Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 12

Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 12

I love this quote and the picture that goes with it.  Yet, another reason why homeschooling is awesome. This is NOT how we teach in our own Homeschool!

albert einstein quote

Congrats on making it to the last week of this semester! I hope it has been a wonderful experience. Even if you have challenging moments, you will never look back on these days and wish you had spent less time with your children.

Memory Work Idea

Sing your Memory Work in different pitches this week!  Try to sing like a soprano, as high-pitched as you can.  Next, sing it in a mid-tone, lastly, sing in a base-tone.  You may need some earplugs, but I bet your students will memorize their memory work!


  • Finish up your Saint John the Baptist Fun Pack this week!

John the Baptist Fun Pack

  • In the Fun Pack, this week we finish up “A Child’s Wish” by Father Abram Ryan.  Have your students put on a show and present or sing the whole poem for Dad (or other family members).
  • Have a writing excercise based on “A Child’s Wish.”  Ask your students what they would wish for, and then try to write a poem about it.  (Encourage wishing to glorify God instead of wishing for a new toy.)
  • Since John the Baptist has been our Saint of focus for the last few weeks, if there were any activities you didn’t get a chance to do, now is a good time for it!
  • There are seriously dozens or maybe hundreds of ideas for learning about and celebrating the Nativity.  Here are a few to check out, and then maybe pick one or two to focus on:
    • The first thing you should do when teaching about the Nativity is read the story from the Bible.  You can use your children’s Bible or read Luke Chapter 2.
    • Set up your own Nativity set (you may already have done this!) as a family and discuss it as you do so.
    • We have a ‘nice’ nativity set which is set up on a side table (no touching allowed) and then we also have this Kids Nativity set, which is for playing with.  It helps keep the ‘nice’ one nice and unbroken.  The Kids one is still treated well comparatively with other toys.  We clear a bottom shelf of a bookcase for it to go in, and the pieces may be played with, so long as they don’t leave the book shelf.
    • Celebrating Holidays has a Journey Through the Nativity advent study.  I’ll admit, I drew all the images so I’m partial, and Angie then added devotions and information about each person or item in the Nativity.  The pack costs $5 but it’s a deal at 70 pages long.  It includes preschool coloring pages of each person and item in the Nativity scene, the black and white images of each person/item, and fully digital colored images of each person/item.  We did this study last year, and used magnet strips on the backs of the people and items.  Each day we read the question and answer info and added a person/item to our refrigerator Nativity Scene.
    • Make a paper Nativity set with printables from CatholicIcing.  They’re so cute, fun and easy to color for your preschool/kindergardeners! Oh yea, and they’re FREE!
    • Along with reading your Bible about the Nativity, consider adding this book to your collection Saint Francis and the Nativity. The story is about Saint Francis making the first nativity of course, and a young boy who helps him and learns about Jesus along the way.  It’s a charming story, and the illustrations are beautiful.


  • SPHERES. You probably have plenty of spheres around your house.  Basketballs, tennis balls, golf balls, bouncy balls, exercise balls, etc. First make a list of all your spheres, and have your students estimate their volume. 

    Next measure the radius as best you can (eyeballing it), and calculate volume (V= 4/3 pi times the radius cubed).  Now use a string (not a stretchy one!) and measure the circumference of each ball.  Calculate the radius from the circumference (C=pi times d, so radius= C/ (2 times pi) ). Use that radius to calculate volume again.  Did you get the same answer? Which was more accurate? Where any of your students’ estimates close? 

    Here’s a chart to make this an easier activity. Volume of a Sphere
    Need video help? Check this out or use this calculator.

Language Arts

  • INTERJECTIONS! ‘Tis the season to be singing Christmas songs.  Have you ever tried to pay attention to all the interjections in Christmas songs? This could be the week to do so! See how many interjections you can find in your Christmas music! “Ho, Ho, Ho!” “Joy to the World!” “Merry Christmas!”  What sort of sudden emotion do you think the song writers want to convey?



  • In your program meeting, or in Art this week, you will make a small Nativity Ornament. Look at and appreciate the different types and styles of nativities.  Your church probably has one set up, you may have one at home, and if you are really looking for some variety just visit a Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.  Look at the different ways Mary, Jesus and Joseph are portrayed.  Look at which animals are included sometimes.  Take notice of how some Nativities are very simplistic showing only Mary, Jesus and Joseph, while others are very ornate, detailed and can include lots of characters and items. After looking at several nativities, ask your students which is their favorite and why.


  • The piano is one of the most versatile and most played instruments in the world.  If your students take piano lessons, it’ll be an easy instrument to learn about this week.  Open up the lid and let your students see the strings inside and the hammers that strike them.
  • If you don’t own a piano (or don’t own a real piano- we only have a digital one), then check out this video showing the internal workings of a piano It’s cool to see all the components that go into a piano key. It’s a lot more complicated than it appears from the outside.
  • Or see this video on How it’s made: Pianos.
  • And in case you need 3 1/2 hours of classical piano music, The Best of Classical Music Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Vivaldi Most Famous Classic Pieces click here for this youtube playlist.


  • Roman Engineering is seriously fun and exciting.  Many structures still stand today thanks to the ingenuity of the Romans and their concrete.  You can teach your kids about concrete by showing it to them and talking about it.  No really, go outside on your sidewalk and talk about concrete- is it hard or squishy? Does it break easily? Where do you see it used? Have you ever seen how a sidewalk is made?  The Roman’s concrete is a little different from ours today- they used different materials, but the concept is the same- a super strong building material!
  • I thought it would be really cool to make a paper aqueduct, so I did.  I made a much simple printable one I think your students can make with minimal help (as long as they can cut with scissors).
    • First print the Paper Aqueduct
    • Color it if you wish- the middle section with squiggles is the water!
    • Next cut off the long triangle sides (the aqueduct had to slope so water would flow, right?)
    • Cut out under the big arches, leaving the tabs in tactcutout
    • Fold between the two rows of bricks closest to the center- on both sides. It’ll form a 3 sided box (sort of), with the water on top.foldstep1
    • Fold the tabs under and secure to the inside of the tall arch across from it.foldstep2
    • Ta-da an easy paper Aquaduct!
  • When teaching about Julius Caesar, your older students could actually read the play by Shakesphere.  Or you could just choose one act to read aloud. Have each student read a different character’s part.  (I used to love doing this in public school, except not everyone got a part). To get the same idea as the original, but easier for younger students get a copy of  Tales from Shakesphere by Marcia Williams.
  • Your younger students can also learn about Julius Caesar from the book “Who was Julius Caesar?” by Nico Medina I like a lot of these “Who was…” series books, and they’re perfect for your readers who can handle chapter books, or read a little of it out loud for the ones who don’t read much yet. (Our library carries these, so check there first!)


  •  Pick a country from this week’s geography list to learn about how they celebrate Christmas.  What are their traditional Christmas foods, how do they celebrate, do they give gifts?
  • Take this Balkan Countries quiz! You have to click on the country/sea that matches the word in the upper left.  It took me a minute to figure out how the game works but once you do it’s a pretty fun review! Plus the sounds are silly.
  • And of course you can’t get past this geography section without hearing about food.  One of my favorites is this week: Greek Food!  Make some Falafel or Gyros! No matter how you pronounce Gyro, all I hear is yum.
  • Here’s a link to lots of food from Slovenia.  I can’t pronounce any of it, but it looks delicious!
  • Apparently Croatians eat a lot of pasta and tomato sauce.  That’s easy enough.  You could discuss how each country has it’s own unique flavors, but they also share a lot of the same foods because they’re neighbors.


  • Do some science in your kitchen this week!  One of the easiest substances to see three states of matter is good ole H2O.  Show your students some ice- solid, water- liquid, and then boil it on the stove to see it turn into a gas!
  • I’ve seen a few places where you can use root beer floats to teach the states of matter.  Oh how I love when food and education team up! The icecream is the solid, the soda is the liquid, and you can see the gas CO2 bubbles!  mmm science…..
  • Is a gas hard to understand?  You can prove that gas is made of matter and has mass.  .  You will need a sensitive scale (a small digital scale for weighing food or a science lab scale, not the kind you stand on to weigh yourself) and maybe a wind shield (like a big piece of cardboard). Weigh an empty balloon. Now blow it up and weigh it again.  If you can keep the balloon on the scale and it is sensitive enough, you will see it weighs more!  That’s because now it is the weight of the balloon AND the gas!
  • I’ve watched too many youtube videos on the states of matter.  Most of them leave out plasma.  I like this one though, it about 5 min long and talks about ALL the states of matter- including plasma.

I’m taking next week off, but I’ll be back blogging my crazy ideas for CSH soon!

Did you miss Tour 2 week 11? Check it out.

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