Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Hearts for His Glory

We use Little Hearts for His Glory from Heart of Dakota Publishing as our Kindergarten curriculum. The first time I completed this as a K-4 program to prepare my un-preschooled daughter for public school kindergarten.  It definitely suited my needs at the, but after using it for kindergarten I enjoy this program even more.

One of the nice aspects of the entire Heart of Dakota curriculum line is they can be used for various grade levels. You simply choose the options which best suit your needs. This also allows students to be combined for history and science while still working at their own level for math, handwriting, and reading. I prefer not to combine my girls within guides, but I like knowing I have the option one day if I ever choose to.

Grace often draws while I read her history aloud.
I love that the curriculum is all-in-one and very cohesive. History readings are the core of the program going along with the Charlotte Mason idea of education.  All other subjects are connected to this core with the exception of handwriting, reading, and math. Each week activities for science, history, rhymes, and Scripture memory are completed. Showing my children how all the subjects relate seems to bring a deeper understanding to what they are learning.

Heart of Dakota activities get my girl excited!

I appreciate that the history spines are biblically grounded and we even read quite a bit of Scripture as part of history. Teaching my girls history and science from a biblical worldview is something I will never take for granted. As we were studying creation during the first week I was thinking of how much I had prepared my older daughter, thinking we would be sending her to public school, that she would be taught things that were different from what we believe the Bible teaches. Knowing I don’t have to tell my children anymore that they may be taught fallacy is an added benefit to homeschool I had not considered before.

Two of our favorite parts are the weekly rhymes and read alouds. Each week we learn a new rhyme which emphasizes a concept learned from history. The read alouds are classic American folk tales which involve characters from Thorton Burgess, Uncle Wiggly, and Beatrix Potter. These classic stories are enhanced with questions to get little minds thinking about right and wrong choices as well as predicting what will happen next in the story.

As with the entire Heart of Dakota line, math, handwriting, and thinking skills have suggested items, but are not required to make the program work. The recommended programs are Earlybird Singapore, A Reason for Handwriting K, and Rod and Staff books D and F or 1st grade Thinking Skills.

We are using the Singapore math, but will switch over to Rod and Staff for 1st grade. I also am using A Reason for Handwriting, but will also begin using Rod and Staff for this when we finish the book.

**Update 2015**

For my third time through this guide we are using Math Mammoth (Our final settling ground for math!) and a combination of Fundanoodle and A Reason for Handwriting for the handwriting. 


Finally we have chosen to use the 1st grade Thinking Skills because she completed the Rod and Staff D and F options in K-4. I really love the ABC series from Rod and Staff and have allowed her to continue with G,H, and I for this year as well. It is only a couple of extra pages and provides extra critical thinking activities.

**Update 2015**

The 1st Grade Thinking Skills book is no longer in print and so we have stuck strictly to the Rod and Staff ABC series. 

Because we complete Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy lessons prior to Kindergarten we use Abeka’s K-5 and 1st grade reading really cement her phonics solidly. We also use All About Spelling, level 1 as it is a phonics based spelling program. In addition to these allow my girls devour any books they want. I am thrilled to have avid readers who can’t get enough reading to satisfy them!

**Update 2015**

With Grace after finishing the Abeka Phonics we moved into the Emerging Readers used in Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory and Bigger Hearts for His Glory. She was ready and has loved reading all of these classic stories included. 

Already learning geography in Kindergarten!
I have found a home in Heart of Dakota Publishing. I feel so very confident teaching my daughters because of the easy open-and-go setup, unit cohesiveness, and overall simplicity of the activities. I could not ask for a more well rounded and balanced curriculum. 

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your review! And im thankful that you shared your other resources too. Bless you and your family!