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 V: Ice Cubes Demonstration

We have learned in the past few weeks that salt water is more dense than fresh water and that cold water is more dense than warm. How do the factors of salinity and temperature combine?
The two jars react very differently when the colored ice cubes are added to them.
We have learned in the past few weeks that salt water is more dense than fresh water and that cold water is more dense than warm. How do these factors, salinity and temperature, combine?
Before hand, make some colored ice cubes by adding food coloring to the water in an ice cube tray. We did this the night before.
Fill two identical jars about 3/4 full with tap water. Add about 1/4 cup Kosher salt to one of the jars, mix thoroughly and let sit. Can your students tell which one of them has salt water and one fresh water (without tasting)? Very carefully add 3-4 of the colored ice cubes to each jar. Add the same amount to each jar. Do not bump or disturb the jars.

Where is the colored water going? Which jar is the ice melting faster? What would this indicate?

Can you see a current flowing toward the bottom as the icy water carries the food coloring down with it as it sinks? As the temperature evens out, the food coloring mixes throughout the jar. This is the fresh water jar. The icy water is denser than the room temperature water and sinks. The sinking of the icy water helped set up currents in the jar which quickly mixed the icy water and the room temperature water.

In the other jar the ice melted more slowly and the food coloring formed a layer at the surface. Because the ice cubes were made of fresh water, as they melted, the water floated at the top of the denser salt water.

To demonstrate for the little boys how the salt-water could be more dense than fresh water, I took a cup with some marbles in it and told them that this is just like the water molecules and then added some salt to the cup. This is like the salt molecules, which are able to fit in between the water molecules, making the entire substance more dense.
The densest water in the ocean is formed around the Antarctica because the water is very cold and very salty. This combination causes it to become very dense and sink to the bottom of the ocean basin surrounding Antarctica. This water then travels north as the densest water in the ocean.

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Originally posted Feb 11, 2011

Hands On History: Ancient Egyptian Weapons: Khopesh and Shield

The Khopesh, also called the sickle sword or a Sappara is a sword that was actually a hybrid between a sword and an ax. This is why it has such an unusual shape. This is a real sword design and these swords were really used over 3,000 years ago and not again since. There are still some examples of this sword in museums and two of them were found in king Tut's treasure.

The swords of that time period were made of copper, bronze or possibly iron. And these metals are not as strong as steel. This is why the unusual curve in the blade -this added enough strength so it could be used as an almost ax style weapon.

I made our by downloading the template and using the instructions found at Storm The Castle. All you have to do is cut out the three parts of the sword and tape them together. Then you make five copies out of cardboard and glue them all together. We used some foam-board instead of some of the cardboard.

The shield was made from a piece of white foam-board which he painted with black acrylic paint. He added straps on the back with cloth ribbon and duct tape.

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