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 12, 2013

Week in Review: August 5-9

In retrospect, this was not the ideal week to begin school. I had these wonderful visions of what our first day back at it would look like with eager faces shining up at me begging to be enlightened...yeah...and I'm not even a newbie anymore either! My girls were coming off a 2-week vacation with their grandparents, I was only 2 1/2 weeks out from having thyroid surgery, and I started one of my two part-time jobs teaching piano for 2 1/2 hours every afternoon. I obviously didn't think this through! Yet, when my mind is made up to begin something, I have a very difficult deviating from that thought.

Our first week was not what I had planned, yet it was still pretty good. I learned some things, tweaked some things, and regrouped more than once! We ended the week with a fun field trip giving us some much needed family-time as well.

We're using three guides from Heart of Dakota once again...

Grace - K4
Beth - 1st Grade
Rose - 3rd Grade

Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 20

Grace did a little over half the guide of Little Hands to Heaven last year for K-3. I had originally intended to do this guide twice in a row, but plans changed, life happened, and here we are. This unit was a review so it was a perfect starting point for Grace. All of the letters have special motions and a rhyme to help out with remembering their sounds. I was so pleased that even though she didn't remember all of them she did recall them quickly when I reminded her of the motions. 

We are moving fairly quickly now through the About 3 series. Rod and Staff is an excellent company and very solid, although not flashy. Much of their curriculum focuses on rural life and has given us some great discussions we may not have had otherwise. My grandfather was a farmer so it has been fun to explore things like farming tools as well as less modern conveniences such as oil lamps. 

We are also reading through Master Book's N is for Noah. I am loving being a Mom of Master Books! (Click on the picture for my full review!)

Grace is also starting to learn to read! We're using Reading Kingdom (A TOS Review product) and Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons...but more will come next week!

Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 1

Beth has grown up so much in the last couple of months. She has decided to grow her bangs out and is typically the first one starting her lessons, most often without my even saying anything to her. She loves to learn and never, ever balks at her schoolwork. I have no idea if this will last, but believe me, I'm going to enjoy it while I can!

She is finishing up the last few pages of the Inside Outside Rod and Staff workbook, which she is sad to see end. J, the next book in the series has just been published and I may just have to get it for her! 

She was a bit hesitant about history last year, but by the end of Little Hands to Heaven she really enjoyed our readings. She couldn't wait to get started with history this year. Living history is one of the beautiful aspects of the Heart of Dakota curriculum modeled after Charlotte Mason's style of learning. 

Beth did her first timeline entry today! Timelines are a big part of Heart of Dakota. Beth was very certain she could never do a timeline entry...then was so proud of herself when she did! Everything is her own writing and drawing. I did give her an example of what she could draw to get her started though. 

We are also continuing with All About Spelling (close to finishing level 1!) as well as cursive instruction. She has started the year off quite well! 

Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Unit 1

Rose was not quite as eager to get started this summer as I expected and I think it may have been my fault. I over ambitiously assumed since she completed Bigger Hearts for His Glory on such a high note we could dive right into Preparing Hearts for His Glory at full speed...and after two days I saw this had been a big error! I believe from now on I'm going to need to start every guide at half speed and then see how it will go. Since Rose is at the younger end of the age-range for the guide I had to be reminded by other Heart of Dakota moms that I need to give her a bit of time to grow into the higher expectations of this guide.

Rose's least favorite subject is math. I've been having her continue with Math Rider which is really helping with this. Rod and Staff is our math curriculum which has a lot of practice. Since I feel it is more at this level than she needs I have been having her do just the even or odd numbers on the page. If she has any trouble we go back and do the opposite the following day. So far this has been a great plan and has eased her anxiety over this subject. 

Draw and Write Through History: Creation to Jonah is definitely her favorite part so far! These creation based history lessons excite my little artist! 

Dictation is alternated with All About Spelling, level 3. She does well with both, so I combine the two with an alternating schedule. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are for dictation while Tuesdays and Thursdays are All About Spelling. I have been so pleased with her progress in this area. She still has some letter switching issues, but this seems to be most prevalent when she is less focused or tired. I just try to make sure she is fresh when we cover these subjects from now on. 

Over all the week was good. I did have to change up my plans and back off a bit on Rose's work, but otherwise it was a good week.


  1. I'm totally like you...once I have my mind set...! :) We took a two month break in May/June (only continued with piano lessons/reading and lego camp) then in July I added in handwriting, bible, and some math. This month I will slowly add in the rest, except that we are still playing a whole lot! Maybe it will have to wait until next month! Best wishes to a great year for you and your fam.

  2. Rod and Staff Grade 3 Math introduces multiplication - after lesson 40 and I feel it moves rather rapidly. Just thought I'd let you know so you have a little more time to get ready for it. If your daughter memorizes easily, don't worry, but if she's more like my daughter, she might need more time for it.

    1. Thanks so much for the input. Rose understands the concepts without a problem, but fact memorization has been a week area. I'm requiring math rider each day which is helping a lot, but we may still have to wait a bit. She is so very eager to move on into multiplication and division!