Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Week of Learning

It's been a great week! With three weeks under our belt now, it's getting much more streamlined and we actually finished everything I had planned to achieve by Wednesday!

Here's what we did:

Tefillah: modeh ani, negel vasser, reishit chochmah, tzitzit, mah tovu, torah tsiva, shema (this week we'll add the torah blessings and asher yatzar - the blessing for after using the bathroom when we thank Hashem that all of our openings function properly!!)

Kriyah: We did dalet to yud in our kriyah (Hebrew reading) book. 7 letters! We're almost half-way through the book. Yay.

Songs: B'yom echad (song about the 7 days of creation), several Rosh Hashanah songs, Yom rishon avodah (about how days 1-6 are for resting and day 7 is for resting), Yom huledet sameach (Happy Birthday - Rosh Hashanah celebrates the birthday of the world)

Hebrew: in addition to songs, worked on birthday vocabulary (party, candles, presents, the verb "to give" (presents/torah/etc.) plus Rosh Hashanah vocabulary.

Parsha: read our parsha book and stories from our Little Midrash book; we're almost to the end of the whole torah!! Moshe had this new generation of Jews who were not present at Har Sinai to once again swear that they would follow the torah; if not, they would be kicked out of the land of Israel which they are about to enter.

Rosh Hashanah concepts we covered:

Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year"

Hashem is the Melech (King) and is especially close to us during this month of Elul and wants us to do teshuva for things we didn't do right this year

Teshuva means recognizing a mistake, apologizing to the person or to Hashem (depending on what the oops was), and then not doing the same oops again when the same situation arises

The shofar is a mitzva in the torah; it calls out to wake us up, remind us to do teshuvah, and announce the coming of the King (tomorrow, we'll learn the different names of the different blasts - there are 4 different kinds).

We've been keeping a scale in the house. Every time we do an aveiro (an oops) we put a dubon (teddy bear counter) on the aveiro side; every time we do a mitzvah (commandment) or a chesed (kindness) we put a dubon on the other side. We also get a dubon for tefillah (prayer) and tzedaka (charity). We hope that by Rosh Hashanah the chesed side is heavier than the aveiro side! This is the same way Hashem measures us before Rosh Hashanah.

We made a Rosh Hashanah table out of a shoe box, used wallpaper to make the tableloth and cut out pictures of all the things that go on the table. Tomorrow we'll be discussing the different symbolic foods that will be on the Rosh Hashanah table!

We did a Little House on the Prairie/Rosh Hashanah project - we took an apple and are in the middle of piercing it all over with cloves. Then we'll toss it with some cinnamon, just like ma did to make the kitchen smell nice. We can also use it for havdalah, the ceremony that bids farewell to shabbat on Saturday night (the aroma of the spices cheers us up as the "extra soul" we all receive during shabbat departs).

We finished Lesson 42 in our reading book. 58 lessons to go! :)

In writing, she suddenly decided to do a WHOLE BUNCH and she did some of nearly every page! We'll just keep filling in all the blanks, then integrate writing into our other subjects, I think... I have to do some more research still on the next step in writing.

We finished Kindergarten math. We'll put formal math on hold through October since there are so many holidays. We'll pick up with the first grade book at the end of the month. We'll keep our time-telling and money-counting and measuring skills fresh in the context of normal day-to-day life. (It's amazing how much is learned in informal contexts! The best part of homeschooling.)

We finished reading Little House on the Prairie. Have I said how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I knew I liked it a lot, but I am enthralled again. It's such a great example of a really good family. Pa is such a good pa, and ma is such a good ma!!! The family works together for the greater good, and misfortune is met with optimism and moving on. I'll have to do a whole separate entry on this series of books. It's also really renewed my desire to do another round of intense decluttering. Especially when she wrote that ma fit all their clothes into two carpet bags. Even our modest lifestyle is so luxurious. OY!

We also had fun outings to the library (the famous OOPS), and to the zoo on Thursday. What a great week.

Wishing everyone a good, sweet, happy new year!!!!!!

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