Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hanukah - Boneh Ani Hanukiya

We started the lesson as usual by going over the calendar -- today is the last day of the month of Kislev!  Tonight we start the month of Tevet.  Then we sang some Hanukah songs.  Since yesterday's theme was the Sevivon, I figured today can be the Hanukiya:

Boneh ani Hanukiya                                               I am building a Hanukiya
Hineh adlika esh                                                    Here I shall light a fire:
    Zeret miyamin, zeret mismol,                                   Pinky on the right, pinky on the left
    Shnei nerot li yesh                                                   I have 2 candles!

Boneh ani Hanukiya
Hineh adlika esh
    Kmitza miyamin, kmitza mismol,                               Ring finger on the right, ring finger on the left
    Arba'a nerot li yesh                                                  I have 4 candles!

Boneh ani Hanukiya
Hineh adlika esh
    Ama miyamin, ama mismol,                                      Middle finger on the right, middle finger on the left
    Shisha nerot li yesh                                                    I have 6 candles!

Boneh ani Hanukiya
Hineh adlika esh
    Etzba miyamin, etzba mismol,                                   Pointer on the right, pointer on the left
    Shmona nerot li yesh                                                I have 8 candles!

Boneh ani Hanukiya
Hineh adlika esh
    Agudal miyamin, Agudal mismol,                              Thumb on the right, thumb on the left
    Vegam shamash li yesh                                             I have a Shamash (helper candle) too!

Then we got to work making it!

First, we traced his hands on the paper, with the thumbs overlapping to make the Shamash.  He traced his left hand himself, but needed help tracing his right hand (since he is right handed).  So I didn't have a free hand to take a picture.  Then he numbered the candles 1 thru 8, and wrote "Shamash" in the proper place.  He did not want to color it in though, preferring to make candles.  More opportunities for ruler and scissor work!

Then I put little loops of scotch tape on each finger, and he matched the paper candles to each one:

Sixth candle will be tonight!

Can you see the little pocket with the last 2 candles?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hanukah - Sevivon Sov Sov Sov

Haven't been blogging, but have certainly been working and learning!

On this 4th day of Hanukah, I suggested to M that we can make our own sevivon (dreidl).  He was quite excited about the idea. I took a piece of heavy cardstock, and showed him how I use a ruler to make 2 straight parallel lines:

I also showed him how I mark off every 2 inches on each line, then connect them to make the squares. We then counted them off to show the even numbers 2, 4, 6, 8.

Then we made the triangles,  by first measuring off the vertices on the odd numbers: 1, 3, 5, 7.  M then wanted to practice connecting the dots with the ruler himself:

I made the stems,  and then we got markers to copy the letters from the "real" sevivon:

Of course, the colors must match!  We went over what the letters stand for several times: Nes Gadol Haya Sham:

Finally, it was time to cut out the whole template:

And here he is, singing "Sevivon, Sov, Sov, Sov!" with his very own Sevivon:

Chag Sameach!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The New Year has begun!

Happy New Year!

Yes, he copied that!

 So far, we have not quite gotten into a regular routine, but we are doing school at least 2-3 times a week.  M loves the calendar work.  He counts up the days on the calendar each day (both the regular and Hebrew calendars) and likes to identify the day of the week in both languages as well.  He also enjoys reading the daily verse, and is even trying to do the trope with it!

This was last week's verse: "Let the Heavens listen and I shall speak, and may the earth hear my words."
For Yom Kippur, the boys traced the toy shofar on cardstock.  Then R colored his in until he got bored and just wanted to make noise.....typical....

M, meantime, copied the word "Shofar" onto his cardstock, then carefully cut out the shape:

Notice the ever-helpful stuffed lion.

For Sukkot, of course, we made paper chains.  R impressed me by being able to both thread the paper strips through the loops and push hard on the stapler.  He even got the feel for the scissors, to the point that he started wanting to be independent with it.  Not yet, sorry.....   M, on the other hand, could cut the strips pretty straight himself, then thread them through the loops, put the ends together, AND push down on the stapler.  All I had to do was hold the loop in the stapler, since I don't want any little fingers getting stapled....

Oh, and M also counted the loops each time we added them on.  He looooves counting!

Chag sameach!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First week of school - Ki Tavo

The first week of school will start after Labor Day.  Public school doesn't start until Thursday September 6.  The parsha for that week is Ki Tavo in Deuteronomy.  The verse I will introduce on Thursday is Deuteronomy 28:6:

Blessed will you be when you come and blessed when you go.
Baruch atah bevo'echa uvaruch atah betsetecha.

 On Friday I have an appointment in the morning, so I don't think we will do playgroup that first week.
Playgroup will start on Tuesday, September 11, which will actually be M's birthday, so we will do a birthday party kickoff!

Rough schedule

Introduce the week's parsha:  Read an age-appropriate synopsis, and put up a verse on the board to read together.  M will be encouraged to read it out loud each day.
Go swimming!

Playgroup day!
Arts and crafts, centered around holidays or Torah themes if appropriate.
Outside time.

Music: Drumming, piano, etc.
Go swimming!

Review the Parsha, copy the week's verse,
Math lesson.
Outside time.

Playgroup day!
Shabbat prep -- making challah and singing shabbat songs.
Outside time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Planning for September

Well, it's August now, so I'm thinking what I want to do in the fall.  I'm not even sure I want to do a full-scale playgroup, much less preschool.  I want to focus on homeschooling M and R, and really developing the curriculum for them.  Maybe have a playgroup day on Friday, to make challah and sing Shabbat songs with friends?

Here are my priorities:

1.  Maintain a morning routine:  Songs, prayers, circle time, lesson, snack, playtime
2.  Skills:  Reading for information and entertainment.  Library day?
3.  Judaism:  Each week, pick a verse of Torah from the week's reading, write it in big print, and put it up for M and R to study.  R should be able to pick out letters, and start to sound out simple words.  M should start gaining fluency with reading words, and understanding the meaning of the sentence.   We will also talk about the themes from the Torah portion.
4.  Art:  M is gaining leaps and bounds in both drawing and scissors work.  R is trying really hard to catch up to him!  Create opportunities for both of them to work on these skills together with other curriculum themes
5.  Calendar and time:  Include in circle time.  Stick to a clock schedule for activities to instill sense of time and reading the clock   Integrate math into this part of the curriculum.
6.  Swimming:  I want to take the boys swimming at least twice a week to encourage developing comfort in the water and swimming skills.  The schedule of the YMCA pool will really drive this.

I would like to also include some music in a more formal way.  Drum rhythms, beginning piano, etc.  Not sure yet what it would look like.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Almost summertime!

As the year draws to a close, we review our accomplishments.

In math, M has been learning about measurement:

As well as addition and subtraction:

And anything M does, R wants to do, too:

R's scribbling is getting better, as well:

We also made some good friends this year:

And together, we brought back the sunshine on a rainy day:

M wanted to make sure everybody knew what he was doing:
In Hebrew
and in English!

See, it worked!

Have a great summer!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Springtime fun

Last week we continued counting the Omer, but we also had some laid-back outside time in the lovely spring weather:

Luli shabluli!
We also had to deal with a flat tire..... Which gave the boys an opportunity to learn all about the fish in the Direct Tire aquarium:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Art and Lag BaOmer

On Monday, the boys discovered where I keep the paints.  So that pretty much decided what we are doing for our lesson that day....


The boys clearly expressed each his own individual style:

We have been counting the Omer with them (they love counting!), but for Lag BaOmer I wanted to do more art, since they are enjoying the different media so much.  Our pal E joined us for making bonfire collages:

Then we enjoyed the beautiful spring weather to look for little growing and crawling things in the yard:

....or are they just using the dirt as another medium for their artwork?

And of course, R can't resist the tetherball!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Israel's birthday

 Last week was Israeli Independence Day.  First, however, M wanted to continue the study of flowers.  He wanted to draw the flower model with markers.  First, I drew it for him on the dry-erase board, and labeled all the parts, so he could read the words.

Then, he got to work copying the picture.

I think his is better, personally.....

On Tuesday, for the math lesson, I prepared a flower skeleton, and M prepared the numbered petals, which could then be plucked off the flower to model subtraction:

To celebrate Israel, we played a matching game with a map of Israel.  Both M and R had fun with this: