weekly plan looks like:

Weekly Menu Plan:

Weekly School Plan:

If my weekly plans are helpful to you I am happy to post them weekly. Just remember, life happens and things happen so if things don't go exactly according to plan, its okay!

So here's to good planning and great performance!
Have a great and successful week,

Friday, November 15, 2013

Annual Homeschool Blog Awards- I'd LOVE your vote!

HSBA Vote for This Blog

I would LOVE your vote!
Click on the DOT to the left of the word DANIT
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click VOTE
Thats it!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful Shabbos!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our Favorite Jewish Kids apps!

Mish and Mush Creations - Jewish interactive story books, my kids LOVE them-

Hebrew Touch and Write - learn to write the Alef Bet with Ketchup! Slime! Frosting! A wonderful tool to help with reading and writing Hebrew in both script and print

Kids Siddur- very cute, a fun way for kids to practice and learn the different tefilos

Jewish Kids Videos- need I say more?

Bedtime Shema for Jewish Children- just a very sweet app I thought I would share

If you have any great Jewish Kids apps that you would like me to share here, let me know!

Have a wonderful week,

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Jewish Birthday Activity Pack and Mini Book

In honor of my munchkin's 6th birthday, here are 2 super fun activities we did with her friends at her birthday party today- enjoy!

Have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mini Jewish Homeschool Preschool Planner

It really helps to write things down and stick it up on the wall for you to see your own thoughts and whats going on in your life as well as whats going on in your mind.

This applies to how we run our homes and our Homeschool.

Here is a Mini Jewish Homeschool Preschool Planner- it will help give you an overview of your month, week and day. I have included a black and white copy. I hope it helps you organize your thoughts and helps in your Jewish homeschooling experience!

And if you haven't yet entered the Dot by Dot Giveaway, Click Here for a chance to win a copy of their fabulous Dot by Dot Hebrew Reading Book, Volume 2. Good Luck!

Have a wonderful week,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dot by Dot Vol.2 Review and Giveaway!

Okay ladies, moms, dads, Morahs, educators all over... I am officially in love with these Kriya books.

We received our Dot by Dot Volume 2 today and it is fabulous. Click Here to see a few sample pages.

Colorful clear pages. Fun and educational activities. The kids really learn. And they really enjoy doing it. It is done in such a smart way. I love the fact that the words all mean something so as we read them I explain the translation. I love the stories and illustrations. I love the games.

If you are going to buy your child a Kriya workbook for the year, Click Here and get both Volumes (if you did not get Volume 1 already). And no, I am not getting paid to say this :) I just think that having a wonderful Kriya experience is such a treat and with these books, it really does that.

And guess what... you actually have a chance to win Dot by Dot Volume 2 by entering the Giveaway below :)

So go ahead and enter- I hope you win. And even if you don't win, you can head on over to their website HERE and get a free and adorable Kriya game delivered to your inbox every month. Yes, every month a new and exciting game for your little tyke. Who has the best mommy ever?

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great week,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Adorable Well Project for Parshas Chayei Sara

For this weeks Parshah, my son was set on making a REAL Well (one that he could actually put water into and draw it out with a bucket) but he also wanted to use his craft sticks which he really enjoys doing crafts with.

After a little research, I figured out a great idea where he could have a 'real' well and use his craft sticks too... what do you think?

Here are some of the supplies we used:

Here are the steps to making your own Well:
1. Get an empty plastic water bottle and cut two squares out of the top sides of the water bottle.
2. Using craft sticks, glue them around the bottom of the water bottle as well as one on each side. We put rubber bands around the craft sticks while it was drying to keep them from sliding off. You can use a glue gun too, but my little guy wanted to do the gluing himself.
3. Once dry, using a hole puncher, punch a hole in the plastic next to the tops of each craft stick used to support the bucket (see photo above).
4. Using a thin stick (we used a broken paint brush) tie a string/piece of ribbon to the top and attach a mini bucket (we used a mini mug) to the bottom of the string.
5. Stick the stick with the bucket through the holes, fill the well up with water, and voila! There you have it :)

Hope you are enjoying your week,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Creating a Peaceful and Successful Home Learning Environment

Whether you have a specific room designated to Homeschooling or you use your kitchen table, there are a few things that I have found to be extremely helpful in creating a peaceful and enjoyable learning environment for our kids.

1. A Clean, Uncluttered, Organized Space

Notice in the above photos, the walls are pretty clear except for a few nice pictures , a black board and some shelves. No need for 20 different charts on the wall. It's a distraction and not necessary. 

There are not a lot of 'things' everywhere, it is very minimal, very uncluttered. Even if you have a lot of stuff, put away most of it in a closet or box. The less 'stuff' in the room, the more peaceful it feels to be there.

2. A Prepared Learning Environment

Whether you are doing things Montessori style or your own style, having a prepared environment is an absolute must. This means having all the supplies you will need for an activity readily available and accessible. 

Whatever your kids will need for the day should be ready and prepared. The time spent looking for a glue stick or blue crayon is a lot of time wasted and they can lose those precious moments of concentration very quickly.

Here's a look at my daughter's (age 6) Workbook Station:

Each box has a number on it. She can choose any order she wants to do it in and needs to do at least one page in each Workbook per day. Very often she will do more then one, and sometimes she will skip a book if she doesn't want to do it. I give her that liberty and she really doesn't abuse it. Once she has done a book, she puts a check on it using a card with Velcro attached to it. She loves putting her checks up.

Here's a peek at whats inside each drawer:
 Clockwise from the top:
1. Hebrew Handwriting (from the Chabad Shluchim Office)
2. Fun Hebrew Words activities (from the Chabad Shluchim Office)
3. English reading books (she picks which books she wants to read) {buy it}
4. Math {buy it}

Notice how every drawer has whatever supplies she would need for each book. This is a great system as she can get straight to work without having to look for a pencil or crayons.

Her workbooks usually take up about 45 minutes of her day, at the most.

With a clean, uncluttered, organized space and a prepared learning environment, you are sure to have success in your Homeschooling experience!

Good Luck and have a wonderful week!
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