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.