Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 18

Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 18

Do you homeschool when your students are sick?

Todd Wilson Homeschool Cartoon

Cartoon by Todd Wilson

Memory Work Idea

Since it’s the last week of the quarter, it’s a great time to review all the memory work from the last 6 weeks as well as learn this week’s new sentences.  Make a Jeopardy ‘board’ with notecards.  On one side of the notecard write the point value and on the other side, write the question.  Your ‘questions’ can require the whole memory sentence to be repeated (like, “recite the phases of the moon memory work”) or you can just ask a question that is based on the memory work (like “What is the Roman Numeral for 5?”  Make some easy (like, “Name one of the seven sacraments”) and some more difficult (like, “Name all seven sacraments”)  Adapt it for your age group and the subjects you’ve studied the most!


It’s the last week to finish up your Saint Benedict Fun Pack!

The Saint Benedict Fun Pack

  • Baptism is the focus of this week’s religion.  If you have photo albums, or even just some digital pictures saved on your computer of each of your children’s baptisms, now is the time to pull them out!  Look at the baptism photos (which I’m sure you moms and dads will enjoy), but also take notice of and discuss what you see in them with your students.  Where are baptisms done in the Catholic church? (usually wherever the baptismal font is) Who performs a baptism? (a deacon or priest must be present) What items do you see? (a shell for pouring holy water, books for following along in the rite, a candle, etc).  Are there a lot of family and friends or only a few?  Are they happy or sad? Did a party follow the baptism? Show your students their own baptismal candles (if you know where they are) and their baptism certificates (I hope you know where these are). You can also talk about Godparents.
  • Here’s a simple Baptism coloring and handwriting page.


  • Print the number chart that goes from 1-100 at this website, and then have your students color only the prime numbers! To make this trickier for your older students have them prove on a separate page all the numbers that aren’t prime.  For example 4 is not prime because 2×2=4.

Language Arts

  • Homonyms can be a lot of fun to write with.  Have your students write a list of all the homonyms they can think of (or use the list here) and write sentences that include multiple words that sound the same but have different meanings. “Johnny went to the store to buy a pair of pears.”  How many homonyms can they use in the same sentence?
  • That same site I just referred to, also has some printable quizzes near the bottom of the page if you want to practice your homonyms some more.


  • We are still learning about Icons in art this week. Have your students choose one icon and write about it.  Your younger students can write one sentence that tells what the icon depicts.  Have your older students write what they see, how it makes them feel and the details they notice in the image.  Your even older students can do some research on a famous icon, write what it is about, who commissioned it, what artist created it and any other historical information of note.



  • The Code of Justinian established a set of rules for everyone to follow, creating uniformity.  Do a little review this week after discussing the Code of Justinian.  What other rules/codes have your students learned about so for in history? (10 commandments, Code of Hammurabi)  What purpose were those codes created for, and why was the Justinian Code created? Here are some activities.
  • Create your own (Fill in your family name here) Code.  You know your family has it’s own set of rules for peacefulness and order in your household.  Grab a posterboard or big sheet of paper, and brainstorm as a family the rules you have.  Many of them are probably universal (no hitting, biting or kicking each other), but there may be some that are specific to your own family (take your shoes off before coming inside, or no toys allowed in Dad’s office).  Post them on the fridge or somewhere where everyone can see them.
  • Check out this video about the the Byzantine Empire and Hagia Sophia – it changed the future of architecture.  It’s about 8min long and gives a brief history of the Byzantine Empire and shows several views of the exterior and interior of the church.
  • The Byzantine architecture included a large dome, usually central to the church.  Often the dome would have windows at the base, also known as clerestory (using windows at a high level to allow light in).  Use the printable below to create your own Byzantine Dome with arched windows.

Byzantine Church Dome Printable

  1. First print and cut out around all the rectangular pieces.
  2. Take the two blank rectangles and form a circle, stapling where they overlap.
paper byzantine dome 1

3. Punch a hole in the center of the six strips that form the dome (they have a small circle where to hole punch). Place a metal brad through the holes and secure.  Spread the six strips out equally.

paper byzantine dome 2

4. Secure the end of one strip to the top of your circular piece with a staple.  (make sure you staple near the top, so that you have room to cut arch windows later).

paper byzantine dome 3

5. Work your way around the circle piece, stapling the dome pieces to the top part.  I recommend stapling opposite sides of the same strip. (so you would staple one side of a strip, then staple the other side to the opposite part of the circle, then do the next strip).

paper byzantine dome 4

6. When you’re finished, it’ll look like a paper dome!

paper byzantine dome 5

7.  Make it look a little nicer by using a glue stick to glue the arch strips around the bottom circle, overlapping where the staples are.

paper byzantine dome 6

8. Cut out the arches to finish!

paper byzantine dome 7

9.  If you have a shoebox handy, cut a circle in the top of it and secure your new dome to it (I used tape).  I think this is the beginnings of a really cool peg-doll saint church… (you can read about peg doll saints here)

byzantine church shoebox

Look how much light those higher level windows let in!

inside the paper byzantine dome
  • In case you just want something silly, you can listen to “Istanbul not Constantinople,” and then talk about how city names change throughout history. I found this a cappela version on youtube (is this guy a quartet by himself?).  Just a warning, this song gets stuck in your head.
  • Find Constantinople, er I mean Istanbul, on your world map or globe. Talk about it’s strategic placement at the Bosporus Strait. What makes that location ideal for defense or trade?  Who traded there?
  • Saint Brendan was known for sailing for new lands to spread Christianity. Make a boat after you learn about Saint Brendan and let it float during bath time or in a creek nearby (or rubbermaid tub on the driveway).  You can make this origami type one, write facts about Saint Brendan on them, and float away!
  • Saint Benedict has been the Saint focus for the last few weeks, so if you havent’ had a chance to learn about him yet, now is the time!  Don’t forget the book, St. Benedict: Hero of the Hills (Vision Books)
  • After you’ve learned about Saint Benedict, check out this great Saint Benedict medal craft over at Equipping Catholic Families.



  • Here is a cute comet craft that could be good for your youngest students. Who doesn’t love swinging balls of foil with ribbons attached around?
  • This Nebula Jar idea seems cool too, if you don’t mind collecting things like this.  If you have a roudy student you could use it a calming tool.

Did you miss Tour 2 week 17? Check it out.

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