Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 9
How are you doing so far? I saw this and thought of you all!
Memory Work Idea
Play a memory work head game! This is a great one if you have lots of students or are meeting with a Catholic Schoolhouse program. Write out a memory sentence on notecards cards- one word per card (or split the memory sentence into sections depending on how many students you have). Give each student a card without letting them see it, to hold to their forehead facing out (so everyone else can see it). See how fast they can arrange themselves in the correct order! Let them talk and figure it out verbally the first time, and then shuffle cards and try again with no talking! If it’s something they don’t have memorized yet, or if you’re working with younger students, write the memory sentence on the board or somewhere they can see for reference.
Finish up your Daniel Fun Pack this week by completing the Week 9 activities.
- This week students learn the six holy days of obligation. It’s a great week to introduce what the word ‘obligation’ means. Learning vocabulary and their uses throughout all of your school subjects can be more effective than just memorizing a list of words and definitions. You could define it as it is defined in the dictionary, and then pull out your Catechism to explain what a Holy Day of Obligation is. CCC 2042 describes a holy day of obligation as a precept of the Church, and CCC2185 describes a little more about the expectations of one of those days.
- Do you celebrate on the Holy Days of Obligation? Hopefully, you at a minimum attend mass. If your family enjoys liturgical celebrations, pull out some family photos from last year, or from as far back as you want- you could even show your kids how you celebrated All Saints Day when YOU were a kid! Don’t just tell your students what to do on Holy Days, show them through your own life examples.
- Lastly, if Holy Days of Obligation are a struggle for your family, now is a great time to set some goals. Go ahead and write them down on your family calendar, and brainstorm a list of what you as a family would like to do on these days. Start with “Go to Mass!” There are tons of resources out there for how to celebrate liturgical days. Pick something easy if you’re just starting out- it could be as simple as a fun dessert that day!
- This week add radius to your list of circle knowledge! Sir Cumference, who I mentioned a couple weeks ago, has a whole series. Add Sir Cumference and The First Round Table to your collection! It’s another hilarious math adventure, this time including the his wife Lady Di of Ameter, and their son Radius.
- Measure radius’ around your house this week. What objects have the biggest radius? Which objects have the smallest radius? Who’s car’s wheels have the biggest radius, mom’s or dad’s? (Make sure no one is operating the vehicle first!)
- Play Mother May-I with adverbs modifying the verb ‘walk’. Check out the Tour 1 Week 9 post for details.
- Practice your adverbs throughout the day. A good way to teach them is to stress your adverb use in your everyday speech. “Mommy’s stirring the pot of soup, carefully. Everyone thoroughly wash your hands before lunch. You may play quietly while your brother is sleeping.” Every time you say something with an adverb in it, ask them “Who heard the adverb? What was it?”
- Create an adverb wall. Simply tape some wrapping paper with a white back to your wall (with the white side facing out). As you go throughout your day, write down all the adverbs you and your students are able to use. Try not to reuse one that’s already on the wall- it’ll get trickier and trickier as you eliminate adverbs!
- Check out this quizlet site which has the first declension using terra in flash cards, games, and quizzes.
- Last week you may have discussed and practiced the patterns the Greeks used on their vases and urns . This week have your students create their own patterns. Include even your littlest learners, patterns are early math!
- This week we focus on the Violin– and there are so many directions you can with this. Several of the instruments over the next several weeks are in the orchestra, including the violin. Save this site in your bookmarks, you can use it for the next several weeks. For this week, you can watch the video on the violin. It’s about 9 minutes long and describes the way violins are constructed, how they are played, and the violin’s place in the orchestra.
- If you have a nearby music store, visit and see a violin in real life. If your students are old enough (and the music store is accommodating ), you can let them try plucking the strings and using the bow on them.
- You may want to look ahead at the calendar of your closest orchestra or symphony. See if there is a great classical concert to take your students to at the end of the year. Then they will have the opportunity to see how beautiful music is when you combine all these instruments they’ve been learning about individually. Often there are discounts for students and homeschoolers/teachers.
- Don’t forget about the Music Notebooking Page: You can use it every week!
- After you teach about Cyrus conquering lands and people have a discussion (or use this as a writing prompt) Why is Cyrus the Great, considered “Great”? Throughout ancient history we often add a descriptor to the end of a powerful ruler: Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, Ivan the Terrible etc. What prompted history writers to add the ‘Great’ to Cyrus. If you got a descriptor added to your name what would it be? What are ways you can work toward that type of descriptor?
- Take a look at your world map. If it’s laminated or under your clear table cloth, use a dry erase marker to outline (and maybe color in) the Persian empire at the height of Cyrus’ reign. How big did the Persian empire get and what countries are there now? (Here’s a link to a map) Write the Persian Empire and time frame on your map too.
- Most grammar age students have probably heard the words democrat and republican, but unless you have taught or studied government together, they don’t have much background in it. Athenian Democracy allows you to teach democracy from history! Explain how it worked for the Athenians, and then how it works for our own country. You don’t have to get into the details, maybe just explain how we all have a responsibility to vote for people in power in our government. Some of the counting of votes, electing state representatives etc is too much to get into right now.
- After you’ve taught about democracy, establish your own household democracy for the week! Allow your students to vote for activities or meals. Establish a set of rules and consequences. When someone gets in trouble, have an assembly so they can be tried by their peers. (This might only work well if your students have the right mindset- if you feel a homeschool mutiny forming, do not attempt this activity).
- The Athenians used several different methods for voting: hand raising, casting ballots made of broken shards of pottery, and also these ‘top’ shaped things. Make simple Athenian ballots this week, and use them to vote on your meals and activities. If you don’t have any smashed pots, you can make one of the top shaped ones with some cardboard and a drinking straw. Cut a circle out of a cardboard box – smallish, like 2-3inches in diameter. Punch a hole in the middle with a hole puncher or jam a pencil through it, carefully. Cut your straw to about 2-3inches, and push it through the hole you just made. Have your students write their names on theirs. Then when you cast ballots to vote for dinner, have a bowl for “Yes’s” and a bowl for “No’s” (or a paper cone stuck to a chalkboard)
(Technically, this shape of ballot was for voting innocence or guilt for a person being tried of a crime. I prefer voting on pizza though.)
- Check out this 15min video about the life of Confucius.
- Confucius has many, many quotes- find one that might influence your students behavior. Do they feel life failures whenever they struggle with their school? “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” Anger? “When anger rises, think of the consequences. ” Check this list of quotes and pick a few to display around your school room, reading them may help reset your students when they are struggling. At a minimum whenever you encounter a poor behavior, you can point to your sign and say “Confucius says….” Here’s one for you to print, in case you just want something to print right now… a good one for homeschooling!
- Here you can listen to The Sayings of Confucius on Librivox for free. You could listen to these in the car, or maybe in the background while you’re doing quiet work. It’s not exactly exciting, in fact its a little dry to be honest. Maybe listening to it could be a good punishment for poor work ethic this week?
- In the battle of Thermopylae, only 300 Spartans defended against a huge Persian army. They didn’t win, but they held off the Persians long enough for the Athenians to escape. How did they do it? They funneled the huge army into a narrow passage. Then the huge number didn’t matter, only a small percentage of them were ever at the front of the battle.
- If you have a CSH program meeting and lots of students in it, you can have a dodge ball type ‘battle’ and explore how the Spartans used a narrow passage to their advantage. Split the teams up, and put your quickest or oldest a few students on the ‘Spartan’ team and everyone else on the ‘Persian’ team. Now instead of doge ball in the gym, where you have a lot of space, play dodge ball in a doorway. (Find one without a lot of breakable stuff nearby) Allow the few Spartans to be on one side of the doorway, and the Persians on the other side. See which team wins. Were the ‘Persians’ in the back much help? Could only a few Persians participate in the game at a time. How about the Spartans? (FYI this idea has not been tested yet- it’s just a crazy idea- if you try it, let me know how it goes!)
- If you don’t have a program meeting to play doorway dodge-ball, play out this scenario using army men, Lego men, or stuffed animals. Create a funnel like effect for which ever group of toys is the ‘Persian team.’ Is it easier to visualize how 300 men were able to hold off so many Persians?
- This week in the Geography Europe Lapbook, we just look at just three countries, Iceland, Ireland and United Kingdom.
- If you aren’t tired of Rick Steves yet, he has several videos on Ireland:
- Check out this United Kingdom Activity Pack- it’s printable and free!
- Check out Adventures in Mommydom, she did a post on Iceland with her kids, including a craft, activity, and snack recipe.
- Some food ideas:
- Fish and Chips for United Kingdom (basically fried fish with malt vinegar and french fries!) You could totally cheat and do the frozen fish filets and frozen french fries to make this meal at home. Serve with some malt vinegar in newspaper lined baskets and it’ll be just like the real thing. 😉
- Shepherd’s Pie for Ireland. Mmm totally a comfort food dish.
- A great short chapter book you may be interested in is Mystery of the periodic table. It could be great to read aloud parts or you can give it to your older (middle schoolish) students to read by themselves. It’s a great book and will keep them learning and entertained.
- This week if you’re following the Tour 2 Science Guide book, your students will be making a polymer (aka slime). Experiment with some other fun chemical reactions, check out this Science at Home experiment list. Cleaning my silver jewelry sounds like a great ‘experiment’/way to get my jewelry clean and teach chemistry at the same time.