Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Our Jewish Homeschool Preschool Curriculum 5776/2015-2016

My babies are officially Preschoolers and want to 'do school' like their older siblings.
So here is our Jewish Homeschool Preschool Curriculum for this coming year, hope you find it helpful!


I will go through each subject in more detail:

Davening


We use The Chabad  Children's Siddur. They have a boys one and a girls version. We love it because there are beautiful colorful pictures on almost every page and the letters are nice and big for little ones to learn to recognize the words and letters. Click Here to buy it Online.

We used to use My Sing Along Siddur with the CD to go along with it and my kids absolutely LOVED it. But as they got older, they wanted to be like their older siblings and have 'big kid' siddurs, so there we have it.

Hebrew Reading



I have used the above books with ALL my kids and they have loved them.

Hebrew Writing
I don't like to do a lot of writing with my preschoolers as I prefer to build up their fine motor skills so they will be ready to write by 6-7.

Here is a great book I made on ways to Explore the Hebrew Alphabet through fun fine motor skills and activities:


Parshah


We love love love these books! I print a lot of coloring pages from www.Chinuch.org and feel free to search my blog for ideas of projects and sensory bins for the Parshahs of each week.

Holidays

And depending on the month, I like to read story books, cook and bake foods for that holiday with the kids, print coloring sheets and do fun hands on projects which you will find here on the blog.

Now remember- at this age, it is really not your job to drill facts into their little brains. This is the age for them to explore and play and develop a love for learning. In my opinion, playtime should be more of a focus then school time at this stage. After davening, go play outside on the swings. Do a page of Alef Beis under a tree on a blanket. Read about the Parshah while all snuggled up on the couch before bedtime. While baking honey cakes for Rosh Hashanah, let the little ones help.

Preschool is a time of magical growth and discovery- don't stunt it because of your personal agenda to have your child reading Hebrew by age 5. And if they are reading Hebrew by age 5 because it is something they LOVE to do, by all means, read away- but every healthy child will learn to read and write at their own pace, trust them and trust yourself.

Good Luck with the New Year and I look forward to posting a Review on what looks like an incredible Davening Curriculum very soon!

Enjoy your week!
Always,




Monday, August 24, 2015

Elul- Helping our Kids connect to Hashem

Its that time of year again, where we teach our kids about The King in the Field and how Hashem is so accessible to all of us during this month.

We read stories and color pictures but how do we actually teach our kids how to connect to Hashem when He is so close to us?

This was something I was personally struggling with and after speaking with someone very wise and close to me, she suggested I write a letter to Hashem. Thank Him for all the things I am thankful for. Tell him what you are doing to connect to Him. Ask Him for what I need. And don't be shy about it.

It sounded a bit strange at first, but I did it. And it felt amazing.

And so I figured, why not give my kids the chance to do it, on a very simple level.

I made a template for them and we all sat down this morning and discussed ways to connect to Hashem. They all got their paper and for about 20 minutes were very deep in thought writing down or drawing (depending on their age) what they were thankful for, what they are doing to make Hashem proud and then their personal requests. I told them it was their private letters and gave them each their own folder to keep it in. I made a bunch of copies and decided to use these this month, before we daven.

They really enjoyed it and I think they really felt the connection in a very real way.


Happy Elul,
Always,



Monday, July 13, 2015

Improve your son's learning skills this summer

I know I have mentioned in the past what a great experience we had with online tutoring with Rabbi Levi Eisenberg- I just saw this and really had to share as I know there are many moms out there whose boys could really use the extra help this summer to prepare for the coming school year-
Hope its helpful!

***
Great Summer Option!

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Each course builds:
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Contact Shreiber Learning today to discuss your goals, or to schedule a FREE sample lesson:
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Shreiber Learning's courses are designed and taught by Rabbi Levi Eisenberg M.S. Ed. Rebbi at Cheder Menachem Los Angeles, CA.

***

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Facebook and Instagram Don't Always Lie

Today I took my kids to the beach. Its a 10 minute drive to one of the most crystal clear most magnificent beaches on the planet which we feel very blessed to be able to see from our kitchen window.

In the car on the way down, the kids fought like cats and dogs. I actually pulled over and threatened to turn around if the fighting didn't stop. Yes, I'm THAT mom. And lets just say they were silent for the rest of the ride.

We got to the beach, the kids took their tubes, boats, floats, shovels etc. and raced into the water and had a ball for the next hour. 

Now, during that hour there were a few fights over who was using the pink tube or the blue pale. One of the kids blow up tubes went flying down the beach only to be caught by a surfer guy who brought it back to me while making sure to give me a full on lecture on how bad these toys are for the ocean if they get blown far into the water or blow down the beach and never retrieved all while I was making sure to keep an eye on every one of my children frolicking in the ocean or burying each other in sand.

We headed back to the car and as much as I rinsed the kids off, the car somehow was full of sand when we got home so I had to shake out all the carseats and carpets while the kids took the hose and hosed down all the beach toys and goggles and shoes. They then all ran to the shower fighting over who was going in first followed by me making lunch for the starving crew.

While on the beach, I snapped a few photos of the kids in their element, floating in the crystal clear water, building sand castles and looking all adorable. I posted them on Instagram only to get tons of likes and positive comments, especially ones like 'you're so lucky you live there!' 'such happy cute kids!'


My first thought was, 'wow, this is really is false advertising! No one knows about the fights  and the annoying surfer dude who also lives here, the car full of sand and how exhausted I was when I got home!'

And it made me think of all those times we see eachothers photos on Facebook or Instagram thinking how everyone else's life is so perfect or at least close.

But then I realized, those moments of my kids in the water, building their sand castles- those were truly perfect moments and I am so glad I captured them. My entire morning was so far from perfect but I wanted to remember the perfect moments. And I wanted to share them.

So don't feel bad capturing and sharing your perfect moments- because thats all they are: moments. And make those special moments your memories, not the fights and what not.

Wishing you a summer filled with lots of special moments and may you capture and appreciate them all!

Always,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fabulous Book Review- Adina: My Design Sketchbook

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to review a copy of Adina: My Design Sketchbook by Yocheved Nadell.




Well, it wasn't exactly me who reviewed it, it was my 7 year old daughter and her BFF who was begging me to make her copies of the pages so she could make her own designs. Lets just say her mom purchased a copy on Amazon that day.

 
Here are some details about this Book:

* Design using 60+ stickers and 80+ starter sketches for your endless ideas.
* 14+ color fashion illustrations for inspiration!
* 14+ coloring figures for all levels to enjoy.
* 40+ color tutorial pages with easy to follow instructions.
* 110+ pages for hours of creativity and fun!

Fashion designers of all ages will love creating with Adina’s Design Sketchbook. The younger ones will find hours of fun in coloring the pages and decorating with the stickers. The older ones will be thrilled with the results they achieve using the design and illustration skills they will learn in the easy to follow tutorials!

There are different Models, each with a Jewish name which is really refreshing. My daughter absolutely LOVES this book, she can spend hours just coloring, designing, learning how to make designs and using the stickers.


Between you and I, I would totally enjoy it too. I think it says its for ages 8-100. I wish I had such a book as a kid as I spent hours designing outfits and here is your very own Design Sketchbook WITH different tutorials on denim, fabrics, accessories, hair styles, skin tones and so much more.


So now that you know what a fabulous book this is, go ahead and enter the GIVEAWAY- Yup, I said Giveaway!!! to win a copy of Adina: My Design Sketchbook for the sweetie in your life.
Good Luck!


And if you just can't wait to get a copy, do yourself and your daughter, niece, cousin or neighbor a favor and Click Here to order a bunch of copies of Adina: My Design Sketchbook---
Absolutely worth every penny.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Always,




Friday, June 19, 2015

It's been a while!

Hey! So yes, it has been a while since my last blog post-
Between broken lap tops, broken keyboards, hubby going out of town, mom exhausted, the blogging just was not happening.

But-

I just received my brand new Macbook today, a gift from the hubs, and I am just so excited to get back into the blogosphere!

Over the past few months I recently reconnected with a dear friend from High School. Although we weren't very close, we always had a really nice relationship and always got along well.

After high school, we lost touch, but fast forward 18 years, throw in a husband for each of us and a bunch of adorable kids, and here we find ourselves both living in very remote places and homeschooling our kids.

I always knew she was a jolly and positive person, always smiling. What I did not know was how wise she was. How practical she was. How organized she was. I mean, she has this time management, home organization, homeschooling, family dynamic thing down! What a wealth of information and resources. I told her she needs to write a blog. She owes it to the world, in my humble opinion. When someone is so good at something, they need to share the wealth, right?

But she is a busy mom so I told her I would be her portal to the world through my blog.

So wonderful readers, I'd like to introduce to you Baila. My very dear and special friend who I now find myself chatting to almost every day discussing everything.

I plan to post a lot of her wisdom, ideas, charts, advice and more on my blog and I know you will love it!

Interestingly enough, the 3rd of Tammuz is this Shabbos. It will be the 21st Yahrzeit of the Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. The Rebbe was all about doing and making the absolute most of our lives. Doing as much good as we could possibly do, squeeze in as much productivity into our day that we possibly could. Even after he passed away, his followers did not go into a state of despair. They went into a state of 'what more can we do now?' 'What mitzvah campaigns can we start?' The Rebbe was all about inspiring others TO inspire others!

Baila has truly inspired me to be the best homemaker and wife I can possibly be. Her homemaking and organizational tips have changed my life- I am not kidding.

So on this Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, I say L'chaim to a new month, may we be able see the good in all situations, may we be blessed with people in our lives to help us see the good, may we be blessed to have good friends and the ability to see that all the important things in our lives are actually okay and the rest will ultimately all work out.

I'm back, it feels great and theres lots more to come!

Good Shabbos,
Always,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pressing the "Reset" Button

It was a full month before Pesach, cleaning, cooking, organizing and preparing.

It was a full week of Pesach, the Seders, hosting, cooking, entertaining and family trips.

Suddenly it all ends, and we need to get things back to normal, put away our dishes, get back into routine, back to life.

I am not sure why I have had such a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I felt like the second Pesach was over I was just running, with no direction, not stopping to catch my breathe, just going, going, going.


I didn't have time to plan my homeschool week so I was just winging it. All the kids have had different types of appointments making me feel so guilty when I leave them with the babysitter. I haven't planned my meals, or my days and I feel like I'm just going through the motions with no rhyme or reason.


But just like anything, when it just goes without stopping, its bound to either stop on its own or break. I figured that before I break, I better stop.


I learned from one of my organizing and time management Gurus Rivkah Caroline that sometimes you need to 'Take time to Make time'.

And so yesterday morning, I turned my phone off, sat down with my coffee. And I stopped.



I hit the reset button.

I refuse to continue like this. I just can't.

I realized its better to let the kids just play and do their thing for the morning so I can get my ducks in a row and head back on my shoulders then giving them a workbook so I feel good about myself that they did some 'work'.

It is all still a work in progress...

 



But I am feeling a lot better since I hit the breaks.

Everyone tells me that I'll blink and my kids will have grown up.
I feel that happened over the past 2 months.
I feel that my babies now want to join the big kids in their school work.
My kids are growing up and the dynamics are changing. 
So too, I need to change with them, and change is okay.


When we homeschool, the only rules we need to follow are the ones we impose on ourselves.
And sometimes we need to change those rules or make new ones.


So here is to new beginnings.


Lechaim, and Good Shabbos~

Always,
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