Aug. 31, 2010

What is your homeschool curriculum for this year?

Have you laid out plans for your homeschooling this year?  Jennifer of Adventures in Mama-Land has!  Add a description your family's plans for this year, however vague or specific, in the comments section, or leave a comment with a link back to your blog post about your plans for the 2010-11 schoolyear.  I'm excited to read what everyone is planning!

Adventures in Mama-Land :: Parsha Poetry!

The wonderful homeschooling ima, Jennifer of Adventures in Mama-Land, has begun writing lovely poems about the weekly Torah portions.  Not only does she write them for her own cuties, she posts them on her blog, and reads them aloud to the Shabbos Parties that she hosts!  (Hint, hint... any homeschoolers in Toronto should contact me for more info).  So, print them out, and read them at your Shabbos table with your little ones each week! 

Click here to read Jennifer's Poetry

Aug. 20, 2010

Musically Inclined? Love traditional Jewish music or songs?

Check out these three truly awesome websites.  Each one has compiled a database of Jewish music!

"Here is a convenient online resource for learning to chant the Hebrew liturgy of the Siddur (Jewish prayer book), whether you just want to brush up on your davening skills, learn to chant and sing the Shabbat services or prepare for your Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah!"

"Download, Learn and Sing: ShirHalev is your place to learn Jewish songs for all occasions"
- Songs for Holidays, Shabbos, Brachas, Davening, Sefardi

"The purpose of this site is to promote the proliferation of Nusach and to make a Nusach readily accessible to those who have a desire to learn and a desire to deepen their Judaism. This site is a volunteer work in progress."
- This website has recordings of the Haggadah, Megillat Esther, and Megillat Ruth, Megillat Eicha, davening for some of the high holidays, etc...

**Hat Tip to Jennifer of Adventures in Mamaland for these links (and many more to come, when I have more time!)** 

Aug. 19, 2010

The Free Siddur Project

The Free Siddur Project

"Welcome to the Free Siddur Project – פרויקט סדור חופשי! Here you will find resources for producing your own customized siddur...As I browsed around the net searching both in English and Hebrew I was unhappy to discover that their existed very few useful resources. What I wanted was one site where I could find the text of the תפילות (prayers), their translation and a transliteration of the Hebrew...This got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great if such a place existed....I feverishly began running through my favorite portion of the liturgy – Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv for Friday night. The Hebrew was fantastically easy to produce...."

The author of this website has created an archive of free, not copywrited, prayers/liturgy for anyone to download and create their own personal siddur.  My interest is piqued!

Aug. 18, 2010

The Behrman House Family Site

Behrman House Publishing publishes Jewish school books, as well as many other Jewish materials.   Along with their many publications, they have put together a great resource for families to learn together!  It is an interactive website called the Behrman Family Site, where you set up a family account, and spend time learning.  Topics include: Learning Hebrew, learning prayer, an 'ulpan,' and creating a 'family' (personalized) Haggadah.  They also have Hebrew learning games!  An Alef-Bet chart, holiday calendar, and Shabbat blessings to view and download.  And so much more!

Twebrew School

"Learning to read Hebrew has never been more convenient!
Here at Twebrew School you can learn to read Hebrew with our
Twebrew School Instructional Videos (note: as of now the most recent/last episode is listed first).

You can also learn more about each Hebrew Letter in Twebrew School Treats (note: as of now, the most recent/last posted is listed first).

You will also have access to Shabbat content as part of Twebrew School Shabbat."

Aug. 10, 2010

Our Jewish Homeschool Blog

Our Jewish Homeschool Blog is written by a homeschooling mom, with three children, aged 1-4.  She strives to homeschool from a creative perspective and with a strong emphasis on Judaism. 

Specific posts of interest:

Torah Home Education Conference

The Torah Home Education Conference is a yearly conference which takes place in Baltimore.   Organized by Avivah, of Oceans of Joy, it is a great resource for those who are not sure what their direction will be while homeschooling, who want to make connections with other Torah based homeschoolers, and learn about homeschooling from a Torah context.

Oceans of Joy

Avivah's blog, Oceans of Joy, has gained much popularity since she began writing.  She is mother to nine children, from infant to 16.  In fact, her two oldest are homeschool graduates!  They just celebrated their graduation this summer.  Avivah has been homeschooling for ten years.  She writes about homeschooling, raising children, parenting, nutrition, recipes, alternative health care, food preservation, gardening, and living frugally (and more, I'm sure).   She is an inspiration to read.  And she is also the organizer of the Torah Home Education Conference, which just finished its second year.

Aug. 9, 2010

Audio Archives

"The Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive was established in 2002 as a repository of sound recordings for researchers and students. Please note, it is not a free music download site. If you are not a student at Dartmouth College or at Hebrew College, you will need to register and demonstrate a legitimate scholarly or research purpose. User accounts are good for 6 months and can be renewed if needed."

"The primary mission of the Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Libraries is to collect, preserve, and digitize Judaica sound recordings; to create educational programs highlighting the contents of this rich cultural legacy; and to encourage the use of this unique scholarly resource by students, scholars and the general public."

"The purpose of this site is to promote the proliferation of Nusach and to make a Nusach readily accessible to those who have a desire to learn and a desire to deepen their Judaism. This site is a volunteer work in progress."

           This website has recordings of the Haggadah, Megillat Esther, and Megillat Ruth, Megillat Eicha, davening for some of the high holidays, etc... Kids! has a whole section devoted to children.  There are stories, comics, videos, games, and more, all about the parsha, holidays, and more!  Its much more than I have time to explore tonight.  Hopefully, one day I'll have more time to add specific links within the site.  For now, the Itche Kadoozy Show is a great place to start, though.   Follow the linked image below to see more.

The Parshah Report - A Weekly Newscast Highlighting the Week's Torah Portion

TORCH-D on Shamash

TORCH-D is an email discussion list for Jewish homeschoolers who want to provide their children with a Torah-centered education.  It is the most long-standing list I have encountered, with posts going back more than a decade.  The list includes families with homeschooled children who are grown, and as such provides a wonderful resource from very experienced homeschooling families.  It is a place where homeschooling techniques, resources, activities, etc., can be discussed from a religious (Jewish) perspective.  Currently hosted by Shamash,

"Shamash: The Jewish Network, strives to be the highest quality central point of Jewish information and discussion on the Internet. Our mission is to provide state-of-the-art Internet tools to Jewish organizations and individuals who maintain discussion forums for the benefit of the Jewish community."

To subscribe to the list, send an email to with subscribe torch-d [your full name] in the body.

To subscribe, simply email:
You may also subscribe through this web page:
To view the archives go to:
You will be asked to create a username and password and log into the system.

A note.  Some families have had difficulties subscribing to this list in the past.  If you are having trouble, you can try emailing Shamash for help, but don't give up.  Its a great list to be a part of.

Aug. 5, 2010

Parsha Projects

"Crafts and snacks designed to teach preschoolers about the weekly Torah portion at home."

Yahoo Group :: JewishHomeSchoolers

"The focus of this list will be to provide homeschooling support and resources to Jewish homeschoolers of all levels of observance. ("messianic" is not an observance level--please search for a christian group.) Appropriate topics include curriculum choices, teaching tips, and holiday observances. This informal relaxed list is restricted and discussion will be limited to homeschooling and Judaism only."

Facebook :: Jewish Homeschoolers

"Let's share our thoughts about homeschooling our children! Share your curriculum ideas for Limudei Kodesh and Limudei Chol, as well as tips for running a Jewish household while educationg your children at home."

Yahoo Group :: Jewish Orthodox and Homeschooling

Jewish Orthodox and Homeschooling

"This group will support Orthodox Jews who desire to homeschool their children. People who are interested in learning more about homeschooling children in a manner consistent with Jewish halacha are welcome to join and ask questions. We hope to have discussions on methods of homeschooling, how and what to teach, socialization, and how to manage your family's life while homeschooling. Please direct any halachic/hashkafic questions (sheilos) to your local (or not-so-local) Orthodox Rabbi."

Jewish Attachment Parenting Forum

This is a forum for women only, to discuss attachment parenting.  There is a forum in here specifically for discussing homeschooling.  

Jewish Attachment Parenting

"Welcome to the Jewish Attachment Parenting Forum, a mother-to-mother support forum.

This forum is designed to be a friendly discussion board to discuss, support, and advocate all areas of Attachment and Jewish Parenting. Our goal is to create a community of Jewish mothers or mothers-to-be who are looking to forge a close bond with their children. Through your direct or indirect participation here you agree to make a personal effort to maintain a comfortable and respectful atmosphere for our guests and members."


"G-dcast is animating Torah for today!

G-dcast is a collective of Jewish filmmakers, artists and educators
who make quirky cartoons out of classic Jewish texts. You can scroll
through the entire Torah on their website and watch 55 very diverse
guests give 4 minute dvar Torahs in prose, poetry, music and even hip
hop! Every episode is different from the last.

Parents and teachers can download free curriculum guides with great
ideas for creative activities and critical thinking exercises. And new
in 2010, G-dcast is creating special holiday episodes for Chanukah,
Pesach and the fall Chagim."

Animated Talmud

"Animated Talmud “Introduction to the Talmud” is a teacher's dream come true.  Comprised of over 100 minutes of short animations which give the student an Introduction to the Talmud.  All the background knowledge is given, including the important vocabulary and learning style that goes along with it.  Although it is geared towards children on their “maiden voyage” into the Talmudic ocean, it is for everyone, adults included, who have never had the opportunity to be properly introduced to this important Jewish text. To start viewing the Animations, log on to its free but you will need to sign up to the newsletter and get the password.  Any contribution to the support the program will be gratefully accepted and appreciated, enjoy!"

Adventures in MamaLand
"In which a fourFIVE-year-breastfeeding Yiddishe supermama of four (2 big, 2 little!) writes unswervingly, cooks tenaciously, parents attachedly, gardens (semi-?) naturally, homeschools frugally, and navigates unfalteringly through the moments between the Kodak ones."

Introductions are in Order

Being this blog's first post, introductions are in order.  My name is Shira, and I have two children.   Temima is 4 years old, and Yehoshua is 17 months old.  I live with my husband, Joseph and our children, in Toronto, Canada.  While our children aren't old enough yet to officially call what we do homeschooling...we are planning to homeschool our children.  We tend to stand out in our community for not having enrolled anyone in daycare or Pre-K.  I am very excited to attempt to create this contribution to the still small, but steadily growing, community of Torah-centred homeschoolers.  

My ideas are not yet finalized, but my intentions so far are:  To create a comprehensive directory of resources for Torah-based (aka Jewish) homeschoolers.  This will include all sorts of media, as well as Jewish and secular subjects.  My second goal for this blog will be to have regular 'columns' and news about Jewish homeschooling.  Topics could include: homeschooling philosophies, experiences of particular families, homeschooling in the news, the ups and downs of homeschooling, and much more.

I am going to be experimenting for the time being, to explore how I want to organize the directory, so please excuse me for any confusion to come.

I am seeking any and all ideas for developing this blog as a community fixture for Jewish homeschoolers.  I am looking for links to websites, books, and other resources to include in this directory.  I am looking for guest-posters, who want to write about their family's experiences homeschooling, or about anything in particular related to Jewish homeschooling.  I'm looking for parents who would like to write a regular, weekly, or monthly, or just once-in-a-while column here.  Oh, and before I forget, I would love to find someone who has the time to create a wonderful header (and maybe a better name) for this blog!  So, if you would like to participate in this new beginning, simply post your idea or link or suggestion in the comments area, and I will get back to you!   Or send me an email: shirarocklin (at)

Stay tuned for more to come!