Mommy update, (monthly report?)

1 December 2011

This blogging thing is not going really well… I find myself postponing the updates week after week. School is going just fine though.

A lot happened since last time I blogged and I guess the being busy with life was part of the reason I didn’t blog. I painted parts of the house, winter hit us, I sew a lot of clothes for the baby, we went to the library, the kids got to use their new rainboots and raincoats and played with friends, and of course we did a lot in school. Here is some of it…

About a month ago we had a theme week on Noah’s, where we learned about Noah from the Torah, and also did crafts related to it, and even some English with a short story from a childrens Bible in English. We drew a big Noahs ark and made a lot of animals from playdough. We added some lego and plastic animals too. These photos are from the same day we did the ark. We still have it up, and there is around three times more animals now than a month ago. The kids are sure creative…

HEBREW: Prof completed the first package of Tsa’ad Tsaad, and the first package of Eshkolit. This means he is almost half way through the curriculum for second grade after only 1/3 of the schoolyear. We will need to add some more in the end of the year. He is doing most things easily without any problem. Hopefully the next package will be more of a challenge…

Snoopy is doing well in her reading. She really likes reading and practices a lot. She already reached a level where she is joining us reading even in the Science and Torah textbooks!! She is also most of the time reading independently what to do in her Hebrew and Math books. She just finished Bli Sodot 3.

MATH: Prof has been working with multiplication, and now moved on to addition and subtraction of numbers bigger than 100. Snoopy just started subraction 0-10.

SCIENCE: In science we study natural environments and artificial environments and what we find in them, who lives/what grows in them.

TORAH: We learned about Cain and Abel, Noah and the  Tower of Babylon, and now moved on to Abraham. We are going to stay with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for 3-4 months now.

SWEDISH: We started a whole new concept in Swedish, since I realized we didn’t really get anywhere. We have chosen a book about Pettson and Findus, (Pancake Pie) a story they already know. Twice a week we go through around half a page. They do their best trying to read, and I fill in where it is needed. When we are done, they write 5-8 words from that page. We are not yet half way through the book, and both of them are really close to reading independently. A few more weeks and they will be there! We are of course planning on baking a pancake pie as soon as we are done with the book!

ENGLISH: We went on to unit 2, and started learning classroom words. The fact that they know almost all letters from Swedish now, makes English easier too.

I should probably say something about Hugsy too. She is running through her workbooks as usual. Right now she is working on the preparation for first grade-book and everything is easy for her. This very same book her brother and sister who went to kindergarten, were ready for only at age of 5-5½. Hugsy just turned four and nothing stops her. Gotta love homeschooling!!

Hugsy also really loves a new game we got for them. It is called Shalom kita alef (Hello first grade) and has pretty much everything a child needs to know to be ready for school – including a lot that is on actual first grade level. It has a book with almost a hundred cards. There is tracing of letters, numbers and shapes, and copying of shapes where you work with an eraseable marker. There is also math, organizing according to size, patterns etc, where you mark the answers with plastic frogs in different colors and then check the right answers on the back of each card. The game contains a lot of IQ developing things to and all three of them love it. We have a new spelling game that they work a lot with too. A few weeks with this game and they will for sure never spell those words wrong again… Next year we will introduce them to scrabble!!


A Daddy update

18 November 2011

I haven’t updated in a while, so here we go. Updates for October 28th, November 4th, 11th and 18th (today). I am currently in the break between lessons, so I thought I’d utilize the opportunity.

In Parashat haShavua we have opened up the Torah scroll every week and read parts from it. I am relying partly on the teachings that are published on the Bible Society website, but also adding some of my own. So it’s been Noah, Lech Lecha, vaYira, and today we spoke of Chayey Sara.

In the Bible class I made a presentation of small symbolic pictures and a description of each book in the Bible. We’ve gone through the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and today we did the historic books of the NT (Matthew through Acts). Next week will be the last one, and we’ll go through the letters and Revelation. I write a short summary of each book, without writing the name of the book, and let prof read and match it to the correct book. Snoopy colors the small pictures, and Hugsy gets her own coloring pictures. We now have 4 different cut-and-glued Bible presentations on our wall, and there’s one more to come next week. Although for the letters I will probably generalize to make one picture per section. “Paul’s letters to congregations – Paul’s letters to people – Hebrews – General letters – Revelation”.

In the NT class we’ve kept talking about Yeshuas deeds and miracles. Silencing the storm and throwing out legion, Feeding 5,000 and walking on water, the rich man and the eye of the needle, Bartholomew, Sending out disciples to the towns, Peter’s confession of Yeshua as the Messiah, Let the Children come to me. And today, after the break, we will read about Zachary, the expulsion of the traders from the temple, and the death of Yochanan the baptist.

In Hebrew Litterature we’ve only had two lessons. One on October 28th, and we finally got back to the subject of friendship (which we dealt with before the holidays, but put aside in favor of holidays during the high season). Last week, however, on the 11th, it was the Friday closest to the memorial day of Yitshak Rabin, so I spent that lesson reading the stories in their book about Rabin, and teaching them about the background to the conflict in our area. We spoke about the murder, I told my personal story of where I was when I first heard about it, how horrible wrong it is to kill someone, but also explaining the background to it. That Rabin’s idea of a solution to the conflict was a dangerous failure.

In Social Sciences we’ve also only had two lessons (actually one, because the second one is today). We continue with talking about different professions, why people work, etc. We’ll keep going with that today.

In addition to the above, I’ve also expanded the morning prayer. We now start with the Shma, then Adon Olam, then we say the “hama’avir sheina mi’eynay”, and then the kaddish. After that we say Birkat haShanim. Today I added the Hebrew translation of “Amazing Grace”. I explained to the kids that even though the siddur has a lot of beautiful prayers, they are failing in that they are not focusing on the Messiah. The gospel has to be in the center of our life, so I wanted to add this song that emphasizes God’s amazing grace to us. I also told them a little about the background of the composition of the song.

In addition to this, I’ve also started to take the time whenever possible, when I see that there’s time over in the homeschooling schedule, and read through the book of Proverbs and the 1st letter of John with them, verse by verse. Only a few verses every week. This way they will get a deeper knowledge of what we find in the non-story parts of the Bible, and will be able to apply the Godly principles in it in their daily life.

Update: In Social Science, when talking about employment and work, we spoke of the hard work the first Zionist pioneers did 130 years ago, and watched this pioneeric work song by Hayim Nahman Bialik:



Mommy update

29 October 2011

I think you can tell already who is good at updating the blog. Hubby is teaching only 1/5 in our homeschool. But he is writing three times more than I do on the blog.

It will be impossible for me now to update on everything we did the last few weeks because we did a lot.

HEBREW: Prof went through an entire chapter in the “Simanim baDerech” – a chapter that dealt with invitations to birthday parties, weddings etc. He got to compare different invitations and learn to write his own. What information is important in an invitation and what is supposed to be in the beginning, in the middle and in the end.
He also completed a workbook about verbs, and read a few booklets and answered questions.
Snoopy completed bli sodot number two, finished learning all the vowel dots and dashes and learned reading. She did two spelling tests too and is gaining some confidence in writing on her own without looking how to spell each and every word.

In math we go on according to the books…

In SCIENCE we finished learning about the fall and went back to “signs of life”. Snoopy is now joining us in reading and answering the questions that belong to every chapter. We are learning mainly from the book for second grade and this was to hard for her in the beginning. But now that she is reading and writing better, we don’t have a problem anymore. We are right now learning about communication, but will now take a weeks break from Science to work with other things.

In Swedish we realized we need two lessons a week instead of one. Prof is pretty close to start reading in Swedish and he just can’t wait. He is getting bored because we don’t have enough books in Hebrew. We have a lot and we also go to the library every two weeks where he can take ten books. Not enough for him! He is reading a lot! (He can finish a book with 150 pages in one day) If he would start reading in Swedish we have a few shelves with appropriate books for him to read.
The girls need more time to work with the letters, so we will be working on different levels.

We also had our first lesson in learning to tell time. I know this will come up in math later. But I think it is too late to learn to tell time only in the end of second grade.

In Torah we finished learning about Gan Eden and also about Cain and Abel. These were heavy chapters with a lot of reading and a lot of difficult words in ancient Hebrew. In Torah class it is not only about learning the bible stories – but also to actually learn to understand the biblical Hebrew.  The stories themselves and the meaning of them and the parellel to the New Testament, Hubby is teaching more about in Parashat haShavua and bible class.

We did a lot more than this but you’ll all fall asleep if I tell you everything!

Next week we are going to take a break from our regular activities and classes and do a theme week on Noah. Right now is Parashat Noach, and we just reached Noah in the Torah studies. We are a couple of weeks ahead in some of the regular subjects so the timing is perfect to do a theme week.


A Daddy update for Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet

25 October 2011

Last week we again had two lessons. One for the holiday eve of Shmini Atseret, or Simchat Torah, on the 19th, and then on the Friday, the 21st.

On Simchat Torah we again had only one lesson about the holiday, one lesson of New Testament, and another of literature. For the holiday lesson I put on my Talith and showed them our Torah scroll (it’s a printed paper-torah scroll, not a real handwritten Torah scroll on animal skin that they use in the synagogues, those are way too expensive for us). I got their help to roll it back to the beginning, to show that this is the day we start reading from the beginning. We spoke about the holiday, and then I put up this sketch for them.

Since this day also is Hoshana Raba, the last day of Sukkot, it is also the day of Simchat Beit haShoava, when they used to have a water ceremony in the temple. So in the New Testament lesson we started with how Yeshua stood up in the temple in the middle of the Simchat Beit haShoava on the “last great day of the feast” in John 7, and said that “I am the water of life”. After that we read the story of the man who came to Yeshua through the roof (we acted it out with a sheet, and Hugsy got to be the one in the sheet), and lastly we spoke of how Yeshua’s disciples picked straws in the field, and it was seen as a sin by the pharisees, and Yeshua answers them by mentioning the bread in the tabernacle. I used this to tell them about how the Jewish interpretation of the Torah had evolved into the 39 “avot hamelacha”, and why the prohibition of picking straws was linked to the bread in the tabernacle (and that’s why Yeshua mentioned it), and that that is also the reason we tell them not to climb trees on Shabbat when they are around their Jewish religious friends (since climbing trees can make leaves fall off, it falls under the same category)

In literature we saw pictures about the holiday, read about what the Bible says about the holiday, and sang the songs:


On the Friday after that, it was the Shabbat of the first Torah-reading in the synagogues, Beresheet. From this Friday and onwards we will have a lesson on this weeks parasha. So we read parts of the parasha, which they knew well from the Torah classes with their Mom. We spoke of the falling in sin, the promise of the Messiah, and how human kind got more and more corrupted to the point of Noah which will come next week.We read in the Haftara (prophet reading) of Isaiah 53 and noted specifically that God has no beginning and no end. We also read, connected to the creation, from Psalm 139 and Rev 21:1-5, 22:1-5.

In the Bible class we looked on the Bible from a very general point of view this time, as we just finished the “Big Picture Story Bible” last week. We went through the parts (Torah-Prophets-Writings-New Testament) one by one. To my help I created an excel file where I made one cell for each book and colored them in different colors (an idea I got from a book in English, but I couldn’t use that since Christians still insist on putting the Old Testament books in the Septuagint order).  We also sang the song we learned last week, pointing to the books in the file. Last bu not least, we took a general look at the time of the bible through the amazing interactive timeline they have at the mikra-gesher website.

In the NT lesson we spoke of the “Talitha Koumi”-story, the resurrection of the widow’s son, and the servant of the Roman officer.

Finally, we also had some Moledet – social science. This time it was about different professions, what kind of professions there are, what they do, etc. They got to think of professions they like and like to write about, and thought of the different things there are.


Protected: Photo from the Simhat Torah class yesterday

20 October 2011

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Sukkot lessons etc – Daddy update

19 October 2011

On the 12th and 14th of October I had lessons with the kids. On the 12th it was the Sukkot lessons, and on the 14th, the first “regular” class since a long time.

In Sukkot class we spoke of the meaning of Sukkot, read Leviticus 23:40 and onwards, basically using the teachings here (but a more kiddie approach). We also watched this short movie.

In the NT class we learned the stories of the Beth Hesda pool, Yeshua’s entering to Jerusalem on the donkey, and about the Samaritan woman next to the well.

In Literature we read poems and songs about Sukkot, including Patish Masmer:


On the 14th we had a “regular class”. We finished “The big picture story Bible” and read the stories from right after the crucifiction until revelation. We also sang the song “BeReshit amar leShmot”, a song that goes through all the books o the Bible in Hebrew, including the New Testament (it’s part of the Messianic children’s DVD Giborey haEmunah)

In Literature we went through the stories of the holiday, a story of kids who didn’t have a yard and built their sukka on the roof instead, and the song Sukkatenu by Natan Alterman, (from 00:58 on this medley):

In the NT class we spoke of the 10 lepers, the born blind person and his parents (John 9), and the story of Lazarus.

In Social Science we started a new chapter that is about work and professions. This lessons was mostly about why people work.


Mommy update

18 October 2011

I know I have been bad at updating lately. That doesn’t mean we didn’t do anything, because we did! I have a couple of weeks to write about. Now the last week we have been off due to the holiday season. We are right now in the middle of Sukkot – the feast of tabernacles, and we will be back on schedule by Sunday. I hope to post about the last few weeks before we get there.

The kids don’t know how to take a week off from school though. They learn constantly. Prof is right now working on a list of countries and capitals in Europe. He is a little bit upset that we don’t have Geography on the schedule yet. That doesn’t stop him from learning though. We go to the library every two weeks and then he can take pretty much whatever he is interested in. This boy is going to become a walking “google” just like his dad.

Hugsy is working on her letters right now drawing animals and trying to write their names. She  is copying Snoopy’s drawings and cutting, gluing etc.
Snoopy is drawing, and drawing, and drawing. Lately she is copying characters from children’s books, and usually it is very obvious what character she tried to copy. I’d say she is very good at drawing to be only six years old. She wants to become a children’s books illustrator. I know children change their minds about what they want to work with a lot. But I definitely think she has the talent. She has already one “how to draw”-book and if she continues like this she will get more in the future.