Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book Review: RINA My Design Sketch Book


Yocheved Nadell has done it again.A few months ago my then 8 year old daughter reviewed Adina My Design Sketch Book . You can check it out here.

We received 2 copies of Rina My Design Sketch Book, one for my daughter and one for her best friend. The two of them were busy for hours. Here is what they said when I asked them what they thought:

'I loved decorating and designing the ballgowns. Also making their hair all fancy. I also loved the stickers and putting the whole outfit together.'

'I really liked the tutorials because they help you make  your own designs. I really liked Adina and Shira Design Books and I love this one too.'

Here are some of its features:
* Design using 60+ stickers and 80+ starter sketches for your endless ideas. 
* 14+ color fashion illustrations for inspiration! 
* 14+ coloring figures for all levels to enjoy. 
* 40+ color tutorial pages with easy to follow instructions. 
* 110+ pages for hours of creativity and fun! 

Younger kids will love coloring the pages and decorating with the stickers. Older kids will be thrilled with the results they achieve using the design and illustration skills they will learn in the easy to follow tutorials. Recommended for ages 8-120

You can purchase a copy of Rina My Design Sketch Book HERE or HERE.

This is such a wonderful book, I cannot recommend it enough!
Enjoy and have a wonderful week,
Always,







Monday, December 12, 2016

An Interview with a Homeschool Alumini

Meet my friend Devora. She is a beautiful, smart, funny and very spiritual woman in her early 20's. She was homeschooled until the age of 9 and is here to share her homeschooling experience with all us nervous mothers wondering and praying how our kids will turn out because we homeschooled them...

A Homeschooling Interview with Devora:
Me: Until what age were you Homeschooled? 
Devora: Until 3rd grade (9 years old).
M: What was your mothers teaching method? Did she follow a Curriculum? 
D: My mother visited different schools in different states and collected the curriculums to see what each grade level is up to. She took the information and lessons she wanted to give us and made it real and alive! For example, when learning about the Exodus from Egypt, the house was transformed into a dessert (we live in the Midwest). She put tarp on floor covered with sand on top, a huge sun mural on the wall and heaters to feel the desert heat. We also drove over to the hardware store and bought cement to make our own bricks at home. 
We would learn Chumash one on one in the morning followed by other Torah subjects. Then in the afternoon English, math and other secular subjects along with lots of extracurricular opportunities (I took ceramics, art, gymnastics, Karate, Basketball, ballet, ice skating with homeschoolers and drama. We had so much fun being outside, exploring nature… nature is the best playground! We'd go to amusement parks and museums for kids.
M: What did you enjoy about being homeschooled?  
D: I really enjoyed the freedom to blossom in a nurturing place, where parents are sensitively catering to each of their children's specific needs. Parents are always there to directly take care of any issue that might come up immediately and they are there to constantly create a loving and accepting atmosphere. Another aspect that's great about homeschooling is that children's curiosity is allowed to flow and the learning can be based on where the child's curiosity leads them. 
M: What were some of your biggest challenges being homeschooled? 
D: It was challenging that there were no kids like us, and my parents were worried that our lack of social experiences with children of the same age might affect us negatively.
M: How were those challenges overcome? 
D: It came naturally. By having an open and loving home and utilizing any sort of social experiences, it did not cause us to lack in our social skills.
M: Would you homeschool your children?
D: YES!! I cannot imagine not. My children would be nurtured in the best possible way by people who care about them the most and know each child’s individual needs. The parents set the tone of the environment the children are in and that is key! An accepting, genuine, open minded, free, adventurous feel along with  rules, values and morals let the curious and quick minds of children to express themselves and be the best they can be!
M: Where did you go after 3rd grade? 
D: To a Hebrew Academy for half a day (Judaic Studies) 1 ½ hours away and all secular subjects taught at home. By 5th grade I was a full day in the Hebrew Academy and by 6th grade (11 years old) I went away from home to school 6 hours away from home.
M: Were there any issues socially? 
D: Definitely no negative differences. More children in schools have issues from being bullied and there is no space and time to calm down or think. When in a safe environment the child could talk about their feelings, and be taught effective coping skills, good communication skills and model good examples.
M: What were the biggest challenges entering a mainstream school? 
D: Academically, I was not used to school rules and the classroom structure. I had to catch up on some material, but after a few months of learning with tutors I was on par with the class. Socially, it was weird being around all these kids that are the same age as you and to see people being mean and bullying is almost a normal thing in schools. Parents should prepare their child before entering a school from homeschooling very well so there is less things that could be a little shocking. For example,  the style of learning, how other children might act, what kind of clothes is generally worn in that school etc.
M: What is your message to mom’s homeschooling their children? 
D: Tune into your children! Figure out their specific needs so you can help them grow. You also don't need to be scared that you might not be doing everything like a regular school..it's ok, you are not a typical school, you are YOUR unique school. Make adventures, be creative, give experiences. Of course always be on top of  your game, tracking what skills your children are accomplishing and where they might be taking a longer time to advance. 
Also remember, homeschooling is not for everyone, it can be very stressful for parents and not the most beneficial to children if not done properly. However, if one is committed to making it work and being 100% dedicated to their children's education and growth in all areas, it can be the most rewarding path for parents and their children!
Thank you my dear Devora!
May you all have a wonderful week and I hope this interview was helpful to you on your homeschooling journey,
Always,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Beautiful Dvar Torah Book for Kids- a Book Review

Let your child shine at the Shabbos and Yom Tov table!
This is a beautiful compilation of Divrei Torah written in a clear and simple style for children to read and share at the Shabbos table.

Here is a sample Dvar Torah from Parshas Lech Lecha:


The font is large, the words and ideas are simple. This book is such a wonderful addition to your Shabbos table.
Books can be purchased
and Here

Habe a wonderful week!
Always,

Monday, November 28, 2016

TeachingMarket.com Launches New Teaching Hub Guest Post

TeachingMarket Launches New Teaching Hub 

A newly launched TeachingMarket.com is one of the fastest growing online teacher “hubs,” making online teacher resources easy to search, find, and download.  While the vast majority of the hundreds of files are geared towards pre-school and lower elementary; TeachingMarket will be launching “Middle School” in the very near future.



TeachingMarket.com is easy to use making digital files immediately available for classroom use with the touch of a button.  Simply search by subject and download  a lesson in seconds.  Gone are the days of tedious lesson planning!

Another stand-out feature of TeachingMarket is the user’s option to upload their own files and get paid for sharing.  It is a great way for teachers to share what they’ve found to be successful in the classroom while making some extra income.  Why make another lesson when surely someone has done it already? It is easy to share and give students a quality educational experience while keeping teachers sane!



With a growing number of files being uploaded every day, lesson sharing is a time saving resource for teachers!

Homeschooling has seen a huge surge as of late and TeachingMarket is now offering Jewish Homeschool blog subscribers a special.  Simply upload a file, sign up for monthly e-mails & promo codes, and you are entered to win a $10 gift card towards any educational files available for download on the website.
With Chanukah around the corner please stay tuned for discount codes and special giveaways for educators and parents.

TeachingMarket is a one-stop hub for all your teaching needs.

Looking forward to a successful year!
For more information, please visit www.TeachingMarket.com

Chew it Over- a book review

How often do we try to teach our kids (and ourselves) to think things through before doing anything. Before eating something, before going somewhere, before bringing someone into our lives, pretty much everything we do requires us to think it through or as this wonderful book written by Getzel Rubashkin says, 

I love how he has taken the lesson from how Kosher animals need to chew their food a few times before it gets digested and turned it into a very applicable life lesson for everyone, both adults and kids alike.
 It coughed it all up again and it chewed it again.
  All kosher animals chew that way too
 What is that lesson? What could it be?
Here is a peek at some of the wonderful illustrations and words from Chew it Over:
Chew it Over is such a fabulous addition to any children's library. You can purchase a copy Here- buy one for your kids, your nieces and nephews, your next door neighbor... and it makes a really special Chanukah Gift!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Always,
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Menus!!!

I find it humerous when people come to my house or meet me in person and tell me how organized I am. They see the charts on my walls, my printable schedules and lists and it truly does give the impression that I am, indeed, organized.

But you see, the thing is, the reason I make and post all these charts is because I am so DISorganized and I need these things to help keep me focused and somewhat sane!

I am an avid follower and admirer of organizing and time management guru Rivka Caroline (author of From Frazzeled to Focused and www.sobeorganized.com/). She often says, in her lovely English accent,  'You need to make your life as boring as possible when it comes to setting up systems. So boring that you do not have to think.'

Lets translate that into my own life right now.

Its two and a half weeks until Rosh Hashana. Thats four entire Shabbos meals and about 54 meals to cook for my family. I have many other things going on in the next 2 weeks so the less I need to think about and plan, the better.

So today I sat down and made 3 menus: Rosh Hashana, Week day meals and Shabbos meals. I'm so happy to share them with you to give you ideas, inspiration or just the plain enjoyment in reading what we'll be eating for the next two and a half weeks and over the Holidays!

Rosh Hashana Menu
I get most of my recipes off of Pinterest and tweak them to my families liking. Feel free to search for them and tweak them to yours.


Shabbos Menu
 These are all my go to dishes. I make one type of fish, 2-3 dips, 2-3 salads, 1 soup, 1-2 Main dish, 2 sides and 1 dessert, always served with tea


Weekly Menu


~Enjoy~

Always,
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