Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Week of Learning

Ah.... a nice full week of learning. Life as normal. Yay.

Tefillah - just continuing our regular routine every morning; nothing new

Oral and written Hebrew are cruising right along, and Eli finished learning his alef bet! So I made a big alef and bet out of brownies for shabbat dessert on Friday. He loved it. We'll be working on vowels now. The alef bet only consists of consonants; vowels are only included under the letters for beginner readers. Tht wd b lk rdng Nglsh ths w. Vowels are helpful! We'll just go right along, and if he wants to just dive into Hebrew reading after that we'll do that. He can always learn his alphabet next year. :)

Parsha - we will finish the book of Bereishit (Genesis) this week! It was an action-packed week of torah readings... Yosef is now second-in-command in Egypt, and all of his brothers have come to Egypt and learned who he is. He got to see his father for the first time in a very long time. The Jews are settling in nicely... for now!

Mitzvah of the week - we just reviewed and summarized the laws of Channukah, having just completed the holiday on Monday

Melacha of the week - we studied the melacha of dosh AKA threshing. Threshing removes the edible part of the wheat from the non-edible part. Anything that resembles this act, as in anything that involves extracting an item from its natural container, is also prohibited. Amirah thought it was hysterically funny that milking a cow fell under this melacha. The fact that we would drink the milk, but leave the cow behind just got her funny bone. Goes for nuts too.

Middah of the week - we studied the middah of busha, embarassment. This is the little voice inside of us that tells us right from wrong. Busha will (usually) prevent us from doing the wrong thing. Lower levels of busha come from being afraid someone will catch us doing something in the world out there that we're not supposed to do. Higher levels of busha include refraining from doing something because G-d will see us doing it.

Reading - we're continuing just rolling around in the Grade 1 Hooked on Phonics books. It's still review pretty much, but it's working well for now. We'll continue this in the coming week.

Writing - copying short sentences based on the Little House books was a huge hit! We'll do some more in the coming week.

Math - Math is still good. It seems to go on for pages and pages and pages in a row of very similar addition and subtraction activities (each one ever so slightly more complicated, but it is awfully repetitive). We're jumping around a little, picking out other pages in other parts of the book, many of which are pretty easy for her. Things like ordering a bunch of pictures into chronological order. Ordering things by size or height. Telling time. So this week, we'll do a page of addition/subtraction (about 12 problems) + a page from elsewhere in the book.

Readaloud - we just finished These Happy Golden Years. Almanzo has wooed and wed Laura, and she has now moved out to his homestead. What a magnificent series. We can't wait to start the last one.

Art - mostly lots of drawing projects. Dean really wants to lead a weekly drawing class after work settles down in a couple of weeks. We look forward to art time with papa!

Science - Amirah sees science everywhere. We don't even need to schedule it. Yesterday she came up to me and said, "Mama, I took a sample from one of my seashells and I would really like to look at it under the microscope." She just thinks this way all the time. We were watching a BBC clip on YouTube about the deep ocean, specifically about the large night-time migration of the deep sea creatures that rise up to the shallower waters to feed. A 2-second clip of shiny golden creatures went by and with a puzzled voice she exclaimed, "Squid don't go up to the shallows to feed. They go there to breed!" I don't know if that's correct or not, but it just illustrates how she is constantly taking in all this information and filing it away. She definitely has a huge love for science, biology in particular.

Outings - we had a great day at the zoo on Wednesday even though it was only 39 degrees. Very few people. Thursday night A&E spent the night with their cousins, which is always a hit for them. Friday their tia took them to the zoo and brought them home around 3:00. At first I thought I would get TONS of cleaning done in addition to cooking since I only had 2 kids, but NOPE! It was no easier; it's the 2 littles that make most of the work! :)

Shabbat was nice, and now a new week is beginning. Tomorrow morning Amirah has another playdate which I'm sure she'll enjoy and in the afternoon we'll go on an owl hike at Tryon Creek State Park. And poor papa will go to work and work, work, work. The school term starts Monday, so he'll be pretty busy.

Should be a pretty good week!

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