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 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:

Ancient Egyptian Hands-On History: Scribe's Box and Papyrus

The Scribes' Box

For our scribe's box, we just bought a tray from Michael's, some fine point paint brushes and some black acrylic paint. 


Our papyrus was simply made from strips of construction paper which are slightly over lapped and glued together.

Ocean Currents, Part IV: Polar vs. Tropical Water

For this experiment, you will need 2-6 to 8 oz. Styrofoam cups, 2 push pins, a clear rectangular 6-qt. container such as a small aquarium, 20 marbles, red and blue food coloring, hot, cold and room temperature water.

Place marbles in the cups to keep them from floating or tipping. Pour icy-cold water in one of the cups and add 6 drops of blue food coloring. Stir. Pour very hot water in the other cup and add 6 drops of red food coloring. Stir.
Stick a push pin in each cup at the level where the hole will be just below the surface of the water in the large container. The pins should be at the same level in both cups. Leave the pins in the cup. Place white paper or cloth behind the container so that any water movement is easily seen. Carefully place the cups in the container of water with the push pins facing away from each other. Pull out the push pins in each cup. Bend down so that you are eye level with the experiment.

Continue to add the appropriate temperature water to the two cups to keep the water level in each cup almost to the top.
Where does the clear (room temperature) blue (cold) and red (hot) water start and where do they end up?

You may also notice a phenomenon called upwelling. It is when cold water hits a solid such as land, or in this case, the side of the aquarium, the water goes up and ends up just under the layer of hot water. You can see how this would create additional currents.

 Based on your observations, what generalizations can you could make about what happens when water of different temperatures meet?
Alex's science journal page

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Originally posted Feb 4, 2011

Hands-On History: Ancient Egyptian Clothing


To make the head covering, you will need a 24" x 24" white muslin, If you want to add the asp, you will also need aluminum foil for the snake and gold jewels for eyes. Roll the foil and fold it to make a cobra shape, then spray painted it gold and hot glue on the jewel eyes. Paint some 3/4" ribbon with gold spray paint and use that to go around the head covering and, if you are using it, put the asp on. Measure the head, then remove the ribbon and staple it. Now you can put it on the head and wrapped the tin foil snake around it. 


The shendyt is a kilt-like garment which was made of cloth and was worn around the waist, typically extending to above the knees, in ancient Egyptian society.

You can make a shendyt from the same material as the headpiece. Bring it together in the front and sewed it to keep it firm. Another strip of the same type cloth can be used as a belt. Your student will need to wear shorts under the shendyt.

Arm Cuffs

You can make a really nice arm cuff from a recycled Gatorade bottle, which are already molded with indentations. Cut the side of the circle so there is an opening, and then spray painted it gold. We glued on gems.

Ocean Currents, Part III: Temperature Currents

The set up for this experiment is the same as the last one, so if you have any questions, refer to that one, which I have written in more detail.

Fill one bottle to the very top with hot tap water. Screw the tornado tube onto this bottle. Fill the other bottle almost to the top with icy cold tap water. Add 6 drops of food coloring to the cold bottle and shake well. Finish filling the cold bottle to the very top with more cold water. 

Place the yogurt lid over the top of the cold water bottle. Press down firmly on the yogurt lid, invert the cold water bottle and quickly place it over the opening of the tornado tube attached to the hot water bottle. Carefully slide the yogurt lid away, allowing the two bottles to join together with the tornado tube in between them. Screw the cold water bottle tightly on the tornado tube. Lay the bottles gently on their side on the white dish towel to catch any drips. Tighten the tornado tube if more than a few drops leak from either bottle.

Other than that, do not disturb the bottles at all. Bend down to eye level and observe any movement for at least 5 minutes.

The more dense cold water sinks to the bottom and the less dense hot water floats on the top.
Feel the bottles for differences in temperature. Do you see any other signs of temperature difference, such as condensation?

You can easily feel the layers of water of different temperatures.

Where does the movement of the colored water in the bottles make the water end up?.

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Originally posted Jan 28, 2011

Hands-On History: Ancient Egyptian Canopic Jars

Canopic jars used by the Ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to store and preserve the organs of those being mummified because of their belief in the afterlife. They were commonly either carved from limestone or were made of pottery.
We have made canopic jars by covering a small Dixie cup with clay... 

and hand sculpting the tops to depict  the four sons of Horus;  Hapy, the baboon-headed god, Duamutef, the jackal-headed god, Imsety, the human-headed god and Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god. This is a good time to cover some of the Egyptian gods, if you choose to do so.

Another option is to invest in Art in History's canopic jar projects. 
They come unpainted and give you advise on how to paint them.
 Layer by layer, 
they begin to transform...

 into realistic looking pieces.
 Even my 9-year old was able to make a great looking piece.
In making them, we all paid more attention to the details and there was much conversation about heiroglypics, canopic jars, mummification and the changes that occurred throughout their various periods.

originally posted  

Snapshot Summary, June 2018

June 2018
Note: I will be archiving the Snapshot Summary posts to my family memories blog, Bergblog after one month. See the Our Homeschool What Our Homeschool Looks Like tab at the top of this blog to find the links to the archived Snapshot Summary posts.

June was an extremely busy month.
We wrapped up the last bit of school work for the year, so I now officially have two high school students! 
We are completing some new work this summer.
Katie began teaching James and Quentin First Aid for their Health credit.

James and Sam are continuing to take Aikido classes. James will be using this as part of a Physical Education credit.
Most of June, however, was taken up with rehearsals (3 hours each night) and the nine performances of Pippin. This is a fast-paced frolicking show in which Quentin was on stage singing and dancing for most of the show. There were numerous costume changes as he played several different characters, including a jester and a soldier. He gain a lot of experience being in this show...

and he received this lovely card from the director.

On the way back home from the Pippin cast party, we saw this rainbow. 

Katie made this Eclair Cake for Steven for Father's Day.

We spent the first day of summer at our beach.

Alex has been painting some...

and Katie is making a set of ceramic wind chimes.

We went to the ocean beach to camp for a couple of days, where we celebrated James 17 1/2 birthday (we celebrate his half birthday because his birthday is so close to Christmas.)

How is your summer going?