P365 – Day 81 (Rubbing Fish)

That’s a catchy title! Sure to draw in the crowds. It’s sort of sad what a girl will do to get more readers for her blog. :) Since I’m determined not to disappoint, I’ll open with this great picture.

rachel's fish

A SHS loopie friend (from my Yahoo homeschooling e-mail group) has a wonderful business that she and her family run called, Hands and Hearts. They sell educational toys and games, history materials, books, crafts and so on. One of their treasures is a line of history kits.

far east kit

I LOVE books and can read to the children for hours. I am NOT, however, good at providing hands-on activities. Thankfully there are co-ops and people like Kate who want to help the unskilled among us.

Since we are using Sonlight’s Eastern Hemisphere this year for our history, Bible and reading curriculum, the Ancient Far East kit seemed a perfect fit. Today our project of choice was printing a fish. This kit contains an actual preserved gray perch (fish) that you use to create a gyotaku print on real rice paper. The gyotaku link has some amazing prints, ours are a little (ahem) more basic.

gloves required

The instructions carefully describe exactly what you do, beginning with Wash the Fish. This was probably the most intense part of the whole adventure. It’s pretty much all mellow, easy and downhill after you’ve taken a dead fish, held it in your hands (albeit gloved) and washed it. Remember, we are BOOK people not Actually-Go-Out-and-Do-It people so, although we’ve read many tales of exciting (and gross) adventures, we have led a fairly tame life.

Daniel (of course, need I say more) was elected to handle the Dead Fish Bath. He did a great job, to the admiration and appreciation of his followers.

fish washing

One hand is bare! He touched the fish, he touched the fish! Ewww! Mommy, Daniel touched a dead fish!

Dan handles the fish!

Notice the intensity with which everyone watches Daniel. He is definitely the star of the moment!

Thanks, Dan!

Next things were laid out and the paint readied.
ready supplies


The children worked carefully to brush the water/paint mixture on the fish scales. Joshua was our “instructor” for the day. He read directions, supervised the application of paint, and did several of the actual rubbings. I’m barely needed for the project as all. Of course, I was needed to take 50 pictures. I obliged with hardly any complaining.

here we go

I kept the fish around for several days, hoping we could dissect it (him?), but I’m afraid I must have very strange homeschooled children, not a single one of them was interested in slicing that little guy open. There was no strange odor to the fish so I can’t understand why they didn’t leap at the opportunity.

final product

The final product! Colorful fish prints.

A squeamish bunch perhaps? How are they going to handle biology in the upcoming years? More importantly, how are they going to become rich and famous doctors and support me in my old age?


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3 thoughts on “P365 – Day 81 (Rubbing Fish)”

  1. Aunt Koffee, this is a very timely blog. I think it was Monday night at about 11 (I know, far too late to be doing school) that I was trying to scrape through the skull of the perch in my biology dissection kit. Unfortunately, the perch I had was apparently both brainless and heartless.

    I loved the faces Rachel and Sarah made in the pictures! Actually, my mom made similar faces when I mentioned that we should probably vacuum the kitchen because of the fish scales that kind of scattered around. And she did not appreciate my description of the formaldehyde squirting out of the incision…

  2. Hi, Mamie and I are here together reading your blogs. YEA for KME and her writing skills. We love you, Katherine!! Looks like some good hands on work being done. Mason disected an eel at his camp- and was esp. interested in the eye. Yea.

    Cindy leaves MN today- boo hoo. Love you Edgrens. Hope the play is wonderful and the sleepover calm? AK and MM

  3. A VERY catchy title for sure!

    See what a creative mom you are? You braved the fish smell for the good of you children, that is truly the sign of a successful homeschool mom.

    The process looks fun and the pictures are great!

    Next time we go to the dentist you all should visit us in the waiting room. I know it sounds wierd…but the office has the most beautiful fish rubbings with sparkly rice paper for the canvas.

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