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At Home With Hebrew

by Neal Walters

Reviewed by Martha Robinson

Purchase details: At Home with Hebrew CD-ROM for Windows, $89. Available from Hebrew Resources.

At Home with Hebrew, a computer program for Windows, offers a simple, yet thorough introduction to Biblical Hebrew. With understandable explanations, examples, and plenty of cultural and historical information, At Home with Hebrew is sure to enchant children in homeschooling families.

The emphasis in At Home with Hebrew is Biblical scholarship and tradition. The Jewish author, Neal Walters, differentiates the organization of the books of the Christian Old Testament with the Torah's organization. Verses from the books of Genesis, Deuteronomy, and Psalms, among others, are some of the reading selections. Traditional Jewish blessings are canted and read. A section on the mysteries of the Torah reveals a deep faith in God and the Scripture given through Moses. The four hundred most used words in the Bible are taught to build vocabulary.

Study begins with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and moves on to the Jewish calendar (days, months, times) and numbers. Each page has a basic exercise to help the student learn the concepts. Basic grammar is introduced after the student has mastered the letters and some words. Simple games such as identifying Israeli signs and dialing phone numbers, matching letters, and matching the Hebrew names and symbols to the Twelve Tribes make learning more fun. Students are taught both cursive and printing of Hebrew letters. Lined pages with example letters to copy are easily printed from the program.

Hebrew words are spoken on audio clips. Sephardic pronunciation, spoken in Israel today, is used throughout the program, although a few examples of Ashkenazic pronunciation are included. An interesting overview of the ancestry of Yiddish is a part of the discussion of the variations in Hebrew.

A basic tracking program is included in At Home with Hebrew to allow a homeschooling family to record progress of multiple students.

At Home with Hebrew is not a slick graphics-type program. Rather, it has a simple on-line book format with menus to allow the student to move to a particular subject or a forward icon to take the student through the screens one page at a time.

Recommendation: At Home with Hebrew offers a thorough and interesting introduction to the Hebrew language for families who want to read the Old Testament in the original language. As mentioned, this is not a glitzy multimedia program and I did find a few typos, but it provides clear pronunciation and easy to understand explanations of the language. Written by a Jewish author, this program celebrates our shared faith in God.

Our Experience: My 11-year-old son was writing and pronouncing Hebrew letters almost immediately upon starting this program. At Home with Hebrew has captivated him, and I am thrilled that he has found a wonderful new area for study.

HomeschoolChristian.com resources related to this review:

HomeschoolChristian.com's Classical Languages Resource Section
Review of Learn Biblical Hebrew

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