Needing a Judaic Curriculum?


Judaic Curriculum 

Hello! For those who are needing some help as to what kinds of things their children can be learning, I put together this list of homeschool-friendly units in the various Judaic curriculum. Most are free. Most links are from and you just need to create a free account to access the material.

This is in no way the only links out there, but I found it oftentimes difficult to find a whole unit, so I sifted through all the amazing materials I could find and came up with the following list. I tried to give several options per grade level.

Hope this is of some help! If you have a link that you feel should be included, let me know.



(K – Grade 1) Hebrew Block Letter Writing Practice 
(Grade 1) Kesiva Workbook for First Grade Boys  
(Grade 1) Kesiva Workbook for First Grade Girls 
(Grade 4) Rashi Script Workbook  
The Marvelous, Changeable Shva 
Pyramid-Style Hebrew Reading Booklet  



Dikduk for the Beginner 

(Grades 1-6) Dikduk Memory Tools 
Rabbi Werner workbooks

Short Ivrit stories for beginners.  Most words can be understood from the pictures, otherwise use Google Translate 🙂 
Kriyah Review:  Short Hebrew Story  
Cholam Kriyah Review:  Short Hebrew Story  
Shuruk/Kubutz Kriyah Review:  Short Hebrew Story 

Upper Elementary 
Improving Kriyah Booklet 

Posters on the letters including script and Rashi 
Alef – Bais Charts  

Rashi Script 
Rashi Script Workbook 


Important Points about Tefilla for Children – A list of important points about Tefilla, a story which will help students appreciate Davening and Divrei Torah. 
Tefilla-Toons: Birchos Hashachar Videos And Workbook  

Grades 3-6 
Tefilla Toons Birchos Hashachar Videos And Workbook 
Birkas Hashachar: The Brachos – A sheet featuring the words of the morning Brachos, their English translation and a brief explanation. A two-page quiz is also included. 
Hilchos Tefillah Booklet – A well-formatted booklet on the basic halachos and hashkafos of tefillah with a focus on Tefillas Shacharis. 
Tefillah Booklet: Shemoneh Esrei 
Shemoneh Esrei Workbook and Lesson Guide 
Hilchos Seuda  and Seder Birkas Hamazon: Illustrated Textbook and Bentcher – Each page has an illustration and explanation from washing for a seuda through bentching. 

Middle School  
Shemoneh Esrei Workbook and Lesson Guide 
Hilchos Seuda  and Seder Birkas Hamazon: Illustrated Textbook and Bentcher – Each page has an illustration and explanation from washing for a seuda through bentching. 
Aishes Chayil, Explained and Illustrated: Booklet 
Building Vocabulary in Tefillah  

High School 
Shemoneh Esrei Workbook and Lesson Guide 


Chitas for Children  – great for all ages, including adults! 
Kabbala Toons – Intro 


Middos Tovos Workbooks 
Middos Tovos Workbooks II 

Middle School 
Middos Tovos Workbooks 
Middos Tovos Workbooks II 
Learning Middos Tovos from Stories About Rav Pam 
Middos Tovos Workbook-Hakaras Hatov 
Bein Adam L’chaveiro Curriculum: Workbook – You need to create the curriculum for this, however there are answers at the end to help you talk about all the halachos between Man and Man. 

The 39 Melachos – Illustrated – beautiful illustrations of each melacha 
The 39 Melachos with Practical Examples – would go great with the illustrations above. 
39 Melachos Worksheets – A nice concise overview of the 39 melachos in chart form.  
39 Melachos Video 

(Grades 2-4) Complete Shabbos Teaching Package – A complete package to teach main ideas about to Shabbos to grades 2 -4 
(Grade 3-5) Hilchos Shabbos Booklet – A clearly-arranged booklet that goes through the basics of hilchos Shabbos/the 39 melachos for elementary-aged students.  

Middle School 
Kabbalas Shabbos Unit – beautiful booklet about Kabbalas Shabbos 
Hilchos Shabbos and Yom Tov – practical and relevant halachos in a nice booklet. 
A Shabbos Experience: Our Treasured Shabbos and Its 39 Melachos 
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch- Hilchos Shabbos – with worksheets.  In Hebrew. 

High School 
Hilchos Shabbos and Yom Tov – practical and relevant halachos in a nice booklet. 
Hilchos Shabbos Curriculum – A comprehensive compilation of Hilchos Shabbos, in outline form, on many of the 39 Melachos. 
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch- Hilchos Shabbos – with worksheets.  In Hebrew. 


Touring-Toons: “Crossing the Yardein” Video   
Touring Toons “Kever Rochel” Video  
Touring Toons: “The Kosel” Video   
The Land of Israel 


Aleph Beta 
ParshaPages – This will take you to a page where when you click a link, it automatically downloads the files. 

(Grades 2-6) Parshas Toldos Curriculum – Two different types of files, please read description on the website. *There are more on like this on 
(Grades 4-6) Complete Parsha Unit – A comprehensive parsha unit covering the Parshiyos taught during the school year.  
(Grades 4-6) Sefer Beraishis – Parshas Hashavua Summaries, Worksheets, and Quizzes 
(Grades 4-6) Sefer Shemos – Parshas Hashavua Summaries, Worksheets, and Quizzes  
(Grades 4-6) Sefer Vayikra – Parshas Hashavua Summaries, Worksheets, and Quizzes  

Middle School 
Parshiyos Hashavua Sheilos U’Teshuvos – Questions and answers on every parsha in the Torah 
Complete Parsha Unit– A comprehensive parsha unit covering the Parshiyos taught during the school year.  
Sefer Beraishis: Questions on Rashi, Arranged According to Aliyos – After reading the Parsha with Rashi, answer the questions.  This can be done every morning according to the day’s Aliyah (ie. Sunday – the 1st Aliyah, Monday – the 2nd Aliyah, etc.) 
Sefer Vayikra, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Aliyos:  Questions on Rashi  
Sefer Shemos, Third through Seventh Aliyos: Questions on Rashi 
Sefer Bamidbar:  Questions on Rashi  
Sefer Devarim, Third through Seventh Aliyos:  Questions on Rashi  

High School 
Sefer Beraishis: Questions on Rashi, Arranged According to Aliyos – After reading the Parsha with Rashi, answer the questions.  This can be done every morning according to the day’s Aliyah (ie. Sunday – the 1st Aliyah, Monday – the 2nd Aliyah, etc.) 
Sefer Vayikra, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Aliyos:  Questions on Rashi  
Sefer Shemos, Third through Seventh Aliyos: Questions on Rashi 
Sefer Bamidbar:  Questions on Rashi  
Sefer Devarim, Third through Seventh Aliyos:  Questions on Rashi  


Ten Generations From Adam Until Noach: PowerPoints and Worksheets 
Map of Eretz Yisrael – Designed specifically for a Parshas Lech Lecha curriculum, this interactive map has watermarks of places and events that are referenced in the Parsha. 
Map of the Six Arei Miklat: Poster 


(Grade 1 but good for G1-3)  Bereishis Translation and Homework Sheets  
   Workbook/Curriculum for Parshas Bereishis  (same as above but with more worksheets) 

(Grades 1-3) Workbook/Curriculum for Parshas Noach   

Lech Lecha 
(Grade 2 but good for G2-4) Second Grade Chumash Workbook- Parshas Lech Lecha 
Map of Eretz Yisrael – Designed specifically for a Parshas Lech Lecha curriculum, this interactive map has watermarks of places and events that are referenced in the Parsha. 
(Grades 4-6) Parshas Vayishlach:  Chumash and Rashi Workbook  
(Grades 4-6) Parshas Vayeishev:  Chumash and Rashi Workbook 
(Grades 4-6) Parshas Mikeitz: Chumash and Rashi Workbook 
(Grades 4-6) Parshas Vayigash: Chumash and Rashi Workbook 
(Grades 4-6) Parshas Vayechi: Chumash and Rashi Workbook 


Grades 3-6 

Timeline of Sefer Yehoshua   
Navi News” Sefer Yehoshua Perakim 1-10: Workbook and Video Clips  
Sefer Yehoshua: Perakim 1 – 10 – includes lesson plans and instructions 
Workbook for Sefer Yehoshua – it is a nice workbook, in Hebrew but still worth looking at for there are several really nice pages for those looking for English. 
Sefer Yehoshua Workbook 

Shmuel Alef 

(Grades 4-6) – easier for upper elementary to understand. 

Middle School 

Introduction to Teaching Tanach 
Workbook of Yedios in Nach – Summaries of perakim in Nach and of major events in Jewish history spanning from the time of Dovid Hamelech through the end of the Maccabim. The goal of this workbook is to give students basic knowledge and a well-rounded approach to the events in Nach. Each perek is followed by comprehension questions. 

Shmuel Aleph 
Sefer Shmuel Alef: Concise Outline Maps for Sefer Shmuel Alef – colored map Complete Teaching Unit- Shmuel I – Workbook of questions Worksheets on Shmuel I Navi Shmuel Alef Sheets –  3 different levels: High (all Hebrew), medium (some translation provided), and low (translation and more information provided)  
 Megillas Rus Megillas Rus B’iyun Lesson Plan  
 Yonah Sefer Yonah  
 High School  
 Shmuel Aleph Sefer Shmuel Alef: Concise Outline Maps for Sefer Shmuel Alef – colored map Complete Teaching Unit- Shmuel I – Workbook of questions  

Megillas Rus 
Megillas Rus B’iyun Lesson Plan 

Sefer Yonah 


Animated Talmud – Learn about the history of the Mishna and Gemara through animation.  Most of the videos can be viewed for free.   
Mishnayos Worksheets-Aduyos 
Mishnayos Avodah Zara Worksheets 
Mishnayos Baba Kama Worksheets 
Mishnayos Horiyos Worksheets 
Mishnayos Worksheets-Kerisos 
Mishnayos Worksheets-Kiddushin 
Mishnayos Worksheets-Makkos 
Mishnayos Worksheets- Ma’aser Sheini 
Mishnayos Worksheets – Sanhedrin 
Mishnayos Worksheets- Shavuos 
Mishnayos Worksheets-Shviis 
Mishnayos Worksheets-Temurah 
Mishnayos Worksheets – Yadayim 


Animated Talmud – Learn about the history of the Mishna and Gemara through animation.  Most of the videos can be viewed for free.  You have the option of purchasing similar style Gemara lessons.  You can print our color and b/w wall charts to go with your learning. 

(Grade 8, High School) Rabbi Mendel Kessin – The Method Shiruim for Learning Gemara – Video –  A set of 6 shiurim teaching how to learn Gemara.  I used this for 8th grade. We listen to 15-20 minutes each time, taking notes and discussing as needed.  It is a system for learning Gemara.   

Your Bekius Shiur: Rabbi Dov Bauman ’05 – Audio – Cover twice the ground in the half the time, while greatly enhancing clarity and retention. By Rabbi Dov Bauman. It seems good, however, there are no sheets to look at while he talks, which makes it not quite as effective, but still good if an adult sits down to listen first. 

Gemara Worksheets – Brachos (Perakim Haya Korei and Tefillas Hashachar)  

Gemara Worksheets – Shabbos 

Jewish History 

Timeline of Jewish History – From  Has a list of dates starting from Beraishis through modern times – 2008 CE. There are links for most of the dates to pages with more information about the event. Has both Secular and Hebrew dates. 

Yedios Klaliyos  – – Yedios Klaliyos is designed to familiarize students with important general Jewish knowledge. 

The Six Constant Mitzvos: Poster 


(Grades 1-2) Yedios B’Yahadus for Grades 1-2 

(Grades 3-5) Yedios Klaliyos Unit 1 
(Grades 3-5) Yedios Klaliyos Unit 2 

(Grade 5)  Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 1 
(Grade 5) Be a Baki:  A Yedios Klaliyos Program  This program includes 24 Yedios Klaliyos lessons 

Middle School  

Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 2 
Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 3 
Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 4 
Be a Baki:  A Yedios Klaliyos Program  This program includes 24 Yedios Klaliyos lessons 
Arbah Parshiyos Outline 

High School 

Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 2 
Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 3 
Yedios Klaliyos Curriculum: Part 4 
Yedios Klaliyos Booklet – In Hebrew 

Chodesh (Months)/Yomim Tovim 

(Grade 1 but can before Grades 1-3) Dinim Curriculum – A comprehensive curriculum which covers many of the important dinim. Included in this curriculum are units on all the yamim tovim, Shabbos, brachos and dinei hashkamas haboker. Each unit comes with informal teacher’s notes to use as a guide on how to teach the material, worksheets and tests. 

Rosh Chodesh 

Middle School/High School 
Inyanei Rosh Chodesh: Booklet 


Chodesh Elul Unit 

Middle School 
Inyanei Elul Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Elul Booklet 

Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur 

(Grade 1) Rosh Hashana Workbook 
Rosh Hashanah Unit 
(Grades 3-5) Yamim Noraim Workbook 
(Grades 4-6) Rosh Hashanah Question Sheets – Use with Rosh Hashanah Unit 

Middle School 
Rosh Hashanah Question Sheets – Use with Rosh Hashanah Unit 
Shailos U’teshuvos – Yamim Noraim – Has a student version with just the questions as well as a teacher version with questions and answers. 
Tefillos Yamim Noraim 
Inyanei Rosh Hashana Booklet 
Inyanei Yom Kippur Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Rosh Hashana Booklet 
Inyanei Yom Kippur Booklet 

Sukkos/Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah 

Resource Sheets for Sukkos – Teacher Reference – A variety of interesting stories, customs, background information and dinim relevant to Sukkos. Typed in English (some Hebrew words – nekudos added by hand). Excellent way to diversify the Sukkos curriculum with fresh content. 
(Grade 4-6) Workbook on Mishnayos Sukkah 
Simchas Torah – 4 simple facts about Simchas Torah 

Middle School 
Resource Sheets for Sukkos – Teacher Reference – A variety of interesting stories, customs, background information and dinim relevant to Sukkos. Typed in English (some Hebrew words – nekudos added by hand). Excellent way to diversify the Sukkos curriculum with fresh content. 
Inyanei Sukkos Booklets 
Inyanei Mashiv Haruach  Umorid Hageshem: Booklet  

High School 
Inyanei Sukkos Booklets 
Inyanei Mashiv Haruach  Umorid Hageshem: Booklet  



Middle School 
Inyanei Chanukah Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Chanukah Booklet 

Tu B’Shevat 


Middle School 

High School 



Middle School 
Inyanei Purim Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Purim Booklet 
Hilchos Purim Supplement 


(Grades 1-3) Pesach Workbook 
Pesach Curriculum – A supplemental ToTal curriculum on Pesach for teachers produced and written by Shimon Apisdorf. Hands on lessons and exercises to make the Pesach lessons more meaningful. 

Middle School 
Pesach Curriculum – A supplemental ToTal curriculum on Pesach for teachers produced and written by Shimon Apisdorf. Hands on lessons and exercises to make the Pesach lessons more meaningful 
Hilchos Pesach: PowerPoint and Review Sheets – Power Point Presentation along with worksheets.  *There are a few slides that the Hebrew font does not come out correct, but one can figure out the words with a bit of thinking. 
Inyanei Pesach Booklets 
Inyanei Morid Hatal/ V’Sein Bracha: Booklet  

High School 
Hilchos Pesach: PowerPoint and Review Sheets – Power Point Presentation along with worksheets.  *There are a few slides that the Hebrew font does not come out correct, but one can figure out the words with a bit of thinking. 
Inyanei Pesach Booklets 
Inyanei Morid Hatal/ V’Sein Bracha: Booklet  

Lag B’Omer 

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Minhagei Lag B’omer: PowerPoint 

Middle School 
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and Minhagei Lag B’omer: PowerPoint 
Inyanei Lag B’omer: Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Lag B’omer: Booklet 

Shavuos Timeline 


Middle School 
Inyanei Shavuos Booklet 

High School 
Inyanei Shavuos Booklet 

Tisha B’Av 


Middle School 
Inyanei Bein Hamitzarim and Tisha B’Av  

High School 
Inyanei Bein Hamitzarim and Tisha B’Av  

Fast Days 


Middle School 
Inyanei Ta’anis Tzibur 

High School 
Inyanei Ta’anis Tzibur 

Middle School/High School 
Hilchos and Minhagei Chodesh Adar and Purim – Includes worksheets 
Hilchos and Minhagei Chodesh Nisan and Pesach – Includes worksheets 
Hilchos and Minhagei Chodesh Sivan and Shavuos – Includes worksheets 

Shmiras HaLashon 

Elementary/Middle School   
Shmiras Halashon/ Lashon Tov Program  
Hameir L’Yisrael – Shmiras Halashon Book – with worksheets 
Taharas Halashon – Purity of Speech: Illustrated Booklet – from Pirchei Shoshanim 

High School 
Shmiras Halashon Yomi: Curriculum – made to be printed off as a beautiful booklet 



Middle School 
Hilchos Tefillin – In Order of Hanachas and Chalitzas Tefillin: English 
Calculating Sha’os Zmaniyos Worksheet – This worksheet clearly explains how to calculate sha’os zmaniyos – halachic hours. Use it as part of a halacha curriculum (particularly before Pesach – to work out the when one must stop eating chametz, when the chamatz must be burnt, etc.).  
Finders Keepers? Hilchos Hashavas Aveida 
A Guide to Hilchos Shaliach Tzibur 

High School 
Calculating Sha’os Zmaniyos Worksheet – This worksheet clearly explains how to calculate sha’os zmaniyos – halachic hours. Use it as part of a halacha curriculum (particularly before Pesach – to work out the when one must stop eating chametz, when the chamatz must be burnt, etc.).  
Hilchos Tefillin – In Order of Hanachas and Chalitzas Tefillin: English 
Finders Keepers? Hilchos Hashavas Aveida 
A Guide to Hilchos Shaliach Tzibur 

Torah Live 

Magazines for Children 
The Circle 
Marshmallow Comics
The Moshiach Times 

How to Make Homeschooling Work – Crash Course

Now that almost all the schools are closed, I would like to welcome any parent with a child in (or was in) school to the wonderful world of homeschooling! I say that with a smile, but I totally understand what that means and know it is not an easy thing at all for almost every parent who has been forced into this situation.  It is not easy for us parents who have willingly put ourselves in it to begin with.  – Oh, and you are already a homeschool parent? This is definitely different (keep reading – we all need reminders sometimes and hopefully there are few helpful tips even for you.)  Activities are closed, many cannot even go outside. Just because we homeschool, we still take our children outside!

I want this blog to be helpful and give people chizuk – encouragement. There is so much information that one usually gets and needs before delving into homeschooling, but there is no time for that. So, to the best of my ability, I will try to give a crash course. I have written down 9 pointers to help:

1) Firstly, I want you to know that you are not alone! We are all there.  Some of us have some experience, but most, none. Like anything else, it is not easy, but we are told that Hashem only puts us in situations that we can manage. You CAN do this. (Perhaps you want to put this message all over your house to remind you!)

Everyone’s family works differently and what works for one family – or even one child, does not mean it will work with the next family, or even the next child in the family. Treat it like an experiment. “Hmm…. Well, that did not work, I wonder why that did not work,” or even, “Wow, that worked!  Let me try that again!” If we get into that mindset, even setbacks can be just a tad less harsh and easier to manage.

2) The second thing to note is that whenever a child starts homeschooling after being in a school, they need to deschool. Deschooling is letting the child learn to transition from a school learning environment to a home learning environment.  The length of time is generally around 1 month per year in a school.  Yes. I know what I just said.  I said it takes, about 15-30 days for each year a child was at school to learn to adjust. Don’t try to rush it. This is something that most likely all of you need to adjust as well.

3) The next thing I find is most important, and what it really means varies from family to family, but you need to create some sort of schedule. This could mean that children get up, dressed, and eat at a certain time and then there is davening and everyone is going to learn for 1.5 hours and then that is all you can handle so the rest of the time is “free” time, to something else. You just need SOMETHING.  Even in the summer when we are “off of school,” I found we have to do a subject of something each day – could be something really fun, but I needed to put that into our morning and then it did not matter what happened the rest of the day for we accomplished something. Our day was meaningful.

Many schools and yeshivas have transitioned to online schooling, which definitely helps, but comes with its own set of issues.  Please, just make sure you check up on each of your children a couple of times during the day so you know that they are where they need to be. It is good for the children as well, so they don’t feel so isolated and know you are around and care. You don’t have to talk to them, but just walk by and pause for just a moment. If they are doing independent work, just a quick hi and asking how they are doing can do wonders.

4) What if a school is not able to provide online schooling, or you have younger children who are not in school and now your attention is taken from them? You can go to my previous blog where I list a few suggestions here as starting places that can help.

5) Don’t forget about You. You are important. You need time out. You might even find you need to hide in the bathroom, with the door locked, for it is all getting on your nerves. Believe me, probably every single homeschool mom knows that trick and has made use of it more than once. When you are the only adult in the home and no one is there to relieve you so you can take a 15 minute break, you resort to what you have.  (And yes, it really does help!)

6) All the activities are closed. You are stuck in the house. Please follow whatever guidelines are found in your area at all times, however, here are some suggestions that might help.

                – go outside the door (while staying on your property!!!).  Take a chair or two and just sit outside of your front or back door. Even if you cannot leave your property, there is no reason why you can’t get some fresh air. It really helps everyone to feel happier.

                – you can do jumping jacks, jogging in place, jump rope, sit-ups, and many other exercises and stretches while staying in one spot.  Make a game out of it. Who can jog in place the longest, or do 5 minutes of jump rope? Make it as fun as you can. Get creative!

                – if you have a bit more space like a backyard, you can expand to tossing a ball, running around the backyard, potato sack races, 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races, and a variety of other things.

7) Schedule Quiet Time. Have 30-60 minutes a day where everyone is quiet to the best of their abilities. Have a baby or young child that naps? Great! Everyone will have quiet time at that moment.  They can read, rest, quietly work on a puzzle (jigsaw or puzzles on paper), etc. but it has to be quiet, and everyone should be by themselves. We all need time to decompress from our day. You can even call “Quiet Time!” whenever you feel the tensions rise and you find people need the break.

8) Assign one chore/task to each child, according to their ability, to be done at its proper time. Tasks can include wiping the table after each person puts their dishes away. One child is responsible for sweeping a certain room each day. Taking out the garbage, putting a bag in the garbage can, putting one load of laundry on on a certain day (older child), folding one pile of clothes, each child making sure their bed is made up, emptying the dishwasher, filling it up and putting it on, etc.

9) Tell everyone you love them. All the time. In the morning, when they have sent you to the ceiling, and when they go to bed.

Remember there will be hiccups and sometimes the day (or days) can get really stressed. It’s normal! Sometimes just surviving is the best that we can do. The internet is not working? Your children are getting way too much screen time – and that is the best you can do for YOU need a break? It’s okay! You are doing an amazing job. Tomorrow is another day.

My Children Are Bored (aka HELP!!!)

With all those children at home, it can be a bit overwhelming.  With schools and yeshivos closing, along with many public events, and children not being able to play with friends even, it can be hard to keep them busy and out of trouble; aka, hard for us to keep sane!

It is definitely a stressful time, never mind who has much time now to think about what all this really mean. For us homeschoolers, it is more like a huge winter storm when all the friends are home from school, but homeschooling families just chug along with school as if nothing is wrong. It does get a bit different when the storm lasts several days and normal out of the house activities are not available, so we can get cabin fever as well, just takes a bit longer for us.

I have our two boys who are in yeshiva, home with me, and very happy (in various ways) that they are able to keep up with their classes online.

To try to keep everyone sane, here is a very small starter list. (If you have anything else that would be helpful to others, let me know and I can add it to the list!):

(As with all things internet-related, even though I have been to these sites personally, please do your own research as well and only use what best fits your family.)

Room613 – Offering interactive, live classes for Jewish homeschoolers.

Yeshivas Mordechai HaTzaddik – Put on by the Chofetz Chaim. Call in Monday-Thursdays at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm EST. 30 min presentations start on the hour and include recesses and raffles! 646-726-9977

They also have The Children’s Hotline available 24 hours a day
212-444-1119, 718-305-6960, 845-738-1066.

Torah Live – Torah Live is offering free access to their accounts on 60 day increments – If you or your school would like to take advantage of this opportunity, go to and use promo code TORAH.
Aleph Beta – at the top of the page they have a link for those who are stuck at home for free access.a – is a great resource to begin with, but they have a wonderful children’s site filled with games and videos.
Torahtots– Is a Torah U’Mesorah website that has resources available to download for all age levels and all Jewish subject areas.

Want to help with the secular side of things as well?

Khan Academy – Includes extensive interactive math classes, along with coding. It also has so much more available, and all for free!

There are many places where one can download out of copyright books to read on a computer or to print out for free.

Gateway to the Classics (used to be Has a huge database of children’s books. Click on “Library” and then you can go to the “Browse” link to browse by author or by title.
Google Books

Want audiobooks instead? Try:
Gateway to the Classics – Click on “Library” and then go to “Listen”
Other resources can include Amazon Kindle books.

Great time to pick up some new language that sounds fun!

Duolingo – can be done on the computer or app. There are others, but this is the one that I use.

Other ideas:

Take the time to reconnect. About 4 years ago I bought a small spiral notebook for each of us in the family.  I tried to remember a few times a week to give each person their book and told them to write one thing they are greatful for.  We have not done them in 2.5 years. Tonight, I decided to bring them out again. IY”H, we will be using them most nights.

In a time of technology, some old forms have been forgotten.  Now would be a great time to bring them out. Have your children draw pictures or write cards or small letters to someone. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends.  It does not have to be long, just something small. The mail them. In the snail mail. 🙂 Maybe they can be “penpals” with their best friend who lives next door – if you can get out – paste the note on the front door in the evening and they can paste one on your door the next night!

Start a Reading Time (or Quiet Time), perhaps in the afternoon or evening after supper.  Take 30-60 minutes and everyone reads a book.

We might not understand exactly why Hashem has decided this was the best thing for us, but let us say “Thank You!” and take advantage of all that was thrown at us!

If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment, I am sure there are many other people who will be excited to hear about them.

Your Jewish Homeschool Curriculum Made Much Easier!

Hello Everyone!

I tried to write this post a while ago, but we have a new web hosting package and even though I was assured that I was not losing anything, I really am, and I was not able to write my post without my server resources being used up and having to wait and redo it all! So, I had to come up with another way of posting that will work until I get around to calling them and not having to spend $200 just so I can write text on my blog!

One of the big issues for Jewish homeschoolers has always been in creating a Judaic curriculum. After homeschooling for 12 years, I have finally put together a list of Judaic curriculum resources useful to Homeschoolers, and the grades they usually match up with. Most of the resources are free, and most can be found on All I did was go through the resources to find the kinds of things that many homeschooling families are looking for – “What do Day Schools teach?” And then, the second question that most people do not get to for they don’t usually get the first question answered, but is in their minds – “How do I do it?” So, I went through tens of thousands of resources posted on and weeded out what I thought were the kinds of materials most appropriate in a homeschool setting. They are grouped by subject and then by grade range they are most suited for.

Firstly, please keep in mind that this is just a starting place! I have definitely included a lot that many people might be able to use my list to create a full curriculum for many years, however, please note that there will probably be some gaps that need filling in after a few years, so keep that in mind. There is still some information I want to include but is not on yet.

1. Most of what is posted are links to is part of Torah U’Mesorah. It is a teachers resource site where teachers can submit classroom ideas and worksheets for others to use. Teachers post their materials and someone at Torah U’Mesorah looks them over to make sure they are appropriate before making them available. Most of what is posted is supplementary material. Homeschooling parents are looking for complete programs or themes. I went through a huge portion of these materials to find complete “kits”. Bonus – Everything on is free. 🙂

2. There are other sites that I have listed. Many of those are not free but are definitely worth looking at if your budget allows.

How do you use my list? All you need to do is find the subject that you are interested in looking at, then go to the grade level (Elementary, Middle School, High School) and see if anything there fits your needs. I tried to find several options for each grade level, though I was not always successful. Just do this for each subject you are looking for.

Again, this was made as a STARTING place, and you might need to fill in the few gaps you may find. The link below will take you to a Google Document of my list. If you have any issues opening it up, please sent me a message. Extra bonus: My list is free, so please pass the link around to your friends who might need it!

Click here for the list

If you have a link that you think would be good, please let me know and I will take a look at it.

Hope you enjoy!

Revisiting Ambleside Online

I was not going to buy books. I just wanted to look. 😐

Well, it’s that time of year again. I have been working for days trying to get a schedule going for 4. Yes, Mr. Little is not so little and will actually need to have a schedule of his own. I am so glad we are doing a Charlotte Mason styled learning, I would hate to think how things would be going otherwise. A CM styled learning allows me to teach more than one child without me going crazy. (I am going to apologize here for the lack of pictures, I have not gone out too much lately for one beautiful boy had a bike accident and now has one leg all straight in a cast. A black one. In 100 degree heat. 😐  )

I still remember sitting down at the computer 5 summers ago. I was just not finding what I wanted. Money was a big issue, and anything I wanted to do cost money. I remember the boys were at a camp, with one little one at home, and I spent all morning on the computer. Searching.  I remember noting somewhere that I saw “Free” written beside a link. It was not what I was looking for (so I thought), but it had been several hours and I had nothing, that after I exhausted the page for what I thought I was wanting, I decided to go back for I might as well look at whatever that was that had “Free” written beside it. It was one of the most amazing things I could have done. No, it was one of the most wonderful gifts from Hashem.

At that point I had three boys learning, with one who just started walking. I started reading. I honestly felt my heart racing. I clicked from page to page, reading everything I could read. The whole concept of whatever I was reading really felt good. I remember thinking, “This is what I want for my kids! This teaches middos (character traits)! I can have time for all my kids!” Whatever this was was a G-d based curriculum that was geared to raising well rounded children with good middos.

I typed to my husband about it and sent him some links, saying that I found something really neat! No, I don’t intend on doing this, don’t worry, but it is so interesting and so what I am looking for! (So why was I not going to do? I am not sure, but I knew it was not for me. *cough*) I went to see him at lunch time and again, briefly told him about this so interesting new thing (I still was not sure what it was), and knew I was not going to do it but it was so interesting!

After lunch, I had to go back and read everything again and then again. I just could not stop. By the time I had to get my boys from camp, the decision was made. Whatever this was, and I was still not quite sure what it was, for it was a very different kind of way of teaching, this *thing*, this is what we are going to do. This is what I need. The schedule was all laid out IMG_20150810_082138for me, in a way that made it so easy to use with our family, most of the books I needed were available for free, linked to right from the website, for they were out of copyright books, and the best thing is that it was free. The philosophy so matched our family.  This is what I always wanted for my kids. And bonus, there was minimal work in preparation needed from me for there was even a weekly schedule set out to follow. I texted my husband. I felt so relieved and so happy. I cried all day, from the first time that morning that I started to read, and even for days afterwards I was crying. It was all wonderful, except I had one obstacle. It was Thursday. We were supposed to start school on Monday. Just 4 days. And don’t forget a Shabbos in the middle so no reading, learning or preparation then! To top it off, I had no clue how to implement the teaching. That was not going to stop me. We started our year of schooling on time.

This was the beginning of our journey with Ambleside Online.  The year was strange. I had never heard of Charlotte Mason nor of her teachings, and frankly, in the 4 days between first hearing about it and starting school, I was busy getting books printed, and preparing for Shabbos. After that, I was busy trying to teach. I did not get to do my due diligence and really understand. It took me a year to really figure out how we were supposed to learn with this new method, and by the second year I was definitely getting the hang of it and as I was understanding, my love for CM learning increased.

As it often happens, once we get into a routine, we keep chugging away. I have enjoyed learning with the boys. I really enjoy the books, though for the later years I do not get to read most of them. There are several that I would love to read, however, I might have to be content to wait until the boys have gotten older so I have the time to read. I was preparing for this coming year when AO’s Facebook page started getting really active. They have a forum, but I don’t normally go to that, and I tend to just stick with Facebook. All the wonderful questions and comments and even the help-me’s got me thinking again. I know my boys need more outside time, and besides the 105 degree weather we had for a while, there really is no excuse not to send them outside. We have not done the art or composer study (yes, I’m a musician… don’t ask, that is for another time,) and we have not done too much with the nature study or walks, though I have taken the boys out more and more each year.

I want to add more, but it is hard. It finally donned on me today why it’s hard. Yes, there are Bible readings and other religious books read, and all I have to do is replace them with our Chumash, gemara, mishnayos, dikduk and whatever else we are doing. However, when I looked at it, I realized that really, we are doing a lot more than what is laid out, which takes away time from doing other things. I don’t feel so bad anymore, but I really do want to do more, and I figured it out. I have figured out how to add in music lessons that the boys have asked for but I have failed to follow through with… each year… and I have figured out how to add nature study and our walks in every week. I am about ready to add in composers and their music – I’m almost done printing out short biographies of various composers – and I think I finally have a timeline and a Book of Centuries (a timeline for older children) that will finally work for us. I don’t think I KIMG1023can add in more, but it is all well. I do not consider the rest necessary for our lives and that is just fine. I have been doing some reading and getting chizuk (encouragement) from other AO members on the Facebook page. I was telling my husband about the nature studies I am adding and I told him I just feel so relaxed and happy about it all. I am still not quite sure how I want to do it, but that is fine, there are various ways and we will use trial and error to find out what works for us.

As we start our 5th year with AO, I am feeling more confident than ever. I almost feel like I am starting fresh and new. I guess I am. It’s a new learning year and I am ready with new thoughts and ideas to bring to our lessons that I hope will help make our children more well rounded and ready for whatever they intend to do in the (near – yikes!!!) future.

Wishing all of you a wonderful learning year!

It’s Here Already?!?!?!

20140826_174130a Wow, is it really that time of year again? Wait, isn’t summer still here? I’m not ready. Usually I have a schedule ready 2-3 weeks before we start our learning again. Well, let me rephrase that for we are always learning; before we officially start our new school year. I tried to sit down and work on our schedule multiple times this past month, but something always took me away, including somehow being tagged as the parent who drove boys and friends to a nice creek that had a nice waterfall on an 80+ degree day last week. (Note to self: When you want to spend only an hour at the water in nice weather, don’t let boys go into water. Somehow they just won’t want to leave, and unless you actually go into the water to have them look at you, you can bet on them all of a sudden having selective hearing issues.) I finally wrote down what they are going to do, but it was not until last Thursday/Friday that I finally got to sit down and come up with a schedule. I don’t feel ready to start.

One thing I did keep in mind this year is that even though I love all of Ambleside Online’s schedule, we just will not go through all of the books. For example, there are always 3 bibliographies or similar kind of books a year, however, we usually only get through one. That was a hard thing to admit for it is hard to decide which books to leave out, they are all good sounding and I really would like to do them all. But, after doing this for 4 years now, I realize that we were not necessarily meant to complete ALL the books on the list, but it is a list of great stuff to choose from. My oldest was able to get through almost all the readings but some of the other boys are slower readers or the narrations just take a long time so it takes longer to do so the readings are split up sometimes into multiple weeks. (Yes, I know some people will split up each reading into multiple days, but we just don’t seem to have enough time to do that.)

This past week was busy. Other than finally finding time to make a schedule, Mr. Big has officially started school as a college student. (Yikes!)20140826_173235 Last Monday was his first day. Right now, all his classes have to be online for even though he might be mentally ready for the material (he did have to take a placement test to get in,) I am not letting him go to a physical class. He is still a child (at 13!) and is not ready for the college environment (at least that is what I say and I’m sticking to it.) It is a new experience for all of us. Us seasoned university graduates are trying to guide him in what he needs to be doing, and even though I did take an online course several years ago, it does seem to be very different than what us old folks experienced, though with being old comes wisdom and that makes up for all of it. 🙂 So his AO classes are limited and made up for with all the work he will be doing in his two classes.

For the other boys, we are almost set with our books. I would just like to get a different version of the King Arthur that they will be doing this year for I would like to get the version that has Librivox recordings to listen to. Librivox is a site that had free public domain audio books that are read by volunteers. Since many of the books used by AO are now out of copyright and in the public domain, there are many of the books we can listen to instead of having them read it or having me read to them. Last year we chose to listen to Robinson Crusoe. The reader was pretty good and the boys liked it. They followed along in their book and got to listen to someone other than their mother. It also gave me a break from having to read it for them (it is a very wordy book, something they are not quite used too yet and therefore harder for them to read on their own,) and I got to work with other brothers during that time.

Oh, I can’t forget the Big Mr. 5 Year Old. I have his schedule as well. He would not let me forget to make him one! Hebrew, phonics (Hooked on Phonics), math (Khan Academy, yes, they now have beginning math,) and one reading book a day of science, language arts or a free book of his choosing. When asked what phonics was, I told him it was learning to read. Oh my goodness, he was jumping out of the seat we were sharing with excitement! Before he would go to bed tonight I had to teach him to read. He wanted to read. I told him it was too much and he would not learn it in one day, but I did teach him a little of what we are going to learn tomorrow – A, “a”, apple. 😀

So, are we actually going to start our new school year tomorrow? I’m not mentally prepared to start school, and I don’t think the 2 middle ones are either, especially since one boy ended up today with 6 staples on his head from an accident, and the other came to me as he was headed to bed and asked if we were starting school tomorrow for he just didn’t know. We spent the entire weekend painting the house and not thinking about much else. So, other than helping one boy with his online Spanish and the math and biology we are doing, and teaching the ABC’s to another, I think we will start the learning with play-dough. Someone posted a great site that teaches about the chemistry of how play-dough works. There are a few chemistry words with definitions and good graphics to go along with it all. We can end the lesson with testing out how starch reacts to the different temperature of waters. I think they will all like it. I also saw a great site that goes into the science of chocolate chip cookies. I really want to do that one as well, though I think I will save it for something fun to do over Chol HaMoed Sukkos…I won’t feel too bad about having the hard part of testing out all the variations then!

Or, I can just take them all back to the creek with the waterfalls. 😀 I’m so glad we can homeschool!

My Quiet, Lazy Week

20140618_144608Summer is about here and it feels good! My oldest is having his turn for a vacation with Grandpa right now and it is awfully quiet around here. This was supposed to be the last week of school, but since one boy would still officially have school next week, I decided it was a good time to take the week off. We will finish up school next week. (Ah, the joys of homeschooling and having the flexibility of just taking off!) I have to admit, this week I have been quiet lazy. As in not really doing much lazy. I took the time to clean and organize the house just a little bit. I am getting caught up in the kitchen, I have taken several bags and boxes out to the van to give away, one boy did a very good start in cleaning the garage (it is part of one of his merit badges for Scouts,) and we spent most of the day today cleaning the boys’ room.

Actually, the boys did all the work! I give them full credit and they deserve it. They sure surprised me today. As part of my book removal this week, I bumped into a book that I bought at the library book sale several years ago called, ‘What to Do When Your Mom or Dad Says “Clean Your Room!” ‘ It is a good book for kids and tells them exactly what to do when and how to organize any bedroom no matter how messy it is. The first thing the boys said when I opened the book to read to them is, “Boy, that room [in the book] is messier than ours!” Which was a good thing for then they did not feel so bad and I think it gave them chizuk (encouragement.) They spent at least 4 hours – two in the morning and two after lunch – cleaning their room all by themselves. I think they enjoyed going back to the book to read it and figure out what to do next; after all, it was not Mommy telling them. 😉 It is not perfect, and we forgot to mop the floor, but it sure is acceptable and it looks “nice.” Even the beautiful boy who has trouble cleaning did an amazing job! He was the one who cleaned the garage as well the other day. I did not have to say much, he just went and did it. Obviously it needs more than the hour or so of work he spent on it, but it sure is a wonderful start. I wonder if it is the lack of his older brother around that is helping him this week or perhaps, just perhaps, he might be growing up. Maybe a little bit? Maybe? I won’t hold my breath too much at the moment, but it is good to dream. 😉 The trick is, can they keep their room clean tomorrow?

Mr. Big comes home on Friday, Bli Nedre, and I am sure looking forward to his return. Aside from realizing how much of a help he really is to me, I miss talking to him. I have spent the week sending boys outside and taking the quiet to just let my mind go and think. I have been thinking about decluttering/organizing (though not getting too far, but started,) thinking about how the school year has gone this year and how I want to change things for the next year and trying to think about the summer (well, got started but that is about it.) I do want to do some work over the summer, I find that some sort of schedule works well for us. We have not been doing Rambam for a little while for they are staying where their father is and he has been busy with other learning at the moment. Gum Ze L’Tova; this too is for the best – I have replaced that with Dik Duk (Lashon HaTorah series,) something that I have tried to do for a couple of years but was never able to figure out how to fit it into the schedule.

I have some thoughts on how to improve for next year. I know that I have been trying to do too much with my oldest for Ambleside Online. It is just that everything looked so good that I tried to cram it all in. Unfortunately, it did not work out. So, I will have to thin out the workload for next year just a little bit. That is not too bad for that is the idea anyways; they put a lot into each year  to give the parents a nice selection to choose from.

For the summer, I was thinking of finding something for each one of the boys to do that is a little different than what we usually do. For one boy, he would like to write books (but hates to write,) so I have been thinking of The Creative Writer. I am wondering if I can have him spend the summer writing a book and then at the end of the summer we can print it off on That should definitely make himself proud of himself.

It is almost 10:30 pm but my little one is still up and about and just cannot sleep. Even so, it is still awfully quiet around here. Did I mention the I cannot wait for my oldest to come back home? Just 2 more days! This is the third year now that Grandpa has taken one boy with him on a vacation. It does not seem to matter which boy is gone, the house is quiet without him. It is even more quiet this time for said boy is very talkative with his Mommy and Daddy (Baruch Hashem!!!!) and that is missing along with the bickering with his younger brothers. I am treasuring the quiet but am looking forward to his return.

I had some nice long walks with my DH this week, and that really helped make the week nice and serene. Hainge time to talk alone is something we like to do, but the past many months we have not had that pleasure and it sure has made a big impact over the last week. We have been able to talk about the boys and other needed stuff. It just puts a productive end to the day.

I’m off to bed now. Have a good night!

Our Long Weekend and Scroll Tutor Review

20131013_183924 (2)Another busy week has past and another busy week has started. The boys went on a scout campout Sunday and Monday, and since DH was their scoutmaster as well, it was just me and the little one at home for some nice quiet time. Motzei Shabbos I sat down with him and had him tell me what he wanted to eat the next day. We settled on some pasta for lunch (which he made for me) and pizza for supper. I was able to convince him that jellybeans would best be had for a snack opposed to a full meal. 😉 We had a nice lazy morning with some beautiful weather, picked up a tefillin bag for my oldest who starts to put on tefillin this week (!!!) and even got to surprise Daddy and brothers by coming by the campsite for supper (we pushed pizza till the next day and had delicious fire cooked hot dogs and hamburgers instead, complete with roasted marshmallows.)  I think the car is finally cleaned out, with all the camping gear still in the living room, however, all boys had showers and all clothes are in the hamper (I think…) I have decided that all clothes are going in the laundry at the same time – This time I will not discriminate between lights, darks, heavy, thin, etc. I believe in all clothes getting the same opportunity to being washed and dried. 😉 (Just do not tell the boys that, for then they will want to do it all the time!)

This morning is the first morning that my oldest put on his new tefillin! As I woke up early and saw father and son leave the room, I made sure to remind my husband, for the third time, to remember to take at least one picture for me. No, I am not excited in the least. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now between trying to figure out what to do with the scout popcorn this week as well as work on details for the Big Day next month. But, have no fear, the nice thing is that even if I don’t do anything, time still goes on! Ha! And yes, that does comfort me as I try to juggle everything for Time comes and Time goes, and Life really does go on and I won’t get stuck in a rut. C’est la vie!

There is a new website that has just launched call Scroll Tutor. They have 10 minute videos on Chumash and they are starting off with Parshas Shemos. Right now, there is a new video once a week and they are sending out a weekly email with the next video link. I received the link to the 3rd video this weekend
20131013_121938 and finally got around to pulling up a video to watch. I figured that I could afford to spare 10 minutes to check it out especially with everyone out of the house.

The videos are definitely geared a little more towards children, though, as an adult, I did enjoy watching it as well. (They do advertise it is for both children and adults.) The videos are very similar the kind of videos done on Khan Academy. The speaker has the Hebrew text on the screen, goes through it and translates it, talks briefly about it and then pulls up Rashi to answer some questions. He puts in some clip art in as well to help the viewer better visualize what is being talked about and to help keep the interest of the viewer. He underlines the words as he goes, which I thought was great for there was regular motion to redirect delicious minds to keep focused on the task at hand. 10 minutes. Nice, short and sweet. Very easy to fit into busy schedules as well. There really is no excuse not to fit in 10 minutes into the day. Right now there is one chapter sent out every week, with about 6 six videos per chapter. After all, 10 minutes a day, 6 days a week, 52 weeks, that is 520 hours or 21.7 days more of Torah learning a year! And hey, if even one of my children learn 21.7 extra days of Torah learning a year, that is 21.7 extra days of credit that I get on my account, and I have 4 boys, so that is 86.7 days and if I sit down to learn with them, well, it is starting to look mighty good. I know, I’m just thinking of myself. 😉

I thought of my one little boy that I am the one struggling to understand better, who really is taller than me, and thought he would really benefit from videos like these. So, as I prodded one little boy a few times (this one really is shorter than me still,) to keep awake while finishing up the Rambams they were doing and then sent 3 off to bed, I kept the one boy behind to show him the video. Even though he was tired from the campout, he was really good at focusing and listening.

20131015_070925I asked him what he thought about it and then what he liked and what he didn’t like. His answers, in order, are 1) he liked the pictures and 2) he liked how it was taught. (The teaching style.) I asked if he liked how it was underlined and if it helped keep his focus and he said yes. He did not have anything he did not like. He also told me “too bad he does not do videos for trop,” my guess he is thinking about HIS bar mitzvah that is coming up in the not so distant future. As he walked sleepily off to bed, he asked me if he could watch more tomorrow. They are planning on having a subscription for the videos, but right now you can sign up for a free trial.
I think campouts are a great thing, and think they should have more of them for within minutes, the room with 4 boys was silent. They all fell fast asleep.

Summer Has Started!

20130728_144349After the third and final birthday party for a very lucky 4 year old, the last couple of days I actually felt it was a summer day for me – I actually got to sit down without having to rush and do some prep for the school year. (The watermelon was carved into the shape of a jeep, along with windshield wiper blades and side mirrors! A brother loved the birthday boy!) The best part of the school year is having all those books come pouring into the mailbox. Most of our books are purchased from and most of them are used so they come from varioius sellers. We have had several shipments arrive at our house over the past week and still have a few more to go.

I am very excited about one of the books that came; How To Read a Book  by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren. Yes, I know it sounds like a funny name, but it is very accurate. I have decided to start the pre-reading of new school books by reading that book first. I have read the first 5 chapters so far. It is a very good book which describes how to effectively and systematically skim through a book to learn the main points, as well as how to read it when you decide to actually read it so that you get the most out of the book. I figured this would be a great start so that I could pre-read all the books that come in over the next week or so for I need. I will not have time once school starts to read, or more appropriately perhaps, I will not want to read anything else once school starts except what I will be reading to boys during school time. I highly recommend this book.

It has been gorgeous outside so I threw the boys outside as much as possible. That gave me some nice quiet time to sit, do nothing, and then feel like I needed to and wanted to do something, so I read the book on how to read a book. 🙂 I even took some time to sit outside and enjoy. I had the branch of one of our flowering trees just a few inches from where I was sitting and it was very peaceful to watch the bees buzzing and getting the pollen all over their bodies.
Our summer schedule has not really gone on as I thought it would. I am not too worried about it for hey, it’s summer time! I am a bit more carefree about what is done or not done. I really would like to get more of certain things done that are not being done, but I will not sweat it. Rambam twice a day, along with20130724_090125 mishnayos. Afterall, Torah learning is for every day and it is good to get into the swing of things with some things so when we start school, it is just adding the rest, not doing it all at once – rather less overwhelming for me anyways that way.  I also get to see how it is and how I can/need to incorporate time for the newly 4 year old and his all important school work. 🙂 It might be better than I imagined for most days for since all 3 older boys are in the kitchen listening to and following along with the videos for Rambam, and each video is around 40-45 minutes long, I found myself sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor, along with washing some dishes and cleaning of the kitchen. Mr. 4 year old was off playing by himself for one entire Rambam (yeah!) I cannot expect him to do that three times a day, but once a day would be nice and very helpful.
One boy is finally learning what it means to be busy. We have him busy. We are trying very hard to get him ready to take the SAT’s – and no, he is NOT that old yet that he is taking it for university, he is taking it while enrolled in grade 7 so as to see how well he does and perhaps help him get some scholarships for education camps, etc. He has his Rambam and mishnayos, 2 sets of math, SAT math book as well as SAT vocabulary words to work on, and not to mention his laining and the reading of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
A 4 year has been begging me to let him make his ‘experiment.” What he wants to do is use salt, water, sugar and flour and let it sit. I guess that is one way to learn. I instructed his oldest brother to make sure he makes a VERY SMALL concoction, and to oversee everything and make sure there is no mess. Good thing we used only food items – he wanted to test it before he let it sit! The little things that make them happy. 🙂
As I am listening to DH playing the organ for me, he really is saying it’s bedtime and I need to go. ‘Night!

We’re All Back!


Firstly, I just want to start off by mentioning a correction to the previous post. is also geared towards teenagers, it was just my impression that it was not (not sure how I came to that impression.) That said, we are still continuing on with our Judaics for the coming year that we have mapped out. Secondly, when you start tea time, expect to continue the tradition. 🙂 Cucumbers, watermelon and small bite sized pieces of brownies are all good, along with tea (or hot lemon water in our case.) 🙂 We have not been able to do it the last two weeks, but today boys were complaining, “We did not have tea time today!”

The last two weeks have been almost entirely away from home. We went to the same cabin on the 350+ acres that we went to last year. Other than the 90+ degree weather with no A/C, it was pretty good, but I do not think we will be going there next year20130719_142349. (And the best thing to do on a really hot Tisha B’Av with no A/C is to drive in the car that has AC all the way back home for an hour to drop off camp stuff!) If nothing else, I found out today, after I had to take my van into the shop to get fixed, that the porcupines that live by the cabin not only eat away at the balcony and the support beams underneath it, they like to eat away at wires under cars… The mechanic asked if I keep my car in the garage, no, outside. In the back? No, in the front. Apparently, rodents like to chew on wires under vehicles, but not usually when the vehicle is kept outside, in the front, on the driveway. I asked about porcupines; we not only heard them on the porch, but actually saw one underneath eating away at the support beams. Yes, porcupines + vehicles in fields = lots of damage and money to fix the damage. He could not give me even a rough estimate when he called for he was not finished taking everything apart to see the entire damage. He will be putting some cover over my wires to help prevent this from happening again. Since we only have one vehicle, I am carless for a while. The bonus to all of this is that we get to walk to the store or any other place we need to go and that means good exercise for all of us! There is a silver lining in everything. 😉

The first Shabbos at the cabin was rather quiet – just one little boy to entertain. Sunday morning we all got up to drive 4 hours to fetch the really missed 20130718_114244brothers from camp. It was good to have everyone back home. I really missed them. I think the lone brother missed them the most. It is not easy to want to play with someone and only Mommy is around and Mommy sometimes cannot play. Boy, it sure is good to have brothers!

Aside from that, the train, Corning Museum of Glass, blueberry picking and horseback riding were some of the main activities with horseback riding coming in tops for everyone (and blueberry picking a close second)! The youngest was too small to ride a regular horse so he got to have a pony ride around the farm. He then was lucky enough to be able to brush down and wash the pony. Both the pony and the little boy really enjoyed it. Oh, and I cannot forget about the birthday party #2 – afterall, it is not everyday that Grandpa comes down to visit! He was one lucky boy – a visit with Saba one day, and Grandpa the next, two birthday parties (and presents to match from each grandfather), and not to mention that this weekend there will, IY”H, be a THIRD party (for the same boy) for he was insistent that his friend comes over for a party, and since neither of the previous parties were at home, I promised him we will have one with his friend. Baruch Hashem my boys are very happy with simple things – a simple cake and a card and a small present is all that is needed to make someone happy, oh, and the occasional friend.

The Corning Museum of Glass was very interesting to go see. We have not been there before. The first section with glass art was not my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed going into the history section. They had the history of glass making, from the early times until the present, with all sorts of interesting facts and artifacts. We even got to see some glass making demonstrations such as the hot glass show and the flameworking.

Well, we got to pick up our sefarim yesterday! 3 sets of Rambam’s Mishneh Torah (English and Hebrew.) I spent several hours on Monday trying to clean out a small book case that we had, figuring it had 3 shelves and each set would fit on 2. I would just need to get one more book20130717_161519 case. I was almost correct. Yes, each set fits on 2 shelves, however, the bottom shelf is too short to put any books on. Never fear, I have ideas! In the meantime, the living room is a mess. Boys have taken all the books out of the boxes and have been labeling all of their 93 books. Wow. I did not realize how many books we really were getting until just now. I was just of thinking it as 31*3 and those in themselves are not that big, but to do the actual math problem, wow, multiplication is powerful! We were good and even started our learning today! One video from Rabbi Gordon from was listened too.

I cannot forget that we finally brought the organ inside! It was not as hard as I thought it would be. We used our Radio wagon, put some plywood on top, and used two 2×4’s and slid them under the organ with the other end of the boards on the wagon to make a ramp. We then pushed the organ up the ramp. We all held on while one boy very, VERY carefully and slowly pulled the wagon all away around from the garage to the front door. The tricky part came when we had to transfer the organ from the wagon up the 2 steps into the house. With some creative thinking and cooperation, we got it into the house. Since it is mine, only I was allowed to clean it all up. Boys wanted to help but I refused. I told them to vacuum the carpet. 😉 Everyone anxiously awaited the moment when they could touch and then play the new instrument. I have not played the organ in almost 17 years – it is amazing how even though I play the piano a little here and there, my organ playing is terrible! It was hard reading all those staves again! I had to go way, way back to the really early days and the very easy music to get back in the swing of reading everything again. “Mommy, how can your feet play all the right notes and you are not even looking?” I smiled and proudly told my son, “I started on the organ!” That was one thing I was pleasantly surprised about; my feet still knew where to go after all these years. They were even more surprised to find out that their Dad used to play the organ as well.

I have also spent the last two days finding the books I need for my oldest. With Ambleside Online, almost everything is non-consumable, so since I have books from my oldest, the younger children have their books as well. Finally, I put all the books in the Amazon shopping card, as well as two printer inks, and 20130723_160843pressed the order button. Among the books ordered were organ books (it is not easy to find beginning organ books now!). All four boys are so excited and want me to give them organ lessons. I told them I do not have time to teach them both the piano AND the organ. 4 for the organ it is. Though they are not happy that I am not teaching them yet. I appeased them when they saw I was ordering music books first. Unfortunately, unlike the electronic piano that I have, you cannot put headphones into the organ! At least there is the volume control, it helps. A little. 😉

Anyways, I am saying sweet dreams to everyone and I am off to bed to dream about the fact that I am now officially also an organ teacher. 🙂