Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Homeschooling with Heart of Dakota {getting prepared for Bigger Hearts for His Glory}

So, we are to begin our homeschooling journey once more after a year in the public school system. I homeschooled my five children starting with my oldest, Mikaela, when she was in Kindergarten. She is now starting 7th grade! {She is the only one not using Heart of Dakota.}

My oldest son, Eli, is 10 and starting the 5th grade. I am combining him with his sister, Mercie, who is 7 and starting 2nd grade. They will be using Bigger Hearts for His Glory, with the science portion of the extension pack for Eli.

Silas is 5 and starting Kindergarten with Little Hearts for His Glory. The youngest, Titus, is 3. We will start Little Hands to Heaven with him, using it about twice a week. I want it to last two years.

This is our first year that we will be using Heart of Dakota. I am so excited! I have done almost all of the prep work and organization for the entire year, and I wanted to share it in case anyone else was new to this!

Bigger Hearts for His Glory {ages 7-9, extions for 10-11}
 I bought my teacher's guide used from Ebay. It was already in this binder, with the pages in sheet protectors. I love how easy it is to use! I love the individual boxes on each page that tell us what to do. I love the activities, the notebooking, the experiments, the literature...I could go on and on.

 These are the books from the Bigger... package. I put them all in a plastic tub for easy access.
{Everything else goes in their backpacks, which I will explain below.}

Here are their binders. I printed out each of them a notebook cover to color. They thought that was great fun, and I thought it added a personal touch to each binder.

 Each of their binders has dividers labeled "HISTORY", "SCIENCE", "POETRY", "VOCABULARY", AND "EXPERIMENTS".

 Behind their "HISTORY" divider, I have printed out a timeline and notebook sheets {from the HOD yahoo group}.
 Behind "SCIENCE", I printed out notebook sheets, also from the HOD yahoo group.
 Behind "VOCABULARY", I printed out a page with space for all three vocabulary words for Eli. I made Mercie a page with space for one vocabulary word. I am going to let her choose the word.

 Behind "EXPERIMENTS", I made a sheet with space for the question, guess, procedure, and conclusion.
 Since Eli is on the oldest end of the age recommendations, I printed out a list of 300 spelling words for 5th graders. If I use 10 a week, that will give us 30 weeks of spelling words. {}

They each have their own box of art supplies {scissors, colored pencils, markers, pencil sharpener, glue stick, watercolor tin}. I keep all other art supplies in a box in my closet. These are the things they will use daily or weekly, and I find it helps for each child to have their own box in their backpack. They each also have a pencil bag with pencils, erasers, and high-lighters. This cuts back on looking for pencils each day.

In their backpacks, they each have their binder, Rod and Staff textbook and a notebook to be used with R&S, Singapore math workbooks, art box, pencil pouch, index card ring for memory verses, and whatever book they are reading. Eli also has his Exploring Planet Earth book, and Mercie has two decks of playing cards {for the math activities}.

The backpacks make it easy for all of us. When it's time for school, they grab their backpacks are ready to go. It makes clean up easy, cuts back on lost books or notebooks, and keeps their stuff organized. Backpacks are only to be used during school time, and are kept in my room.

{I'm sorry some of the pictures are sideways...I can't figure out how to turn them.}


  1. You did such a great job putting this all together :) We had such a sweet year in Bigger. I hope you love it as much as we did!

  2. Thank you! 😊 I actually used your blog posts on Bigger for inspiration! As I was reading through your posts on Bigger, it got me really excited to start!! God bless you, girl!

  3. How did it work out with having the 5th and second grader together? This year my kids are in private school. It's the only year they have been in school. I want to go back to home school next year and I will have a 5th grader, 2nd grader and kindergartener, and 2 toddlers. I'm trying to figure out if I should do separate guides for the older 2 or put them on the same one. I want to do the kindergartener at half pace.

    1. Oh and they're old for their grades they'll be 8 and 11