Monday, June 8, 2015

Jewish Summer School at Home...?

 Now that the summer is almost upon us, I'm working hard to set-up a mini curriculum for EG.  She'll be home for at least the first portion of the summer, since we'll be moving through July.  I think we've found a great new school for her, but we're still waiting until we are absolutely sure (aka closing on the property) to tell EG.

So, in the meantime I'm going to keep her home.  But I don't want to have weeks and weeks of complete chaos.  I know that kiddos thrive on routine, and without a game plan I'm afraid that we'll end up totally sick of each other in just about every way.

In getting together a game plan, I've started with a Jewish piece.  I've always wanted to bring more Jewish learning into our home- somehow bridge the gap between what she is learning at school (orthodox environment) and what we do at home (Reformadox).  So I've collected a few books.

Obviously I haven't been using these very much yet, but I'm excited to jump in.  Once I've used a few of the lesson plans, I'll come back and give an updated review.

1. Morah Morah, Teach Me Torah.  I chose this book because it goes through each of the weekly parsha.  It gives a clear and easily understood, developmentally appropriate overview of the parsha.  Then it goes on to give dozens of interactive/multimedia ideas about how to engage with what we are learning.  My favorite part is the interactive family discussion questions for the dinner table.  Not all of them are suitable for EG right now, but I'm thrilled that we'll be able to 'grow' into the book.

2. What's Jewish about Butterflies.  This book takes a totally different approach and explores what we might consider as 'ordinary' objects and adds some ideas about how to explore the Jewish roots or pieces of these ideas.  I got this one because I'm positive that I'll be doing some version of teaching EG letters, and I love the idea of a theme for the week.  That's something they do at her school now, so it will feel familiar for me to do it as well.  This way I can also throw in Jewish ideas into everything we do.  The school we are thinking about putting EG into also uses a book by the same author into how to incorporate Judaism into everyday classroom experiences.

3. Jewish and Me, a Teachers guide to Holidays.  This one also has a bit of a lofted view for EG right now, but I loved how it gives specific questions for each of the holidays to ask the children.  It gives a lesson plan approach, which I don't think I'll use, but will give me a framework to add additional things to the holidays.  Technically this is a companion book to the specific books about each holiday.  I got it because I think that I can use other pictures, etc to do what they are doing.  And I didn't want to buy the whole series.

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