Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heart of Dakota!

As you may have already seen from some previous posts we have started a new curriculum this year from Heart of Dakota. I first came across this curriculum about 2 years ago online, and I almost bought their preschool program for Sweetpea. I ended up talking my self out of it, and went on my merry way. I would occasionally check out their website and see new products listed, but was mainly just looking for book ideas. Up until now I have just been a do it yourself kinda gal, and it has served us pretty well. I have been very drawn to the Charlotte Mason style of teaching/learning and I have been incorporating that into our school. This spring I spent a lot of time looking at different curriculums online, and I was continually drawn back to the HOD website. I just was very drawn to their different packages and book choices, and because of this had purchased many of the books needed for Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory. In June I decided I wanted to plan out our school year better this year in order to make sure we did more hands on things, and had more bible worked into our days. When I looked at all the books I had gathered my head started spinning, but I was determined to make it work, because after all I didn't need someone elses schedule. Really I was just being cheap, and hate to spend money on things I do not need. To make a long story short my awesome husband told me to just get what I need and call it a day. He is great like that! I was able to get a used Beyond guide off of Amazon, and we started using it the second week of July.

Buster is really enjoying it! Yes he does have his moments of complaints, but as far as school work goes this has been are smoothest year yet. HOD is truly an all in one open and go curriculum that makes a Charlotte Mason education a breeze. We are pretty much using everything in the guide as written. Buster is using Singapore 2a/2b this year, and I'm adding in All About Spelling, Primary Language Lessons, and Apologia Zoology 1(Buster loves science). Those three things are not necessary though as HOD has Spelling, some grammar, and science built in(which we use also). I had already acquired AAS before we started, and it is a great program. He is also using the emergent reader schedule with some additions, and substitutions because he had already read some of the titles.

As for Sweetpea I had planned to have her just tag along with Buster in Beyond. She really enjoyed all the hands on things, but I felt like I was pushing her a bit too much using Singapore 1a/1b, and she would just be missing out on too much of the program. I was able to pick up the Bigger Hearts guide used for a great price, and after seeing how much of a step up that program was I decided it was best for her to do Little Hearts For His Glory. I actually already owned about half of the books needed for this program. Buster had used many of them previously. I was able to gather up the rest of stuff I needed fairly easily, and we began this week. Little Hearts is an excellent program also, and other than having a bit of a rough time getting Sweetpea to listen during storytime and history the first two days it is going great. We made play-doh on Tuesday, and that did the trick to keep her listening. What's even funnier is Buster is eager to join in on much of Little Hearts as well. She is doing everything in the guide as written also except for the handwriting and fine motor skills books. Instead she is using Handwriting Without Tears(a program that she was already using and loves), and I just have some K workbooks from the store she uses for fine motor skills. I'm especially excited about our choice of using Reading Made Easy. This program is truly easy, and Sweetpea loves it especially that she gets to pick a picture book to read at the end of every lesson. I had tried to use Phonics Pathways, and Explode the Code with her, but they were both a no go for now. At this point if you are still reading you may be wondering how we fit in two programs so here is the basic weekly schedule I made. Mine is color coded, so the kids know who is doing each subject, and when. I do not have times on it because that is unrealistic. We generally start at 9, and end around 1:30-2. My husband gets off at 2:15, so we like to be done by then.

Math (Buster)
Math (Sweetpea)
Spelling/Grammar(Buster) he does spelling 3 days, and Grammar 2 days
Handwriting/Fine motor skills (Sweetpea)
Break/exercise time (my dh comes home for lunch at 10:15, so the kids break and do exercise videos during this time.
phonics (Sweetpea)
tot time(for Buttercup, and Buddy but we all join in)
Storytime (Buster)
History/rotationg box(Buster) rotationg box consists of science 2x a week, geography, art, history project, etc.
Histroy/rotating box (Sweetpea)
rhymes in motion (Sweetpea)
poetry/copywork (Buster)
Together time (art 1x a week, music 2x a week, president study, state study)
Reading (Buster reads to me)
Projects (baking, making playdoh etc.)

All this to say we are loving Heart Of Dakota, and I would highly recommend it! I'm joining a Heart Of Dakota Blog roll, so be sure and check it out if you want to see more about HOD.


Kathy said...

yay! We have just started our first year with HOD as well. Loving it! The kids and I both look fwd to school.

McMama said...

Looks great!! Enjoy your first year with HOD!! Thanks for joining the blog roll!