Social Icons

twitterfacebookpinterestrss feed

Featured Posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Questions to ask when choosing a school

I have a lot of friends who are trying to choose between one day school over another or decide between day school, public school, or another private school and are having trouble deciding where to send their child. I began to think about the kinds of things I want for my children in their education and thought I would share.

I believe very strongly that I want my children to be challenged as much as possible. I obviously do not want them to be set up for failure, but I want them to be pushed to expand their capabilities. If they can't handle a dual curriculum, then I want to know the school will be able to assist them in the right services to allow them to succeed.
I have seen with both of my children who are hyper verbal that a great teacher can make a world of difference in helping them to succeed and not be bored. I have also seen how easy it is to be bored. I want my children to love learning and be excited more often then not with what they are learning in school.

I want them to be exposed to 21st century learning because it makes sense and there is a purpose in integrating it into the curriculum and not because it's the new flashy term of education. I also believe that they need a strong foundation in writing and reading because it's a part of everything. I also believe that math,  science, and technology need to be strong.

Having thought about all things I want in education, I put together a list of questions that I thought would be good starting questions with the school you are trying to decide about. Note that some of these are specific to a Jewish school:

General
What is your handwriting program?
What reading program are you using?
What is your science program like?
Besides smart boards, how is technology integrated into the curriculum in each grade?
What kinds of project-based learning occurs in the elementary school?
What kinds of blended-learning opportunities are there and for what ages?
What kinds of real world skills are offered to a student?
At the end of 5th grade, what skills does a Schechter student have?
What is the estimated class size for each grade?
What is the maximum class size?
What kinds of music does a student learn throughout elementary school?
How much time does the average student spend on homework?
Do you teach about evolution?

Judaics
What subjects are done entirely in Hebrew for each grade?
What are the Hebrew language programs?
What is Tefillah like in the Elementary school?
How do you deal with theology questions like Does God exist? Or who wrote the Bible?

After-school/Enrichment
What kinds of enrichment programs do you offer?
Are there any extended day programs or early drop-off?
Are there any sports offered in the elementary school and if so, what grade do they begin in?

School Culture
Any differences based upon gender?
How do you deal with same sex parents, is the school inclusive?
What kinds of opportunities does the school offer for families from different areas to interact with one another?
How does the school handle birthday parties held on Shabbat or that have non-kosher food?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DVDs on Sale at Amazon under $5

If you are interested in expanding your DVD collection, there are a few that are on sale for under $5. Amazon often changes their prices, so be sure to check out the prices before purchasing.


Airplane! for $4.99 on DVD


Horton Hears a Who (Single-Disc Edition) for $4.99


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Single-Disc Edition)



Happy Feet (Full Screen Edition) for $4.99

Passover for Kids

Here are a few items I have found that I thought might add a little fun to your Passover Seder. Our girls are getting old enough where it will be important to have shtick for the seder to keep it going or let them play during the seder.





Amazing Passover Seder Plate Wood Puzzle with Matching Pictures Underneath and Handles for $14.90


Passover Wood Puzzle for $12.99


My Deluxe Soft Seder Setfor $25.31


Fun Frog Shower Capfor $8.99


Children's Animal Shower Cap - Cow for $4.99









Monday, February 25, 2013

Amazon: UDraw Game Tablet for $13.50


uDraw Game tablet with uDraw Studio: Instant Artist

  • High Definition - Utilizing the full capacity of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, users can play, draw, print, and share their creations in HD.
  • Touch Screen Creativity - From pinch-and-stretch zooming to free-form finger-painting, the uDraw GameTablet responds directly to your touch.
  • Built-In Controller Functions - Xbox 360 and PS3 controls are directly integrated into the uDraw, eliminating the need to dock a controller.
  • Tilt Functionality - Tilt, shake and jump through games with enhanced tilt and motion features.
  • Pressure-Sensitive Stylus - The uDraw stylus offers 256 points of pressure sensitivity, providing amazing freedom to bring your creations to the screen in detail.
  • Built-In Controller Functions ? Xbox 360 and PS3 controls are directly integrated into the uDraw, eliminating the need to dock a controller.
  • High Definition ? Utilizing the full capacity of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, users can play, draw, print, and share their creations in HD.
  • Touch Screen Creativity ? From pinch-and-stretch zooming to free-form finger-painting, the uDraw GameTablet responds directly to your touch.

Amazon: Cinderella Carriage for $34.25

Cinderella Transforming Carriage Doll Accessories

  • Inspired by the classic Disney animated film, Cinderella
  • Girls will love recreating their favorite scenes from the movie
  • Help Cinderella turn this pumpkin into something magical
  • All it takes are 3 easy steps to change this pumpkin into a carriage
  • A great gift that any Cinderella fan is sure to love

In December, this was down to $20.24, but this is one of the lowest prices for this.

Amazon: American Dolls for as low as $16.31


American Dolls for as low as $16.31
These are the mini version of the dolls.

Here's a link to patterns for American Doll Dresses as well.

Amazon: Magic Eraser 77 cents an eraser


Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads, 8-Count Box
Regularly: $6.99
Subscribe & Save Discount: $6.64
-Coupon: .50
=$6.14

=$0.77 per eraser

Amazon: Disney Onesies $1.91 per bodysuit


Disney Cuddly Bodysuit with Grow an Inch Snaps, Minnie Mouse "Floral Rainbow" 3 Pack for $5.38

  • Disney Huggable Soft 100% Cotton
  • Machine Wash
  • Double row of snaps gives an extra inch of length to "grow" with your baby for longer wear
  • Lap-shoulder neck opening makes dressing baby easier
  • Safety stitching on all seams for extra strength
  • Holds its shape, with minimal shrinkage after repeated washings
  • Tagless neck label protects baby's delicate skin

Amazon: Crayola Twistables $5.97



Crayola 30ct Twistables Colored Pencils

  • 30 vibrant colors
  • Clear barrels for color identification and viewing the twisting action
  • 2.0mm lead doesn't need sharpening
  • More colors now in one pack
  • Kid requested

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Passover decluttering challenge

With the start of lent, I saw a bunch of posts on organizing and purging for lent, basically 40 bags in 40 days. What a great idea for getting ready for Passover. I use it as my time to do spring cleaning, even when we will be gone for the holiday. So I'm challenging you to use the time between Purim and Passover to clean up the house, purge, organize, donate, and share. Here's my list of places to clean and purge:
25 entry hall closet
26 bookcases
27 dining room
28 living room
1 play room
2 rest from cleaning
3 pantry
4 dishes
5 bathrooms
6 laundry room
7 guest bedroom
8 under sinks
9 rest from cleaning
10 attic
11 linen closet
12 office
13 family room
14 master bedroom
15 master bedroom closets
16 rest from cleaning
17 kid room
18 kid room
19 bathrooms
20 kid desk
21garage
22 garage
23 rest
24 refrigerator, freezer, counter tops
What would your plan be?