Saturday, December 6, 2014

Story of the World: The Jewish People

I just can't keep up with the blog (homeschool requires so much prep and time) so I think this is the last post for a very long time! You just have to know through all these super fun pictures, that we have plenty of crazy hard moments too as we ALL do as mommies!  Some moments I'm completely full to the brim with immense joy and excitement through these homeschooling adventures and other moments on the verge of crying :)   I'm immensely grateful to so many moms that have inspired me through this whole home school process... one of which shared the Story of the World series.  I wish you the best in finding what works for you and your children!

So here's what we did for The Story of the World: The ANCIENT JEWISH PEOPLE

We found our favorite JEWISH SYNAGOGUE!! You see that light right above Penny's head - that's the "Eternal Light" of God.  We couldn't take pictures of when we went on Shabbat but it was so neat to join in their singing as they welcomed in their Sabbath!  You just have to find a not-so-orthodox Synagogue that welcomes visitors.  

Check out this Synagogue's stained glass structures - amazing!

Ever since living in Jerusalem, I have dreamed of this day... finally celebrating "Shabbat Shallom" with my own little family!  The mom lights 2 candles (to remember and observe the Sabbath day, followed by the father blessing each child and praising the mother for being more precious than rubies, then they drink wine - we do sparkling grape juice - and then challah bread.  We've tried many different recipes over the last 4 weeks and this one's our fav.
This is how totally crazy we look when shopping!  This was our very first trip to get candles and our Kiddish Cup and Sparkling Grape Juice.  

If you're looking for great children's books about Jewish holidays (and whew, they celebrate many), we love the "Sammy Spider" books.  

We found a Jewish "Go Fish" and "Candy Land" that is... Kosher Land haha at the Jewish Synagogue Gift Shop!  This was such a fun way to learn more Jewish terms and get curious about looking things up.
Finding Mesopotamia on the map.  I thought it was fascinating that "Potamia" is greek for rivers so Mesapotamia means "between or in the middle of" two "rivers".  Just like Potamus means river and Hippos means Horse, so a hippopotamus is greek for "river horse"!
Our Mesopotamia get up :).  ABRAHAM (the first Jew) came from Mesopotamia.  It worked out that we've lost all are marbles, so we just use water for our "rivers"
On The Story of the World history series we listen to... it explains how in Mesopotamia during Abraham's day, the people were merchants and sold things like scarlet and purple cloth, salt, cinnamon, and copper - so we set up our trading center, and then painting our Home Depot planes to "Fly" to Mesopotamia.  Did you know Home Depot does free kids' workshops were they let you make and paint different creations each month?! 

Making Matzah (that wasn't very edible)...  But they were so giddy for daddy to hide the matzah around the house.  In Jewish families at Passover time the children look for the hidden Matzah to get candy.
So cool that the two Challah Bread that Jews use each Shabbat reminds them of Moses and the double manna from heaven...
Braided Challah Bread...
Juicing grapes :)...

Celebrating Hanukkah  Our favorite part as been these chocolate coins and playing the Dreidel game.  So so fun.

You can make stamps out of potatoes!
We just did the hebrew letters on the dreidel.  The 4 letters stand for this sentence "A Great Miracle Happened There" (meaning the oil lasting 8 days during an invasion in Jerusalem).  Fun note - the dreidles you buy in Jersualem actually have one different letter so it reads "A Great Miracle Happened Here".  But for now my kids just know that chocolate + games = learning about the Jews is COOL! :)

We discovered that the Jews at Hannakah time make lots of foods with OIL to remember the miracle of the oil!  They even make special donuts!  
Eating raw dough - yuck :)

 Many Jewish families have "Tzadakah boxes" in their homes where they collect loose coins to save up for some special charity cause.  Tzadakah means "Charity" in Hebrew...

So that inspired studying about coins - I think Kindergartens cover this in school.  There's a zillion fun ideas on pinterest to study money.
This one was free from Teachers Pay Teaches I believe...
Learning about Abraham Lincoln haha!!  

 This one's a game you do with dice.  Ps. We just discovered Yahzee is a super fun game to practice math.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pumpkin Study

For halloween our zoo hides pumpkins in each of the Aquarium's displays - so fun!  It worked out because they each choose "ocean" for their story's setting.  It's just more fun to write their stories at the actual setting!    
Pumpkin Pancakes... THIS RECIPE is seriously the BEST EVER!  It will change your life.

Writing Center with our "Author Chair" - love this idea from his kindergarten teacher.  I think lots of teachers do this too...
This website has some fun free printables...
Pumpkin bowling...

We wondered where the canned pumpkin comes from, so we followed Pioneer Woman's instructions!  You have to use Pie Pumpkins, and I think canned pumpkin tastes better and is WAY easier :)

With our pumpkin, we made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (with this yum recipe).  I got out all the ingredients on the list so he could look on the actual items to see the spelling.

You could even get out the actual measurements for them to see how much and how to spell.

Our favorite part was eating chocolate chips and the end of that long list!
There's all sorts of fun ways to teach the pumpkin life cycle on pinterest.  
We are in LOVE with Gail Gibbons books (she's an author).  She has 90 different educational book titles, so whatever you're studying she probably has a book about it!!

My little people started asking questions about trees as we talked about how gigantic trees grow from tiny seeds.  Our favorite "tree park" is covered with bike trails lined with a slew of different kinds of trees all labeled!  So we started a leaf/seed collection...

Me trying to snap pictures with one hand while nursing Jack on the sand haha!  We are such a mess but we all survive somehow.
I had forgotten that each ring represents a different year of the tree's life.
Did I tell you how much I LOVE Gail Gibbons books?!  They're awesome.
You could make a leaf book and laminate each of the different kinds of leaves!  I think it may have broken my laminator, but it was worth it :)