Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 1: Week 13

Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 1: Week 13

I hope your holidays are going well (if that’s what you’re in the middle of as you read this and plan for next semester!) We’ve got a new Saint, a new artist, and new music to bring in the New Year!


  • Print the Saint Damien de Veuster Fun Pack and complete the activities for Week 13.

Saint Damien de Veuster of Molokai Fun Pack

  • Discuss the religion verse with your family.  What does it mean to behave in the household of God.  What is the household of God?


  • Check out this teacher’s fun idea for practicing Order of Operations this week.  What student doesn’t love a riddle? You could adapt this for your group by having two teams try to ‘solve’ a riddle at the same time.  The first team to solve it gets a point, play to 10 points (or however many you have time for!)

Language Arts

  • This week, students learn about sentences.  Teach them the word “Fragment” this week also.  A fragment is an incomplete sentence.  It is often missing a subject or predicate.  We often speak in fragments, however it is improper to write in fragments.  Even so, you can still sometimes spot them in professionally written articles in newspapers and magazines. Challenge your older students to find fragments this week in newspapers or books.  See how many you can find!
  • Have fun this week with this activity to combine fragments to create silly sentences.  Write fragments on note cards: some cards with subjects, and some cards with predicates.  Let your students take turns matching up fragments to complete a sentence.  The more creative you are, the funnier the results!


  •  Sousa wrote over 100 marches!  Marches were often used for parades, so have a parade in your house today!  Play “Stars and Stripes Forever” and have your students march single file around the house.  Wave flags, streamers, or create your own ‘floats’ by decorating a wagon or rolling toy to bring on your parade.  Marches have a very pronounced rhythm, so teach them to listen to the beat and to march in time.


  • The Transcontinental Railroad was a huge improvement in shipping goods from the coast inland.  It was started on the two ends of the country and built toward the middle until both met and combined into one large railroad. Do you have lots of Thomas the Train tracks (or knock offs? or maybe a mix of both like me?).  Have your students build your own trans-house railroad.  Split into two ‘teams’ and begin building a railroad from two opposite ends of the house or room.  Build toward each other until you connect! Have some obstacles in place for the older students- maybe your coffee table could represent the Rocky Mountains! (If you have no train tracks, get creative- build a ‘railroad’ with whatever you do have: blocks, legos, books, even spatulas and spoons can be laid out in a path for this activity)  Then have a discussion about the Transcontinental Railroad.  Do you think it was faster to build towards each other at the same time, than to start at one end and just build in one direction? Was it hard to meet up in the middle?  How did it feel to connect in the middle? What sort of obstacles did they have when building the railroad? (mountains, lakes, valley, bad weather, shipping supplies and food)
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(Sorry my 1yr old is photo-bombing my transcontinental RR picture- he represented the natural disasters part of building a country long railroad)

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  • Teach your students about the telephone this week with some show and tell-ephone.  I don’t know about you, but my family has gone completely cellular. My daughter doesn’t even know what a regular phone looks like.  If you still have them around, pull out your own phones that plug into the wallAsk grandma or grandpa for their old phones.  If you are really at a loss for old phones (sold them all at garage sales?), show them pictures of the old-style phones online; you can just google ‘Telephone history’ and look at images.
  • Did you know when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he intended the proper greeting on the phone to be “ahoy!” ? Let your kids have fun this week greeting family and friends on the phone using “Ahoy” instead of “hi, how are you” or whatever your standard greeting is.  This is sure to be a conversation starter, and your student can then tell them about what they’ve learned this week about Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone!
  • Sorry for so many telephone ideas- but one more for you: play the telephone game!  If you’ve never played it before, it’s quite simple.  Have all your students sit on the floor in a circle.  One of them makes up a sentence (the more complicated the funnier the result) and whispers it into the ear of the person sitting next to them. That person then whispers it into the ear of the person next to them, and on and on.  Continue until the message makes it around back to the originator of the message. The last person to hear the message, says it out loud.  Then the originator of the message says the original message out loud. Usually the message is alarmingly different by the end!
  •  Learn about light bulbs this week.  Get out a new incandescent light bulb and show it to your students.  Check out “How Stuff Works” website for How a Light bulb works.  For your younger students, just teach them the parts of the light bulb: filament, glass bulb, wires, etc.  For your older students stretch their brains and teach them how electricity flows through the filament to excite the electrons in the filament’s atoms, causing them to heat and light up!  Why do light bulbs have to be filled with an inert gas?
  • Looking for a book recommendation?  Add Childhood of Famous Americans Thomas Edison  to your collection.
  • Learn how to play baseball this week!  Teach your students the history of the National League and then form your own Homeschool League game.  Learn the rules and have a game with your CSH friends!
  • It’s probably not the right time of the year to go to a baseball game.  But go ahead and put it on your calendar for the year so you don’t forget.  Most cities have a league, and sometimes they run specials on pricing if you watch carefully. When the time comes, remind your students about the beginnings of this sport!
  • Teach your students what a biography is and have them write a short biography about Babe Ruth.  For your younger students this could be just one page with the main points on it- who was he, what did he do, when did he live, what is he famous for, etc. For your older students, challenge them to write about Babe Ruth’s life in chronological order, starting with his youth, his rise to fame, his peak in his career, and then his retirement.


  • The Geography Lapbooks continue! Check out the Great Lakes States Lapbook Part 1!
  • Did you all enjoy Minn of the Mississippi?  If you liked that story, check out Paddle to the Sea, another Holling C. Holling book.  It is about a young native american boy who wishes he could paddle to the Atlantic Ocean. Since he’s unable to, he makes a carving with the name “Paddle to the Sea” and sends it off through the Great Lakes and rivers connecting them.  Much like Minn, the carving goes through many geographical features, meets interesting wildlife, and teaches a lot of history on his way to the Atlantic.  You can get the book on Amazon for about $7, and the map at Beautiful Feet.

Paddle-to-the-Sea (Sandpiper Books)

(Using this affiliate link to make a purchase helps CSH continue its mission)

Beautiful Feet Map for Paddle to the Sea

 Here’s a picture of our map (sorry for the juice stain):


  • Our DNA makes us special! No one else is exactly like us.  Have your students fill out this fun and simple printable.  Have them brainstorm the ways they are special and unlike anyone else in the world.  Use ink or washable markers to add their unique fingerprint to the space inside the magnifying glass.

I Am Special Printable

As always, thanks for reading!

Did you miss week 12? Check it out here!

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