Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

High School Health Credit: First Aid

High School Health Credit: First Aid


As part of the high school health requirements, we are going to be doing a first aid course this summer. I will be posting what we are learning and doing, as we go through the weeks. This series will begin this month, and will be posted each week throughout the summer, and will be worth 1 high school credit. Grading is based on 24 quizzes and class participation.
  1. Preparing to Act
  2. Acting in an Emergency
  3. The Human Body (human biology review)
  4. Assessing the Victim
  5. Cardiovascular Emergencies and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and Automated External Defibrillators
  6. Airway Obstructions 
  7. Controlling Bleeding
  8. Shock
  9. Wounds
  10. Burns
  11. Head and Spinal Injuries
  12. Chest, Abdominal and Pelvic Injuries
  13. Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
  14. Extremity Injuries and Splinting
  15. Sudden Illness
  16. Poisoning
  17. Substance Misuse and Abuse
  18. Bites and Stings
  19. Cold and Heat Emergencies
  20. Behavioral Emergencies
  21. Pregnancy and Childbirth
  22. Remote Location First Aid
  23. Rescuing and Moving Victim
  24. Preparing for Natural Disasters


Text: Advanced First Aid, CPR and AED, National Safety Council

Ocean Currents; Marine Science Activities for Grades 5-12




What causes ocean currents? Learn how wind, temperature, salinity, and density set water into motion, and they make an in-depth investigation of the key physical science concept of density. This series of activities will cover these topics. For grades 5-12.


Ocean Currents, Part II: Salinity Currents
Ocean Currents, Part III: Temperature Currents
Ocean Currents, Part IV: Polar vs. Tropical Water
Ocean Currents, Part V: Ice Cubes Demonstration
Ocean Currents, Part VI: Layering Liquids
Ocean Currents, Part VII: Explorers and Ocean Currents
Additional Activity: Current Events

Literature Connections: 
Adrift: Seventy Six Days Lost at Sea, Steven Callahan, Grades: 7–12
Bounty Trilogy, Charles Nordoff and James Norman Hall, Grades: 7–12
By the Great Horn Spoon!, Sid Fleischman, Grades: 4–8
Call It Courage, Armstrong Sperry, Grades: 3–6
The Cay, Theodore Taylor, Grades: 6–8
Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle, Felicia Law, Grades: 4–8
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing, Grades: 7–12
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell, Grades: 5–12
The Magic School Bus On the Ocean Floor, Joanna Cole, Grades: 1–4 (For younger grades, but still has some good information.)
Moby Dick, Herman Melville, Grades: 7–12
The Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe, Grades: 7–12
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, Grades: 7–12
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi, Grades: 5–8
The Voyager’s Stone: The Adventures of a Message-Carrying Bottle Adrift on the Ocean Sea, Robert Kraske, Reading Level is Grades: 3–6, but the story is wonderful and illustrations very informative.
Windcatcher, Avi, Grades: 4–7
The Wreck of the Waleship Essex, a Narrative Account, Owen Chase, Grades: 7–12



Sources and Resources:


Hands-On Ancient Egyptian Activities: Cartouches


Cartouches are hieroglyphics written in an oval with a line at one end and represent royal names, coming into use during the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty under Pharaoh Sneferu. We decided that we would like to make some in the form of necklaces.
 We rolled out some golden Sculpy into rough oblong ovals. Then we made grooves around the edges to make a border. We also added a line at the bottom made from thin snakes of Sculpy.

 The boys then made the chosen hieroglyphics with a skewer into the Sculpy. It is pretty easy to find hieroglyphics with a internet search. They also added a hole at the top so they could make them into necklaces.
After they were finished,we baked the clay according to the package directions.

 Once the cartouches were baked, we added black ink into into the hieroglyph-grooves. A thinned paint might work as well.

 A little more black ink around the border and a little here and there.

They put some cord through the hole and tied the ends together to make a necklace, making sure the cord is long enough to fit over their heads.

Ocean Currents, Part I: Surface Currents {Wind & Temperature}

Wind sets the surface of the ocean moving, but other forces direct the flow into major gyres circulating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Wind is one of the factors that cause currents. Another factor is the temperature of the water.

We did an experiment today showing how wind and cold temperature creates surface currents. To do this experiment, you will need a 9 x 13 baking pan, a package of liquid food coloring and some straws. Fill a 9 x 13 baking pan with about 1 inch of water and place it on a table. Put two large rocks to represent land masses on either side in the middle of the pan. If you wish, you can slip a copy of the Pacific Rim map under the pan, but you will need to put you land masses at least an inch from the side of the pan. Put 4 drops of green, blue and red food coloring in 3 corners and 8 drops of yellow food coloring in the fourth corner.

Trying not to bump the dish, watch to see what the colors do for a few minutes. Some of them may spread a bit, but they in general will stay in their corners unless you make waves by bumping the dish.

Put an ice cube in one of the corners. We chose the upper right hand corner. The ice should create a bit of a current in this corner, blending the two colors on that side of the pan a bit.


Putting the straw level with the surface of the water at the opposite side, blow lightly through the straw to create a current. You can get your students to record what they observe on the, with labels and arrows for direction of water and wind. This model simulates how winds set the surface water flowing in the same direction as wind. If you have trouble seeing the currents, you can make it more clear by making some plastic confetti by coloring with a permanent marker about a 4 inch square of a plastic sandwich bag. Cut this into about 20- 1/4 inch squares. Drop 10-15 plastic pieces that you have colored into the pan and ask students to observe. Hold the straw as you did before. If you are doing it right the current should be centered so that the plastic pieces deflect both right and left. The two circular currents, one clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and the other clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. These are gyres. Winds near the equator, called the trade winds, generally blow from east to west, causing east to West Equatorial Current. Draw this current on your own map with labels.

Using the straw as before, but position it so it can blow towards the rock. You will see turbulence, complicated and constantly changing swirling motion, as well as eddies and counter-currents forming around the island. Discuss how complicated currents can become where there are obstacles.

Now you can look at a picture of surface ocean currents. Based on what you saw in the pan, can you see how they are formed?
You can discuss how waste disposal in the water from any country can affect the whole world. Pretend the colors were different types of waste disposal. By the end, they were all mixed all over the pan.
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Originally posted 1/14/11

First Aid, Lesson 3: The Human Body


This is a review for students who have taken human biology or studied the basics of human physiology.

Describe the primary areas of the body.
  • Extremities- arms and legs
  • Thorax-chest area
  • Abdomen- area below the chest, the stomach area, including the diaphragm
  • Pelvis-area below the abdomen, including the hip
  • Spine-the back and neck, from the base of the brain to the tailbone
List the 10 body systems and explain a key function of each.
  1. Respiratory-provides oxygen and removes carbon dioxide
  2. Cardiovascular-moves blood throughout the body
  3. Nervous- controls movement, body functions and sensory perception, consciousness
  4. Musculoskeletal- gives the body shape and strength. Makes movement possible.
  5. Integumentary-skin and related structures
  6. Gastrointestinal-Extracts nutrients from food, eliminates wastes.
  7. Immune-helps fight disease.
  8. Endocrine- produces hormones that regulate body functions
  9. Urinary-removes liquid wastes from the body
  10. Reproductive- makes reproduction possible
For each body system, describe at least one injury or illness that affects the functioning of that system.
  1. Respiratory-airway obstruction, choking
  2. Cardiovascular-stroke, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction
  3. Nervous- altered mental status, paralysis
  4. Musculoskeletal- fracture, dislocation, sprain
  5. Integumentary-frostbite, burns
  6. Gastrointestinal-vomiting and diarrhea from illnesses or conditions
  7. Immune-HIV, wound infections
  8. Endocrine- diabetes
  9. Urinary-injury to the bladder or kidneys signaled by blood in urine, dehydration
  10. Reproductive- injury to reproductive organs, childbirth (not an injury or illness, but is something that one may need to use first aid techniques to assist with)

Egyptian Reed Boat Model


Since we are beginning our study of Ancient Egypt with the Nile River, we made a model of their reed boats.
At our time spent at Turner's Creek park last week, we gathered some willow branches.
We wanted to make some Egyptian-style reed boats for our study of Ancient Egypt. This pile of branches made two small reed boats, so you need to collect a good amount of them to make the boats.
We followed the directions from Creekside Learning.
We stripped the leaves off the branches and cut them into 12-14 inch pieces in order to make them Playmobil size. Using one of the branches, we tied a bundle of them together, and then bent the bundle by using a rubber band to hold them into a "U" shape, and left it for a few days to dry in that position. We added a couple of zip ties to them to make sure they keep together.
Once dry, you can remove the rubber bands and the boats are ready for display and play.



Originally posted Nov 22, 2013


First Aid, Lesson 2: Acting in a Emergency

High School Health Credit: First Aid

Explain how blood-borne pathogens may be transmitted.

The victim has an infectious pathogen and:

  • There is blood-borne transmission. (You come into contact with the person's blood or other bodily fluids.)
  • There is airborne transmission. (You inhale tiny droplets that contains the pathogen.)
  • There is direct contact. 
  • There is indirect contact (via contaminated objects, drink, food, etc.
Simply having the pathogen into the body does not mean a person will become ill.


What are some common blood-borne diseases?
  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Describe standard precautions to take to prevent disease transmission when giving first aid.
  • Hand washing
  • Putting on gloves
  • Using a barrier device (face mask)

Source: Advanced First Aid, CPR and AED, National Safety Council

Activity: Practice putting on and talking off gloves without getting blood on your hands.

Put on the gloves.
You can practice taking off the gloves without getting fluids by putting ketchup on the gloves to simulate blood and practice taking them off correctly without getting the ketchup on your skin.
Hold hands away from your body, with fingers pointing down.
With one hand, grasp your other glove at the wrist or palm and pull away from your hand. 
Pull the glove the rest of the way off.
Holding the removed glove balled up in the palm of the gloved hand, insert two fingers under the cuff of the remaining glove.
Remove the glove by stretching it up and away from the hand and turning it inside out as you pull it off.
Dispose of gloves safely. Use a biohazard container, if possible.

Wash your hands.

What actions should you take whenever you recognize an emergency?
  1. Recognize the emergency.
  2. Check the scene.
  3. Check the victim.
  4. Call 911.
  5. Give first aid.
  6. Have the victim serk medical attention.

List some of the dangerous emergency scenes you should not enter.
  • Traffic collisions
  • Fire scenes
  • Electrical hazards
  • Water and ice hazards
  • Natural Disasters
  • Hazardous materials
  • Unsafe buildings
  • Suicide
  • Hostile victim or family

What are some signs of stress that may occur after an emergency and describe how one can get help if needed.
  • Talk to others you trust.
  • Your reaction is normal. Remind yourself of this.
  • Do not be reluctant to seek professional help.

The Garden Mural Project



This series of posts will cover many biology topics, especially for Preschool and Kindergarten aged students, although all elementary aged students will benefit from this study. This is a great study to begin in spring. The posts will cover nature study, hands-on projects and written science journal opportunities. The complete project takes about 16 weeks to complete.
1. Begin the Mural and Make A Field of Sunflowers: covers basic botany topics
2. Insects: Bees: includes parts of an insect and bee hive
3. Insects: Ants and Bees, begins the study of ants and their home, includes discussion of social insects and their behaviors
4. Insects: Butterflies and Metamorphosis: begins the study of butterflies and their life cycle, activities on butterfly behavior and how they protect themselves from predators. Also includes a comparison of moths and butterflies.
5. Helpful and Harmful Insects: Includes a study of ladybugs and aphids.
6. Spiders: Compares and contrasts the insect with the spider. Study of spiders and their homes.
7. Finishing Up the Mural: Study of what insects do in the winter, crickets and night insects. Sunflowers bloom and the meadow is complete.