I am really excited to get started in this new curriculum series, Alef Press Biblical Hebrew for Homeschoolers that unrolls the scroll for Christian homeschool families to learn Biblical Hebrew.
This may be a longer post. As I feel I need to share with you the history of my search to teach my children Biblical Hebrew.
My husband and I have been learning Biblical Hebrew for a few years now and well let's just say my husband is doing well and I am getting there slowly. My children started this year learning Biblical Hebrew more seriously. They have learned some of the vowels and have read from our Torah Scroll some at our Synagogue. Prior to that they have learned the Aleph Bet (which is the Hebrew alphabet.)
The reality is that I don't feel equipped to teach them Biblical Hebrew. I have bought several books for them and even some well meaning curriculum. Most of those curriculums are meant for Jewish Day Schools. Which would be great if I was more learned in the language. The books teach assuming that the teacher is already learned in the Biblical Hebrew Language. The Aleph Bet curriculum that I used was great and taught the kids what they needed to know. How can you mess up teaching a child the alphabet in any language? After that I was feeling lost and grabbing at straws.
One advantage I had was that our Rabbi and his wife are fluent in the language and they have help me a lot. They also do a class at the synagogue but, it is mostly adults in the class. An hour and half class is overwhelming to the majority of kids. For an active seven year old boy its pure torture and for a ten year old with lots of learning disabilities it just isn't going to happen.
They opened their home a few months back to teach some of the homeschool families in our congregation. They are very busy and sometimes class gets canceled due to emergency being in the ministry. When we have class they are teaching the Aleph Bet at this time. My kids already know the Aleph Bet but they enjoy the games and fellowship. Not all the kids know their Aleph Bet at the class. My kids wanted to learn how to read thus began my journey to find a curriculum that teaches at home and is homeschool friendly. Then I found it after a year long search.
What excites me is that this new curriculum it will emphasize Biblical Hebrew as a tool for lifelong Bible study, worship, service, and joy. This set is the first in a "series" that will follow this set. By completion of "this series" a student should be able to read from A Reader’s Hebrew Bible, a Bible edition that provides same-page basic definitions of words that appear less than 100 times in Scripture. The path to that point will include Biblical culture, geography, history, and worldview.
With additional study after this primer a student will be equipped to use Bible reference tools, understand translation issues, study Biblical words in depth, and enjoy the language with fluent reading and singing.
This primer materials teaches the fundamentals along with the bare rudiments of vocabulary and grammar. Students will learn to pronounce Hebrew, but not read meaningfully from the Hebrew Bible. Specifics on translation and word studies will be in textbook in progress. I like to think of it has BIBLICAL HEBREW KINDERGARTEN!
Looking through the pages of the Alef Press Biblical Hebrew for Homeschoolers makes teaching look easy because it breaks down the teaching and actually explains what to do. The Teacher's Manual looks well thought out and easy for someone with little knowledge of the language.
I love that the traditional Hebrew liturgy it taught in this curriculum. My kids hear it at synagogue weekly. What a joy it will be to hear them read it themselves. The most exciting thing is that Alef Press Biblical Hebrew has excited my husband to want to get more involved in teaching the kids Hebrew. He has already claimed the right to teach the liturgy part of the curriculum!
The Primer series below comes with the following:
Biblical Hebrew: A Homeschool Primer Student Text and Workbook
Teacher's Guide and music CD
I will keep you updated on our journey of learning with Alef Press. Please stop by Alef Press and look around. I think you will be impressed.
This curriculum is attended for ages 9 and up, really intending them for Jr. high and high school. A family that uses Hebrew already may be able to use them very well with younger kids, but they are not aimed at most elementary students.
Please keep in mind that my children already know the basics and are ready for reading Biblical Hebrew. They need lots of practice still. Especially Bug who needs extra work in some areas. Little Man has started putting together words with Hebrew with and without out the vowels. Both of my children already know lots of vocabulary due to us hearing it in our Synagogue and from use teaching them words.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from Alef Press for free in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were not subject to editing from the publisher.