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

High School Ancient History

In this course students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of:
  • The major developments in Western history.
  • The major ideas and themes that led to these developments.
  • The intellectual, social, political, economic and cultural developments within the societies covered.
Students will also demonstrate the ability to:
  • Carry out historical analysis and research.
  • Convey thoughts and ideas in written essay form.
  • Recognize and analyze major original historical documents.

Semester 1: Civilization
Learning Objectives: Demonstrate an understanding of 1) civilization; 2) the need for security within Western Civilization; 3) the importance of religion for the Egyptians and their view of security; 4) the individual within Greek society and their attainment of security

  1. (Sept. 7) Prehistory: The beginning of civilization
  2. (Sept. 14) Foundation of Ancient Civilizations
  3. (Sept. 21) Egyptian Religion and the Building of the Pyramids
  4. (Sept. 28) Major Development within Ancient Civilizations
  5. (Oct. 5) Greece: The Emergence from the Tribal State
  6. (Oct. 12) Rise of Greek, Individualism, part I
  7. (Oct. 19) The Rise of Greek, Individualism, part II
  8. (Oct. 26) The Classical Age of Greece
  9. (Nov. 2) The Rise of Greek Philosophy
  10. (Nov. 9) Alexander The Great Man Theory
  11. (Nov. 16) Map Quiz
  12. (Nov. 21) Exam 1
(Nov. 30) Break week

Semester 2: The Romans
Learning Objectives: Demonstrate an understanding of 1) the rise of the Roman red publica and the obtaining of security, 2) the fall of res publica an exemplified by the assination of Julius Caesar, 3) the rise of the Roman Empire and the reestablishment of security beginning with the reign of Caesar Augustus; 4) the emergence of Christianity within the context of the Roman Empire; 5) the causes of the Fall of the Roman Empire.
  1. (Dec. 7) The Grandeur that was Rome
  2. (Dec. 14) The Roman Revolution: The Decline of the Republic and the Rise of the Empire (Christmas break Dec 16-Jan 1)
  3. (Jan 4) The Empire and the Rise of Christianity
  4. (Jan. 11) Roman Society and Architecture
  5. (Jan. 18) The Roman Empire: The Beginning of the End
  6. (Jan. 25) The Fall of Rome
  7. (Feb. 1) Map Quiz
  8. (Feb. 8) Exam 2
(Feb. 15 Break Week)

Semester 3: The Middle Ages
Learning Objectives: Demonstrate an understanding of 1) the rise and power of the Roman Catholic Church; 2) feudalism within the context of the turmoil of the Middle Ages; 3) the expansion that took place during the Middle Ages; 4) the demise of feudalism and the emergence of the Modern Era.
  1. (Feb. 22) Western Christendom: The Emergence of the Roman Church
  2. (Mar. 1) Societies of Greatness: Byzantine and Islam
  3. (Mar. 8) Charlemagne: The Consolidation of Empire
  4. (Mar. 15) Feudalism and the Emergence of Medieval Society
  5. (Mar. 22) The Expanding Medieval Frontier
  6. (Mar. 29) The Church in the Middle Ages, part I
  7. (Apr. 5) The Church in the Middle Ages, part II
  8. (Apr. 12) The End of the Medieval Era
  9. (Apr. 19) Map Quiz
  10. (Apr. 26) Exam 3
(May 3 Break Week)

Semester 4: The Renaissance
Learning Objectives: Demonstrate the understanding of 1) the growing emphasis of the individual during the Renaissance; 2) the philosophical movement away from God as the determinate factor in an individual's life; 3) the development of a modern political philosophy in the writings of Machiavelli; 4) the growing disruption of the Roman Catholic Church; 5) how the Protestant Revolution of Luther led to a secularization of Western society
  1. (May 10) The Italian Renaissance
  2. (May 17) Machiavelli vs. Erasmus: Realism vs. Idealism
  3. (May 24) Christian Humanism and the Beginning of Religious Rebellion
  4. (May 31) Martin Luther and Protestant Revolutionary Thought
  5. (Jun. 7) Map Quiz
  6. (Jun. 14) Exam 4

Source: The Western Image, volume I: An Introduction to Western Civilization, David Tengwall

Index of Ancient Egypt Projects for Kids

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.

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:

Middle School Renaissance History: European Settlers

Begin a time line by drawing a horizontal line across a long piece of butcher paper, 2-3 inches from the bottom. Begin with the year 1490 on the left and write 1870 on the right. Make a mark to indicate every 10 years. Label every 50 years. This will be added to as we cover the major events in our history studies.

Write the first event and its date on an index card. Tape on the appropriate place on the timeline. These cards can later be taken off and stored in a history file box or in your history notebook.

In the 1400's Europeans were very eager to explore the world beyond what they knew. North America was discovered by accident but it was found because explorers were out looking for something new. Research explorers to North America. Find out what they were looking for and what they found. Add these dates to your timeline on index cards. Possible explorers to research are:
John Cabot
Robert Cave lier de LaSalle
Christopher Columbus
Giovanni da Verrazano
Ferdinand Magellan
Vasco Nunez de Balboa
Juan Ponce de Leon
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
America Vespucci

Answer the following questions following your research.
Why was a ruler of a country in Europe interested in the New World?
Why did the head of the family risk his life and the lives of his family and venture to the New World?
What opportunities did European merchants see in the New World?
What motivated men to come to the New World alone?
What interest did the church have in the New World?

Middle School American History : Revolutionary War

Research about George Washington's role in the war. Write a persuasive article about why George Washington was the Right leader for the Americans.

Continue to add dates and events to the timeline.

The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. The Americans wanted the world to know why they were breaking away from England. Read the Declaration of Independence and write a summary of the important points of the document.

Write about the significance of July 4th.

Write about the concept of Self-government as opposed to the Monarchy of England and other European countries.

Research about the writing and debating of the Declaration of Independence.

Look at a copy of the Declaration of Independence.  Divide it into its four parts: The Preamble,  A Declaration of Rights,  A Bill of Indictment,  and A Statement of Independence. Write a couple of sentences stating the purpose of each part.

Write the Declaration of Rights in your own words.

Field Trip: The original document is preserved in a special case in the National Archives building in Washington DC.

Who was on the committee assigned to write the Declaration?  Who actually wrote most of it? How many delegates signed it?  Why is John Hancock 's signature larger and first? Why didn't George Washington sign it?

Research the Liberty Bell.

Middle School American History : Madison and The War of 1812

Research about the War of 1812. Find out how messages were sent in those days. Draw a diagram showing how the British announcement might have traveled across the ocean.

Read the Star-Spangled Banner and write a paragraph about what it meant at the time

Research about  James Madison and add him to your timeline and the dates he was president. What was Monroe ' s experience with government before becoming president? Why were his years in office called "The Era of Good Feeling "? What was interesting about the number of votes he received in his second term? What land acquisitions were made during his terms in office?  What was the Missouri Compromise?  What is the Monroe Doctrine?  How does it affect our foreign policy today?

Research about James Monroe the fifth president.

Write the War of 1812 and the dates it lasted on the timeline. Research this war. Why did Madison ask  Congress to declare war against the British? What happened two days before the war was declared and why did it not stop the war? Did everyone in America want another war? Which regions wanted war the most? Why? Where was most of the war fought? Who were the War Hawks? Why didn't some Americans want to fight? What were the chief battles and who won them? What happened on August 24, 1814 in Washington, DC?  When did the Treaty of Ghent take place?  What was settled? Were the initial causes of the war settled? Why was the Battle of New Orleans unnecessary?

Middle School American History : Pioneers

Pick out a fictional book about pioneers. Keep a reading journal of the events in each chapter. When finished,  summarize the story using what you have written for reference.

Make a travel poster. Imagine you are selling covered wagons and want to attract the attention of pioneers. Or, imagine you are selling land out west and want to convince people to move out west.

Research the following pioneers and pioneer trails:
Daniel Boone
Oregon Trail
Santa Fe Trail (mark the dates of these two famous trails on the timeline and make a map of each one)
Lewis and Clark Expedition

Write about the pioneers.  Why did they settle in a new land? What were their occupations? What foods did they grow and eat?  What was their life expectancy? What were their houses like? What clothing did they wear?  How did they travel? What dangers were there? What was their entertainment? What did they read? How were the children educated? How did they govern themselves?  How large were their communities? How close were neighbors? How much slower was travel then? What were the modes of transportation? What were the roads like then? How did weather affect travel?  How did travelers cross rivers?

Picture Study : The Oregon Trail by Albert Bierstadt.

Research and write about men and women associated with the Pioneer movement: Daniel Boone
John Fremont
Mike Fink
Jim Bridger
Kit Carson
Davy Crockett
Johnny Appleseed
Noah Webster
Mary Jemison
Jedediah Smith

Middle School American History : The Constitution

Make a chart in your notebook with the following headings: Name, State, Contribution to the Constitution. Research the Constitution and add the following men to the chart:
Benjamin Franklin
Elbridge Grey
Alexander Hamilton
James Madison,  Jr
George Mason
Gouverneur Morris
Robert Morris
Rodgers Sherman

Add any other men you would like from your research.

Read the first three Articles of the Constitution.  Write about the functions of the three branches of government. Identify some of the individuals who currently serve in each branch of government.

Some states refused to sign the Constitution unless some individual rights were spelled out and attached. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. Write about why the Bill of Rights was so important to the early Americans after their experience with Britain. Are they important to you? Prioritize the first 10 amendments. Can you eliminate any that are not important? Read the rest of the Amendments. Group the amendments in the following categories:
gives you the right to do something,
give you the right to have something,
gives you rights when you are accused of something, gives you the right to be something, or make up one of your own categories. Write about ways that you hear, such as on the news, about the Constitution at work today.  Listen for evidence that the branches of government are carrying out the ideals and laws of the Constitution. Write about what evidence there is that the constitution is still a powerful document. Write about the actions of the first leader of the executive branch of the government. The cabinet is part of the executive branch. Read about the current cabinet. What are the positions and who is currently filling them?

Middle School American History : Revolutionary War

Research about famous Americans who were associated with the events of the war:
Ethan Allen
John Paul Jones
Paul Revere
Crispus Atticus
Benedict Arnold
George Washington
Marquis de Lafayette
Friedrich von Steuben

Cornwallis surrendered to Washington on October 19th 1781. The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3rd 1783. Add these dates to the timeline. Research about the Treaty of Paris.  What was gained by the War? What was lost?  Draw a map of the 13 original states.  What were the borders set by the Treaty of Paris?

Research  about the government immediately following the war. Write about the money and laws. Why didn't it work? The poorly organized government led to the creation of the Constitution.  The Constitutional Convention met in 1787 to write this document that still organizes our government today.

There is a picture that hangs in the US Capitol of the signing of the Constitution. If possible look at a copy of that picture. Identify some of the delegates.

Read "Shh! We're writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz.

Read the Preamble to the Constitution. In the Preamble, there is 6 reasons explaining why the Constitution was written. Write the 6 reasons for it the Constitution in your own words.

Read about the three branches of government set up in the Constitution. Why did the founding fathers feel that the three branches were necessary? What is meant by separation of powers and checks and balances? Complete a chart of the three branches of government. Include the titles of the leaders and their duties.

Research about the Constitutional Convention.
What famous delegates attended the Convention?
Which state did not attend and why?
Where did the Convention meet?
Who was elected president of the Convention?
Who became known as the " Father of the Constitution"? Why?
What kind of representation did the larger states think there should be in Congress?
How did the smaller states feel about this? How was the problem solved?
Who copied the Constitution in good English order?
Why didn't James Madison sign the Constitution?
When was the Constitution adopted by the Convention? Add this date to your timeline.
Which state was the first to ratify it?
How many states had to ratify it? Which state officially made the Constitution valid? How long did it take to ratify it?

Middle Schoo American History : Revolutionary War, part 1

Research and discuss the events of the Revolutionary War. Where were battles fought who was involved? What was the outcome?

Add dates and events to the timeline.

Draw a picture of Valley Forge.

Field Trip: Visit Valley Forge.

Can you empathize with a colonist who sought Independence? Think about the concept of independence and why people hold it so dear.

How accurate were muskets?  Research about Revolutionary War weapons and compare them to Modern weapons.

Research battle sites and find out how many soldiers were on each side and which side was better equipped and trained.
Valley Forge
Bunker Hill

Write about the hardships the Americans at this time endured.

Research why the French and Spanish were willing to help the American cause.

Middle School American History : Revolutionary War, part 2

Many events in the mid 1700's caused the colonists to resent the power of the British. Research about the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Choose one of the acts by the British and write about the events leading up to it and following it.

Continue to add dates and events to the timeline.

Research the Intolerable Acts. Think about cause and effect in the struggle between the British and the Americans and write a cause and effect statement about the Intolerable Acts.

Research the significance of Paul Revere's Ride.

Research the events of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Find Lexington and Concord on a current map of Massachusetts.

Have your student read a biography of Paul Revere and list some facts about him (in chronological order.)

Read "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Make a two column chart in your history notebook. Label the first column "Early Settlers /Colonists" and label the second column "Believers of in Freedom. List the names of the people studied so far in the correct columns.  Be sure to include:
John Adams
Patrick Henry
Samuel Adams
George Washington
John Hancock
Thomas Paine

Middle School American History : George Washington

  • Write an outline on George Washington. Fill in the outline by adding details under each of the following headings:
    • Early Life
    • Soldier -Statesman
    • President
  • Write the dates of Washington's presidency on the timeline.
  • Research the early history of the Nation's permanent capital,  Washington, DC . Who chose the site?  Why was it selected?  On what river was it located? Why was it not a part of any state? Research the planning of the capital and the people involved?  When was it completed?  Who was the first president to live in it?
  • Plan a field trip to the city of Washington DC. Find the major buildings and landmarks such as the White House, the Capitol building, the Supreme Court building, the National Mall, and so on. Drawn pictures of the three monuments to President Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln. Plan a day or a week in the city. Make an itinerary of visits. Write a summary of each visit explain why it is a significant place. Washing DC was a well-planned city. Read about the history of the city and of the physical layout. Washington DC is not part of any state. Many residents think it should be considered a state on its own. Read about the local government of Washington DC.
  • When the president is elected, he chooses advisers, call the cabinet. Research about the cabinet and list the department. List the current head of each department in the cabinet.
  • Research some of Washington DC highlights, such as the Museums, monuments and some buildings. Use a map of Washington to locate these places.

  • Study the interior of the White House. Discuss the purpose of the different rooms. Discuss the influence of the different presidents and their wives.

Current Events

Note added to the bottle, with a self-addressed, stamped postcard said, "We are conducting an experiment involving currents. Could you please fill out the enclosed pre-addressed postcard telling us where you found this bottle. Thank you for helping us with this project."

{This Message-in-a-Bottle project was inspired by Katie to do with her brothers.}
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Originally posted Nov 30, 2011

Hands-On History: History and Geography Fair

Every year we get together with other families and host a History and Geography Fair. Students sometimes dress up in costume, such as this costume of Howard Carter, the famous Egyptologist.
Each family has a table to display all the activities they have accomplished in their history studies. We invite friends and family to see what we have done. 
Most tables have at least one display board. 
Often there are hands-on activities the guests can do, such as an archaeological dig or foods to sample. Sometimes students will give a little speech about a topic related to what they have studied.
It is a wonderful way to finish up the school year and review what students have learned.