Haddie was a bit excited about starting another book and she talked me into beginning before all the resources came in from the library. Plus, we had colds and an extra baby for the week, so I wasn’t too energetic. Anyways, all that leads me to the point, that for the first few days we just read Mrs. Katz and Tush and a some extra Passover themed books (all of which I’d recommend, except Matzo Boy):
A Tale of Two Seders by Mindy Avra Portnoy
The Matzo Ball Boy by Lisa Shulman
This is the Matzah by Abby Levine
Pearl’s Passover by Jane Breskin Zalben (also has recipes and Passover activities)
We also read a book about Moses and skimmed through the story of the 10 plagues to make the plagues flip book from homeschool share.
Today we got a bit more creative and energetic with school (finally!). We read Mrs. Katz and Tush again while pointing out all the patterns on every page. Lets just say, Mrs. Katz wears tons of patterned clothing and she does need a bit of fashion advice about matching. Lol. But we also noticed that Larnell’s clothing is very plain and the only time he has any pattern to his clothes is when he’s wearing the pajamas.
Next, we decided to make matzah. I searched online for recipes and finally settled on the easiest one that didn’t include kosher flour because I didn’t know how different it was from the regular kind we had. I really didn’t want to spend more money to buy special flour. I figured the plain white flour would be good enough for our purposes. Our matzah turned out pretty well. I had to add a little extra water or oil to each of my clumps as I was rolling them out because they were too dry. I don’t think I got them thin enough, but I actually liked the thinner ones better.
We took a break from school to finally carve pumpkins.
When we continued later on, we worked on making a picture using patterned fabric. I gave her a few ideas and she settled on making a picture of Mrs. Katz, Larnell, and Tush. I gave her a bag of fabric scraps and she picked out each piece for each item in the picture. Then I cut the pieces out. We glued them on and then she drew in their faces and arms. For Tush we couldn’t resist using googly eyes and thread for whiskers. She drew Tush’s strips on with marker.
And when her daddy came home, she couldn’t resist asking him to hide a Matzah cracker like they do for the children during the Seder dinners. Then she had to have a turn hiding it for daddy. Then they ate it!
It’s so neat seeing the things she picks up from the stories all on her own!
Today we found Poland on our map and colored it in. Haddie also colored the Poland flag. We briefly listens to some polish folk music on YouTube and looked through some pictures in books about Poland.
We finished up school unexpectedly by getting to see some manatees!
Daddy texted us to tell us about the tons of manatees that were in the canal behind the church building. So we just had to make a trip to see them all. Haddie wanted to bring veggies to feed them, so we settled on some lettuce and drove over. Thankfully they were all still there. And we had a lot of fun watching them!
Today we ventured into making an apple matzo kugel
One of our youth group girls was over for the weekend and helped peel the apples:
While Haddie crushed the crackers:
And the finished kugel:
Haddie only tried a teeny bit and declared she didn’t like it. We used flat crackers instead of actual matzah because I didn’t want to go to the store only for one item. It was interesting. The texture (bread pudding type) was hard to get past. I liked the texture better after it had cooled more.
We also tried a few yeast experiments I found online. Unfortunately they flopped for us. The first attempts were with expired yeast that I figured we should try before I threw it away. Since those didnt work, I used still good yeast but those didn’t work. I’m not sure if the yeast was bad, the water not the right temp (too hot or not hot enough) or what.
We also tried the experiment with a water bottle, yeast, water and sugar and topped with a balloon. Our balloon did get sucked inside like some of the blogs I read, but it really didn’t blow up much otherwise. Another fail. Haddie did enjoy looking at the yeast pellets (is that what you would call them? Or grains?). She even got brave enough to taste some and strangely said she liked how they tasted. Is it bad to eat yeast? Like straight yeast? Hope not. Great parenting, I know.
To continue our yeast lesson, we read The Duchess Bakes a Cake. It was a cute book about a duchess who uses way too much yeast and the chaos that results.
Today we made more Jewish food. We used store bought mix to make our own matzo ball soup (the from scratch recipes were way too involved, especially since I didn’t expect she’d like it much). We had fun forming the balls and watching them grow as they cooked. We also made pizzas from our store bought matzo crackers. And we all agreed that homemade matzah crackers are way better. Although using the store ones for pizzas actually turned out well. I liked how they softened when baked with the sauce on top.
While that was all cooking, we found Poland on the big map, talked about immigration, looked at a book about Polish immigrants and read “Together in the Pinecone Patch.” I highly recommend this book for the topic of immigration. It was a cute story about a family of Polish and a family of Irish immigrants.
We talked about what happens when you immigrate to another country and all that you have I learn and change (language, laws, food, etc). I asked her what she’d miss if she moved to a country. She decided she’d most miss me, pizza and other food.
Haddie ended up refusing to eat her matzo ball soup because it “scared her.” But Seth and I ate ours. It was interesting to say the least. I don’t think I’d ever make it again, but it wasn’t gross. Just weird.
We finished up by working in her language arts notebook by writing down the setting, and choosing a vocab word to draw (she first wanted “tush,” but after some encouragement she changed it to “plagues”). Then we read “Child of the Warsaw Ghetto.” It was interesting because it was a true story, but it was a bit intense for a 4 year old. I don’t recommend it for younger students.
Today we began by reading a nonfiction book about cats. Then I gave her a choice of which cat craft to do (from my Pinterest board). The first one she chose looked cute but sent us to a Japanese site and even with the google translate feature, I couldn’t find the link to print it. So we chose the next best craft and it turned out quite cute. Haddie gave the kitty stripes since Tush had stripes.
Then we read another informative cat book. Next we got to work making a sweet kugel.
I liked this kugel better than the Apple Matzo one. Haddie didn’t like it though. Since she didn’t like most of the Jewish dishes, we talked a little more about immigration and having to learn to eat new foods. I asked her what she’d do if all she could eat were these Jewish foods. She didn’t know what she’d do. I said probably starve!
We also read a couple more Passover books.
Today was a slower day of school. We mainly just read two books about the Passover and talked about the concepts throughout the day.
We read “Miriam’s Cup” by Fran Manushkin and “A Picture Book of Passover” by David Adler. Both of the books had a bit of Jewish tradition and legend interspersed with the Biblical accounts. The second book was interesting and the additional information didn’t really bother me. However, I’m not a fan of Miriam’s Cup because it filled in too many gaps with information that wasn’t from the Bible and presented it as fact. These things could make kids quite confused as to what is actually in the Bible or not.
A few of the books we read about the plagues listed the fourth plague as wild beast instead of the flies that most Bibles list.
I had Seth look it up on his fancy Bible software and he found that early rabbis translated the flies word as beasts. The word only occurs in Exodus, so there’s no other places to compare the translation with. However, later translators say that the word actually means swarms of blood sucking or stinging insects. Think Mosquitos, horse flies or wasps. Yikes. Much worse than just house flies.