Catholic Schoolhouse Tour 2: Week 1
It’s a new year, are you excited?! I pray your schoolroom is stocked, your students are eager and you are refreshed from a summer off and ready to start a new year of Catholic Schoolhouse homeschooling.
It can be hard to jump back in and make that transition from kids to students, so I hope these fun ideas, printables, and links bring some fun to your homeschooling this week!
Also, be sure to check out the resources page! There are plenty of great resources under the Tour 2 heading, many are even submitted from our own CSH families! Thank you to all the contributors!
Every week this year I’m going to add a fun idea for making your memory work fun. You can use these with any week, any memory sentence, any time- not just with the weekly post in which the idea comes. Reading, writing and reciting are all great ways to memorize, but I’m hoping to add a little fun to your memorization this year! Some of these will be great for program meetings and some better for home use- you decide how best to implement them in your school!
This week’s memory work idea is simple but effective!
Write out a memory sentence on a dry erase board. Have everyone recite it. Then erase a word (draw a line as a blank space), and have everyone recite. Keep erasing words and reciting until you have only the punctuation left!
The saint fun packs are back this year! Get started learning about Moses, skip counting, and practice some handwriting this week with the Moses Fun Pack!
- This whole first semester of Tour 2 focuses on the Mass. Pull out your own Mass book (or get this really nice one from Catholic Icing with beautiful art in it), and bring them with you when you attend Mass this week.
- Go to an extra daily mass each week to focus on a different aspect of the Mass. In week 1 discuss the sacrifice of Christ in the appearance of bread and wine before you go into church. When you leave have a discussion about how the liturgy of the Eucharist is performed. What words did the priest say? (and who was the first to say those words?) What did he do? If your church rings bells, you could explain the background behind them as well.
- Go ahead and pull out your Bible stories books and get them all ready for the next few weeks. If you have one on creation or Adam and Eve you can read those this week. Here’s one of our favorites at Catholic Schoolhouse: Bible Stories for Little Children which is on sale right now for only $7.
- Make sandwiches this week for lunch. Have each student practice their skip counting by 2’s to count the bread slices!
- When I was a kid we had lots of silly rhymes for jump roping, and several of them ended in just counting how many skips/jumps you could do. (like this one “Down by the river, down by the sea. Mary went fishing with daddy and me. How many fish did Mary get? once, two, three, four, five….”) Do some jump-roping this week, but instead of counting by 1’s, skip count by 2’s or 3’s. Here’s one I wrote to go with the history this week:
The Sumerians were a big deal
they were first to use the wheel!
How many wheels did they make?!
2, 4, 6, 8 …. (keep going until you miss a jump!)
Do you remember any jump roping rhymes? Write them in the comments if you do!
- You can check out my silly ideas for practicing your skip counting by 2’s on the Tour 1 Week 1 post also.
- Work on memorizing those eight parts of speech this week. Play a silly game while you sing along with the memory work music. Put the song on repeat and try this game: stomp around the room like an elephant while singing along in a deep elephant voice, then crawl around like a mouse singing in a high voice, what other animals do your students want to walk and sing like? Have fun repeating the song in different animal walks and sounds.
- This year we focus on all the instruments that go into an orchestra! We start out with percussion, often a
student’s favorite type of instrument. Learn about percussion instruments and hear many of them with this video. It’s 11 minutes long, and you get to hear a variety of instruments individually.
- Most of the oldest instruments are percussion instruments, including the sistrum- why do you think ancient civilizations made percussion instruments? What type of instruments do you think would be easiest to make?
- Make your own sistrum using a wire hanger, and bottle caps or washers. (You can pound the bottle caps flat with a hammer and then pound a hole into the center using a nail).
First, bend a wire hanger into a loop. (I pulled the middle out strait and then looped it back around to the hook)
Next, using some thin wire or pipe cleaners, string on your bottle caps and washers. Wrap the wire end down toward the handle if possible.
Lastly, wrap the handle (to cover up ends of the wire that could be sharp) with some thick tape, like duct tape or painter’s tape.
Make some music!
- I’ve made an easy cut and staple printable for Latin this week. Simply cut the sheet in half on the dotted line. Cut out the rectangles, stack them and staple to the top half of the sheet. Now each ending shows a new subject of the verb! Yay for conjugations!
- Before starting history this year, explain how the timeline works. BC years count backwards as you move forward in the time line. Bigger numbers are farther in the past. You are counting down to the birth of Christ. This can be confusing for younger students, so try making a number line on the sidewalk with chalk (or a piece of paper). Walk along the number line and count down from 10 (like BC years) and then up to 10 from 0 (like AD years). Alternatively, you could do this Montessori Lesson on the timeline.
- Here is a notebooking printable that you can use every week, all year for History. It’s super versatile- fill in the week at the top, the years on the lines, and then you have several options for the empty frame. Your older students can write a summary of the historical event, younger students draw a picture, or have the littlest ones just simply write the title of the event (you could write it lightly so they can just trace it).
- To practice your History Memory work, check out this great printable with handwriting practice! (Thanks Erika!) This will last you all of Quarter 1!
- If you’ve ever thought about starting one, A Book of Centuries would fit in great this year since we start at Creation! Lacy has a great Book of Centuries downloadable that makes it super easy to do, or you could simply draw your own timeline on some notebook paper.
- For creation this week, of course pull out your Bible or your favorite children’s Bible. Read the creation story aloud (Gen 1:1-2:3). See if your students can repeat back to you what was created on which days.
- Check out this great notebooking page for Creation at Catholic Icing, and the torn paper craft she links to at Raising Arrows.
- For you moms (and Dads) out there, consider reading Creation or Creator by Mary Daly. This book recommendation is just for you grown ups. If you’ve ever been confused about the differences in teaching about creation, this book will help you firm up your stance on the topic and back it up.
- Pull out your world map and look for the Fertile Crescent. Discuss it with your students- what does fertile mean? Why do you think this area was fertile? What do plants need in order to grow? (you can easily tie this discussion in with your science this week!) Why was water abundant in this area? Similarly, show where the Nile river is, and explain that people settled there for similar reasons.
- A great book for reading aloud is How’d they Do that? Ancient Mesopotamia. A lot of libraries carry this “How’d they do that” series, so you may be able to borrow it. (yea, I see that one negative review at Amazon, but I’m still recommending it.) It’s written in easy enough language to read aloud, covers a lot of the topics in the history timeline (fertile crescent, ziggurats, wheels etc) and you can use it over the next few weeks since it even talks about the code of Hammurabi (which shows up in our timeline in Week 4).
- The Babylonians built great ziggurats during this time. Have a ‘back to school’ treat and build a ziggurat with cake! or rice krispies! or cucumbers! Cucumbers? Why not? Try this for snack time this week:
Cut your cucumber in half, then slice it down the sides so that it’s pyramid-shaped:
Next cut some slices, they end up like little squares.
Hand out every 3rd slice to each student (that way there’s a difference in size), and have them stack them. If you have some small carrot match sticks- they’d make great ‘stairways’ on your ziggurats.
Ta-da a Cucumber ziggurat!
- Print the World Maps Printable and label the continents and oceans!
- If you have a world map, you can play a variation of ‘pin the tail on the donkey.‘ Make a big label for each continent and ocean. Blindfold your student, spin them around once or twice, and see if they can pin the label to the right continent. Which student gets the closest? It’s a fun way to label and talk about the continent and ocean names!
- Start a nature journal this week and keep it going for all of Quarter 1 as we learn about plant life! At least once a week, go for a nature walk. If you have a state park or nature trail near by, head there. Or if you’re tight on time, it doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy- your backyard will do! Have your students draw some sketches of leaves, trees, plants, anything in nature. As you teach about the parts of a plant, have them go back and label what they’ve drawn.
- Get started on a Botany Lapbook!