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!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekly Review: August 19-23

This is what I do to prepare each week. Let me be clear, Heart of Dakota is a completely open and go curriculum with no additions or planning needed. I find it helpful for me personally to have a checklist. The biggest reason for this is I am using three guides. The first four guides are scheduled for a five day week and every guide after that as a four day week. I love having an extra day to have for field trips and catching up if we missed something. I also feel like I have more freedom to skip something and come back to it if needed. So at some point towards the end of the week...or on Sunday night...I sit at our kitchen table and write on my weekly grid all the activities for the week. I really loves this part of the week because I get a chance to look ahead, anticipating all the fun in store!

Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 21

This week we studied the letter Q and read through Jesus' birth. It was quite fun having Christmas in August! For our storytime I pulled out several books from my box of Christmas stories and we read through several of those. Our favorite was The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy. It is about a puppy who asks his mother for a boy for Christmas and his mother says is fine as long as he can find one! It is super sweet and ends with the puppy finding more than he had hoped for!

Little Grace isn't so little anymore! This will be the third time I complete Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with one of my children. Somehow I feel it may be bitter sweet at the end. She is doing fabulously already! She was so excited to read the words at and me this week. One of the most amazing treasures I have received from homeschooling is being there for all of these sweet moments of learning.

I also started back with Touch Math again this week. Grace begs for more, more, and more learning so I try to do what I can to encourage her desire to know more. Touch Matht has been a great hands-on learning tool to introduce the ideas of more and less, equals, and other early math concepts. I use clear mats I purchased from Target to slip the pages I print into each day.

Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 3

The first time I went through Beyond it was our first year homeschooling. I am appreciating it so much more this second time through. Beth is fully engaged during the history readings which is partly due to the wonderful history selections, but also having completed Little Hearts for His Glory. She has matured a lot through schooling and we have had some wonderful discussions.

Beth definitely enjoyed our history activity this week. She was slightly disappointed not to include a new entry on her timeline, but this made up for it! We played a game which helped her think more about the persecution of the Pilgrims. The bottom of the steps was the jail because this was where the Pilgrims who refused to worship God the way King James was requiring went. Depending on the roll of the dice she either obeyed the king or chose to worship the way the way she felt the Bible said she should. She ended up in jail...and was quite happy about it! We talked about how jail is not usually a place you want to be, but if you are there because you are following God, then it is okay. 

She is illustrating the poem Uphill here. Using both the upper and lower guides at the same time has given me such an appreciation for the full Heart of Dakota curriculum. Everything is intentional and there is no such things as busy work with this guide. I love how the poems and Scripture study always relate to our history readings. The connections between disciplines are seamless. This year is truly starting out wonderfully for Beth!

Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Unit 2 (1st half)

Rose was thrilled we started Life in the Great Ice Age this week. We firmly believe the Bible's account of creation, completely rejecting the idea of evolution because it does not fall in line with the Genesis account. Resources like these were not available to me when I was in grade school. It is blessing my socks off to learn alongside my daughter. Rose devours all things historical and scientific. I really have to hold her back and limit how much she reads! I don't think we'll be going half-speed much longer.

While Rose does enjoy learning new words, she's had to adjust to completing her history vocabulary each week. She completed it more quickly this week, but we're still only doing 3 of the 5 words. I plan to work up to the 5 words by the end of the year.

Ahhh, grammar...need I say more? The English teacher in me can't help but love it! Rose says she really liked diagramming. Yeah, she pretty much melted my heart when she told me that!

We took some time to study a little bit about microscopes using a unit from In the Hands of a Child. You can click on the picture to see a full review!

Math has been a bit bumpy this year. There is a big jump from the last grade-level to the next in Rod and Staff. I've restructured a bit and pulled my husband in for advice since he is very mathematically minded. I think we've got things figured out for the most part. I'm not a fan of switching curricula when we hit a bump. I am, however, considering supplementing with something which will engage her a bit more.

We had some really fun moments this week and this was one of my favorites. Beth was working on a vocabulary page when she said, "Hey guys! Come quick! You have to see this!" I love seeing my girls excited about learning, discovering together, and sharing with one another. 

How was your week?


  1. That last picture is so sweet! We did vocab a little differently in Preparing--I asked him to define the words for me himself and he only had to look up the words he didn't know/couldn't explain well enough.

    1. That is a good idea! I think I might try that.

  2. It's so good seeing everyone back in the swing of things! We are loving Beyond :) It's such a sweet guide. It looks like things are going well for you too! It's nice seeing what we have to look forward to.

    1. Beyond is sweet...that is an excellent word for it :)

  3. I very much enjoyed reading your blog. Thing have changed so much in the last 30 years since my children were involved. I have not lost touch and therefor started my web site about homeschooling resources for ANY age. I truly sounds like your girls love homeschooling. It is also great to hear of another program.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I enjoyed looking around your blog as well. I very much appreciate the wisdom of those who have gone before me homeschooling. Thank you for your kind comments. :)