Saturday, August 1, 2015

Heart of Dakota: Week in Review {July 27-July 31}

We have had a wonderful first week of homeschooling. Heart of Dakota is the perfect curriculum for our family. I have a 10 year old boy and 7 year old girl in Bigger Hearts. My 12 year old has been joining us for the history portion, and I've added a few things to extend it to her level. I also have a 5 year old boy in Little Hearts.

Bigger Hearts: Unit 1

This week, the kids learned about Christopher Columbus. We are absolutely loving the Eggleston book "A First Book in American History". The kids enjoyed the story-like feel to the book, as opposed to a dry textbook feel. We made a balloon globe, traced his route from Portugal to the West Indies on a map, defined some vocabulary words, and painted a beautiful picture of an ocean scene.



In science, we read about tides and waves. We did two experiments. The first one was "Why do some things float, and others sink?" The second one was  "What causes waves?" The experiments are simple, yet effective. We also did one science lab sheet, and one notebooking sheet where they drew the high tide and low tide. Drawing the high and low tides really cemented it in their minds, and they told Daddy all about it when he got home from work. {They aren't loving the One Square books yet. I'm not sure why?} My oldest son is reading the extension book "Exploring Planet Earth".
{7 year old lab sheet}
{10 year old lab sheet}
{7 year olds science page}
{10 year old science page -Eli drew his side-ways.}
{What causes waves?}
Mercie is doing Singapore 2A, and she is loving it. It is just enough math for her each day. She doesn't get bogged down with too many problems, yet there are just enough problems to solidify what she is learning. She caught on to place value in the hundreds, tens, and ones very quickly.
Eli is in Singapore 5A, and he is also enjoying it. It's review for him right now, but that's okay with him!
Mercie is in Rod and Staff 2. She hasn't had any formal grammar before, but she is doing great. We do most of it orally, and I have her write 3-5 sentences each day.
Eli is in Rod and Staff 5, and we basically do the same. He does most of it orally, and I have him write out one section {usually 5-10 sentences}. As long as he uses his best writing, I told him he could do this.
All of the children are loving the hymn we are learning, "Holy, Holy, Holy". It is such a beautiful song, and hearing my children's voices sing to the Savior is so heart-warming.
They memorized Proverbs 2:3-4 this week, and we talked about persistence. I love how the character trait this week fit in with Columbus having to be persistent and how it paid off for him.
We had the best homeschooling week we have ever had. The curriculum flows so smoothly from one subject to the next. The science is a little light for my liking. For Mercie, who is in 2nd grade, it's perfect. Eli is in 5th grade, so I may add a few things for him. The Exploring Planet Earth book is a little boring for him. I'm looking into Abeka science for him. He is a science guy!
Little Hearts: Unit 1
I have to say, I am so surprised and excited that my 5 year old retained as much as he did this week. Just last night, I caught him singing "Leap, leap, to North America!" He can also say his Bible verse like nobody's business. I had ordered Reading Made Easy for him, but he was so not interested in doing it. I pulled out his Christian Light Kindergarten II light units {that I had ordered to use this summer and got through 1 workbook...} and he enjoyed those. He can recognize beginning sounds "f", "s", "m", "a", and "d". Handwriting...we are working on. He is a leftie, and his fine motor skills are lacking a little.
He learned about creation this week in Bible, science and history. He doesn't like the History for Little Pilgrims book, so I paraphrase it a lot! He does love his "new" Bible. We classified animals by putting land animals on brown construction paper and water animals on blue construction paper.
 I had made a cut and paste sheet for him for science with land and water animals. He loves to cut and paste, so I may do something similar each week.
He learned about patterns and similarities and differences in math. We used transportation counters.


He made a craft to show that Jesus is the center of history. He had fun doing this.
He put together an alphabet puzzle all by himself. He was very proud.
He did a handwriting sheet I made for him with his Bible verse.

We threw a bean bag into a bowl and he said his memory verse every time he made it. Sorry it's blurry; little boys won't quit moving sometimes!
As I mentioned, Silas retained so much information this week. I wasn't sure at first, and I told my husband that I was afraid he wasn't going to learn anything this year! But, God allowed me to see that he is, in fact, learning what matters. He memorized his first ever Bible verse, could answer questions about his Bible story, and can sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" with his brothers and sisters. So, yes, that is considered success in my book!
Science in the Ancient World: 7th grader
My daughter, Mikaela, is loving her new science book. She reads a lesson, does an experiment, and then has a lesson review follow-up activity {illustrating or writing information about her experiment}. She learned how to measure a light-pole by using shadows, why a glass fogs up when held over a candle {and why Thales used to believe that everything was made from water}, and about different pitches and sounds by putting different size rubber bands around a glass bowl.

She is using CLE language arts and Bible. For history, she has been listening in to Bigger Hearts. I had her answer the chapter questions in "A First Book of American History", make her own map in her notebook, and define the vocabulary words in her notebook. She is also using Key to Fractions for math. She had a good, productive first week, and I will be adding a few things throughout the next couple of weeks to round our her curriculum. She is wishing she would have went with Heart of Dakota as well.




  1. Don't worry about your little man's handwriting! It will come!! DD started kindergarten last year at 4 1/2 and her she was barely writing, and now she is doing great for how old she is!!

    I really enjoyed using a Reason for Handwriting K. It was a great fit for her!
    Hugs! Thanks for sharing!

    In Jesus Light and Love,

  2. I used A Reason for Handwriting with my some of my children, and I actually just ordered it for my 2nd grader! I think that would be a bit much for Silas, though. He does well to just trace. :-) Thanks for stopping by!