Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer by Kim McKay Review

Curriculum Overview From Alef Press Websit

Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a homeschool Primer-in these books, we will emphasize Biblical Hebrew as a tool for lifelong Bible study, worship, service, and joy. 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. A student will be additionally equipped to use Bible reference tools, understand translation issues, study Biblical words in depth, and enjoy the language with fluent reading and singing.

Since primarily Jews and seminarians have been learning Biblical Hebrew lately, available texts generally expect you either to be immersed in Jewish tradition, or to have graduate level study skills and a professor of Ancient Near Eastern linguistics to hand. The goal of this series is to make Biblical Hebrew a viable and richly rewarding option for a homeschool foreign language course. The highest hurdles are crossed by the time you finish the primer: believing it is possible and mastering a new alphabet.The primer resources below, available now, will have you reading, writing, singing, and praising God in Hebrew. Forthcoming Biblical Hebrew volumes will take a student through high school foreign language credits to reading the Bible in Hebrew.

My Thoughts and what I love:

First of all let me say that this Hebrew Primer set in my opinion is not just for homeschoolers. It is very user friendly for anyone wanting to learn Biblical Hebrew. It definitely is homeschool friendly. Okay so you might have to be a homeschooler to really understand that. We tend to be curriculum junkies and not all curriculums are very friendly!

Homeschooling is a lot of work. The reality is that electives especially foreign language isn’t usually on the top of the to-do list. Grammar, math, reading, and writing are the priority. Those subjects take up a lot of time.

That is why I love it when I can find an elective that I can open the book and teach the subject. I don’t even have to know about that subject. You get to learn something new along with the kids. Alef Bet Homeschool Primer is an open and go curriculum.

My family has been using Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer by Kim McKay for around two months now. Wow, my kids and I are really enjoying it. We have done a few different Hebrew curriculums over the last two years. Let’s just say that those other Hebrew Curriculum are not intended for the homeschool setting. Or they assume you know what you are doing and know Hebrew already. We stuck with it and then I found a big sigh of relief in when I came across Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer.
 


The Teacher’s Manual is simple to understand. The explanations are clear so you won’t question what you are teaching. I like that the lessons vary from lesson to lesson. Some lessons you may have stories, supplements, and a variety. The Teachers Manual has lots of tips and suggestion and you can check your child’s work in the answer key.

Show and Tell DVD I love the Show and Tell DVD. It makes the curriculum interesting with all the different subjects and stories that are covered with in each lesson. It also goes over the sounds of the Aleph Bet Alphabet, vowels, and the vocabulary. The illustrations are gorgeous and the stories are so rich that go along with Jewish traditions.

Student Workbook is not a bunch of unnecessary busyness. Each lesson has a short summary that covers the pronunciation of the sound and a grammar rule if there is one with that particular letter. Then you practice writing a little and a read out loud. Not every lesson is the same and I like that it has a variety.

You can download flashcards from the website-I know those dreaded flashcards but, I feel that it is very effective when you are learning Hebrew. If you want to remember all those new Aleph Bet letters, vowels, and vocabulary then you want to go here.

Music CD has many different Hebrew traditional songs and also the Aleph Bet song. They are sung slowly so you can hear the words clearly of the song and you can join in easily. Not only are you getting Biblical Hebrew but music! Okay so I may be stretching it. The songs are beautiful.

Jonah Workbook is the whole book of Jonah in Hebrew. This in my opinion could be used as a reader also. Writing is an awesome way to enforce those skills in Hebrew.

Cons:
*Jonah copybook has small spaces for writing. Personally, I would love to see it just a tad bigger. I would not recommend this book for younger kids unless they have a fair amount of Hebrew knowledge as you can use it for a reader or for writing a few words for extra practice.

*I hate junk mail. When I do add my name to a list it’s because I am interested in something and want to keep up to date on the product. I would like something on the website that I can add my email so I know when the next series comes out.  An update on what is coming up in the future with Alef Press. I don’t have time to keep checking out the website all the time!

After speaking with Kim she said," that she can put you on an update list and email you when the new series is available." Go here if you are interested in being added to the list. She informed me you won't get a bunch of junk mail from Alef Press.

*I would love some suggestions on how to use some of the supplements like the Trail Guide to Bible Geography, Drive Thru History, and the other resources. Can they be tied together with certain lessons? Okay this curriculum has spoiled me and I want my cake and icing! That may be wishful thinking but it doesn’t hurt to suggest it!

*Complete Primer Set: Primer, Teacher's Guide, music CD, DVD set, and Jonah Copybook: $107.80. This is a con and pro as it is pricey.  You also get a lot for your money. The curriculum is well thought out. You are paying for something that is simplified. Trust me as I have spent some money on Hebrew curriculum!

* You need to buy a student workbook for each student as it has a copyright not to reproduce it.

All of those cons are pretty small on my end as this is a wonderful, well thought out, open and go, fun, and amazing curriculum.

What a wonderful way to teach your kids and yourself a lifelong study tool when it comes to Gods word. Reading His Word in Hebrew is truly life changing. I want my kids to experience God’s Word in His language and not man’s transliteration.

Disclaimer: This curriculum is attended for ages 9 and up, the author 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 us teaching them those 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.
 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review. I plan to buy the Alef Press Biblical Hebrew a Homeschool Primer by Kim McKay
    By the way, Could you inform me where I can get audio (cassette) of Biblical Hebrew Step by Step vol.1 and 2 by Menahem Mansoor . I have searching everywhere but find no resut.

    Thank you

    Christian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christian,

      My family loved Kim McKay's Alef Press Biblical Hebrew.

      When I did a search I found Biblical Hebrew Step by Step vol.1 and 2 by Menahem Mansoor I found some of Amazon and Ebay. However I am not sure if it's just the book or if that is part of the sets.

      Delete

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