What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Homeschool 2011-2012 Week 1

Isn't that an awful title? I'll try to be more creative next time.

So we had our first week of school this week. I could say it went well, or I could say it didn't go so well. I think mostly it was about learning to work with life in the middle of school.

I wrote out a very detailed lesson plan for the week, and used a timer to keep us moving. In the past, my gentle learning was a little too gentle. So I decided to push a little harder this year. It worked very well for a few reasons.
1. We didn't lollygag around. Isaac tried to play around during his reading time, but I told him if he didn't finish his reading lesson in the twenty minutes, he would do the whole lesson again the next day. He never had to do that.
2. I wrote down the time we took for each lesson right on the lesson plan. At the end of the day, I was able to input everything into homeschool tracker for a permanent record with time spent. We are not required to report anything in Michigan, but I want to be prepared if that changes.
3. If we did get interrupted by life, I knew exactly where to start when we returned. For example, an important phone call came in. I let the machine pick it up, and as soon as we were done the current subject, I returned the call, and gave the kids a short recess. This worked much better than expecting them to keep working. They just aren't ready to work independently like that.

Here is what our daily schedule looks like:

40 min. Torah School (includes reading part of the Torah portion, copywork, reading related stories, activities, etc.)
20 min. Hebrew Life and Times(read chapter on Monday, do related activities on following days)
15 min. Hebrew (vocabulary, copywork)
5 min. ABC and 123 ( recite sounds of alphabet and count forward and backward)
80 min. Reading (20 min. for each child, Naomi- Learn to Read Bible, McGuffey 1st Reader, Holly and Isaac- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Sadie's Stories- The Poky Little Puppy (A Little Golden Book Classic))
30 min. Math (Matrix Math timed addition and subtraction worksheets)
30 min. Physical Education/ Recess
30 min. History and Science (Read alouds and activities on alternating days)
30-60 min. Home economics (Deep cleaning of assigned rooms, with us working as a team, and teaching kitchen skills like bread, peeling potatoes, etc.)

Now for the highlights!

Torah School!
We studied Ki Tetse (Deut. 21:10-25:19)
We did a copywork page, read a story, listened to a great teaching on Shabbat, and looked for things in our house that are unsafe.

Naomi practiced until she could read a book about frogs by herself!

We drew pictures of shepherds in the Bible.

We learned about important rivers in the Middle East and India.

We spent 45 minutes scrubbing the kid's bathroom, and boy, did it look good!

Naomi and Holly both moved up a worksheet in Math.

The girls learned how to knead and bake bread. Daddy likes their bread better than mine lol. I think I've been replaced. :)



We slaughtered a sheep, and learned about various organs. When I pointed out the lungs and explained that they were for breathing, Isaac responded with, "Man, that is so disgusting!"

We learned how to process sheep casings to use for making homemade hot dogs and meat sticks. This picture is of the casings soaking in salt water.



What did I learn this week?

  • My children are capable of more than I thought.
  • A lot of learning goes on in everyday life, and I might as well write it down.
  • It is hard to read a history chapter out loud over a toddler pretending to be a puppy.
  • Every day is precious and should be used wisely.
  • High speed internet would be so nice. :)

Shabbat Shalom to everyone!

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4 comments:

Andi said...

OK We all love the keepin the casing thing...awesome! Your a good momma too and what a great week you have had.

singing mama said...

Loved this post Heidi! Thank you so much for sharing what you have done for schooling. I love to see what others are doing and what they count as schooling.
I laughed out loud at the trying to read over a toddler being a puppy - I so understand lol!!
I agree so much that life and schooling are meant to inter mesh and learning can be done in every thing we do.
Loved the idea of scrubbing out the bathroom as schooling - think I'll use that this coming week!
We are in the middle of schooling still over here, our holidays don't start until summer in December.
I pray your school year flows well and Yah teaches both you and the children new truths!
Luv Donna

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great first week back to school! Lots of wonderful real life learning going on, too.

I just downloaded the Hebrew Life and Times for my Kindle on my mac ~ that is the second time I have seen this book. When I first saw it, I was thinking I would save it for Biblical History, but I think it would make a great read-aloud just for Torah studies. Thanks for posting the link!

I hope that you will continue to share {not matter what you title your updates} ;-) It is fun to have a peek into your homeschool. =)

Heidi said...

Michelle - Hebrew life and times is a great book, and fits in so well with our Torah studies. There are activities at the end of each chapter, and it is written so that you feel like you are walking into Abraham's tent and eating a meal with him.

Andi - The casings are going well. More pics of our sheep adventure with this week's posts. :)

Donna - I love having friends on the other side of the globe. Summer in December just boggles my brain. lol

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