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!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Celebrating the Great Moments

I used to post lots of photos of my kids on my personal Facebook page. Birthday parties, cute new outfits, playing at the park.

A friend once commented how she loves how my kids are 'always happy'.

Um... yeah. That's because I don't post pictures of the fighting, the tantrums or the crying. I post pictures of the perfect little Princess on her 5th birthday, posing oh so cutely with her tiara and smile. Not the photo of the not so perfect Princess having a complete melt down from all the candy and cupcakes afterward.

When I first started Homeschooling, I would scour the internet for ideas of things to do with my little ones. I would stay up late preparing these adorable activities and crafts that looked so fun in the photos on the other mom blogs. I would be so excited for the day that lay ahead only to have my kids finish the activities in 5 minutes or have them not interested in doing it or one kid has a melt down because they are frustrated from trying to take a sticker off the paper... you get the picture.

So yes, its not easy. And there are enough real moms out there who are happy to say it like it is. Our kids are not perfect and neither are we.

But... as a mom and as a homeschooler, I can tell you that there are some really truly perfectly wonderful moments that you just don't want to miss out on. And just like we deal with and talk about the difficulties, it is so important to celebrate the pleasures.

I was sitting with my 7 year old this morning and we were learning this weeks Parshah from inside the Chumash. As he read the words and I helped him translate, his eyes just lit up. You could feel the pleasure he was getting from learning our precious Torah. And I savored that moment. 

Watching my 4 year old helping his little sisters come up with a compromise on who gets to have the stuffed rainbow fish and who gets to have the squishy giraffe was amazing. I took in that moment like a vanilla latte. 

So when you find one of those moments, enjoy it and take it in like you would a chocolate truffle.

Have a beautiful week,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Noah's Ark Mini Book for You!

Here is a very simple Noah's Ark Mini Book for little ones. Cut out the pages and staple them together to form a book. You can read it together, the munchkins can color the pictures and trace the lighter words in gray. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week!
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