Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hebrew Home School Update: September

No fancy verbiage in this post, just some quick notes on what we've done for my own reference and for those following along at home:

Week 1: covered in some detail here.

Week 2:

Recipe: Simplified variation on an apple crumble, with apple slices, granola, honey dribbled over it, all baked for 20 minutes or so.

Hebrew/Story: Aleph-Bet, by Michelle Edwards. Picture book following the daily life of one Israeli family, from Aleph to Tav. Really simple, but perfect for our purposes: one Hebrew letter per page, along with a Hebrew word starting with that letter (in Hebrew characters and English transliteration) illustrated by some activity in the family. MG wasn't crazy about it, but she sat through it okay, looked at the letters when I pointed, and guessed at the meaning of some of the words based on the illustration. And she liked the "Tav" page, which illustrated the word "Teenook" (Baby) with a picture of said baby getting his diaper changed while his grossed-out older sister tossed the dirty dipe in a bin.

That's all we did. It was a busy day and we were tired.

Week 3:

Recipe: A cheddar cheese kugel, in preparation for dinner guests the next day. We were going to make a traditional sweet kugel like this one, but remembered that one family member doesn't eat sugar, so we went for a savory version. I'd never made a kugel before and hadn't quite realized how labor-intensive it is. MG helped sprinkle the cheese and the breadcrumbs. She was going to grate the cheese, too, but got distracted by a phone call early in the process and I finished it for her. I did the rest; so much for involving MG in the cooking process. But that's okay, because she was highly involved this week in the

Hebrew: The books came from the publisher! Along with a $22 C.O.D. owing. On account of Customs, I think. I ordered two different "pre-primers" which introduce the letters of the Aleph-Bet, and let MG choose which one would be her main workbook. She chose the easier, jokier one, Bet-Man's Book of Hebrew Letters. I would've picked the newer one, Journeys through the Aleph-Bet, which has photos of Israeli text on walls and posters and street signs and such, and also has more writing exercises. She ended up using both of them, though, so fired up was she to learn Hebrew letters. I was blown away; this is a kid who usually kicks and stalls and rebels against homework, but she ripped through the first 3 letters in the book this afternoon: Shin, Tav, and Resh, picking up the sound of Bet along the way too. She did the exercises in both books, learned the "A" vowel symbols, practiced reading some consonant-vowel combinations, and even read her first Hebrew word: "Shabbat".

She wanted to do more exercises but I made her stop so she could get ready for bed, and also so she wouldn't burn out. I'm not taking any bets on whether she'll stay this enthusiastic, especially as she deals with the task of remembering more letters each week. But I think the phonetic predictability of Hebrew appeals to her, as well as the exoticism of learning another language.

Story: We didn't read a story, overwhelmed as we were by the demands of the recipe and the novelty of the Hebrew workbooks.

Our guests loved the kugel. MG ate a bite of it and then declared herself full.

Week 4: This Monday. I have no idea what we'll cook or what we'll read. MG is lobbying for hamentaschen, but I'm resisting on the grounds that Purim isn't for another six months. Also, I appear to have some kind of cold/flu/crud combo coming on. Maybe I'll just leave Bet-Man and a pencil on the kitchen table for her and take a nap.


Blogger Pamelamama said...

Yay! Glad you liked the Torah Aura stuff!

I have another book for reading practice... at school though so I need to remember to look on Monday. xo

7:01 PM  
Blogger liz said...

What about kishkes? Right? bowtie noodles with lentils?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Genevieve said...

You might like this cookbook with kids' cooking projects:

8:47 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...


That's just the cookbook I've had my eye on! It finally came in at the library so I could take a look at it, and I think it's good enough that I'll be ordering one for my Very Own.

9:04 PM  

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