Feb. 28, 2011

Balashon - Hebrew Language Detective

Balashon is a fascinating blog written about the etymology of Hebrew.  A great resource for learning Hebrew, or studying the Parsha.   You can also follow this author's language detective work via Twitter (don't ask me how to use Twitter... I've only read about it so far) here

"On this site I investigate Hebrew - Biblical, Talmudic, Medieval and Modern - including slang; related languages like Aramaic, Arabic, Akkadian and Yiddish; and how foreign languages like Greek, Latin and English have entered Hebrew - and how Hebrew has affected those languages as well.

I discuss the meanings of words, with a focus on etymology."

Feb. 23, 2011

Homeschool Chumash

Meet an observant Jewish mom who's been homeschooling for 12 years!  Her eldest is now in high school, but she continues to homeschool her younger children.  Join her as she writes about her family's daily activities, triumphs and struggles in learning Chumash together.

She writes, "I am an Orthodox Jew and I've been homeschooling for twelve years. Teaching chumash is one of the most important subjects, and one of the most challenging. We care so much that our children love Torah. v'shinantam l'vanecha. We want so badly for them to have the skills and the ability. Skills work is a particular challenge for homeschoolers, who have not accepted boredom as a fact of school. Or should I say it is a challenge for the mom/teacher..."

Do you think you worry more about your child's learning skills (for Jewish subjects, I mean) than you would if they were in school?  Are these skills something you actively teach, or do you focus on a love of learning and teach those skills as a result?  Leave a comment with your perspective or experiences.

Feb. 19, 2011

Parsha 4 Kids

Here is another great resource for learning parsha with kids.  Betty Ann Ross tries to bring Torah out of the school context and into everyday life.  If that's not applicable to homeschooling, I don't know what is!  In her own words,

"I am a Jewish educator who is passionate about helping students see Jewish wisdom as integral in helping us make meaning of life in the world in which we live. Jewish thinking is too valuable to be cooped up in a school setting. It needs to be part of everything we see and do. It needs to be the lens through which we view the world. IT NEEDS TO BE IMPORTANT!!"
"TORAH is filled with a lot of things - stories you may already know, like Noah and the Flood, and people you have probably heard of, like Moses.
Torah is also filled with ideas - big, meaningful ideas that are important within the Torah and also in your life. This is your chance to think about some of these BIG IDEAS, and to ADD YOUR VOICE to the voices of other kids who are thinking about some of these same things."