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!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week in Review: October 26-30

After being sick most of last week with a horrible upper respiratory thing going around I was so grateful to feel well this week. There is nothing like bad health to remind you to be grateful for the good health we often take for granted. Thankfully this just hit my husband and I. Our girls mostly missed it with only a few sniffles.

This week went really well for the most part except for a few moments of meltdowns with my youngest. She is in one of those phases right now that everything contrary to her immediate desires requires an overly dramatic response. I remember this being pretty common for this age. I also remember that this phase passes as they all do...thankfully! 

Grace - Kindergarten: Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 30

We studied about Abraham Lincoln, General Lee, and D. L. Moody this week. Grace loved the poem this week about these three men who lived during the same time period of the Civil War. This was especially meaningful because all of the students at our learning center had the opportunity to hear from a couple of Civil War reenactors the previous week. Grace is the little blond head with the pony tail! 

She started reading about Buffalo Bill this week. All of my girls are excellent and eager readers, but of the three Grace is the most curious. She always wants to learn more and more and more...


We struggled with handwriting this week. She no longer wants to practice and just rushes through her work. More than a few of our meltdowns occurred when I erased the ones she had not tried her best with and asked her to redo them. This did not please her at all, but by the end of the week she figured out this would keep happening and I noticed a marked improvement in her effort. 


While I read history this week I gave Grace some different activities to do with her hands. She loved this and my goal is to help her grow in the area of finger manipulation activities.


I love how she props her little foot up. Do you notice her sweater and bare feet? She takes after me in that way. Even though I'm quite cold natured I really don't like wearing socks. I do once the cold weather hits, but all three of my girls prefer their bare feet like their mama! 

Beth - 3rd Grade: Preparing Hearts for His Glory Unit 6 (1st half)


Beth continued studying about ancient Egypt this week. She loves the history projects. I really like that there is purpose in the art and creations she is making. Not only is she learning a variety of artistic mediums, but she is furthering her understanding of history. 


In preparation for creating her Crook she researched using our Bible dictionary. This has been one of the best resources for us for both Preparing and Creation. If you are able to invest in a really good in depth Bible dictionary, do it!


We use the Rod and Staff worksheets and tests. I really do like testing my girls and they are not stressed at all. It is a helpful gauge for both me and them to see what we need to make sure we review again. I use the worksheets at the end of a chapter as review. Both of the girls likes these and really prefer them to the regular book-work!


My sweet Beth can be found in any number of areas when she reads! This week she was reading Sarah Plain and Tall. She wanted to know why it was titled this and I told her to read a bit and see what she found out. She came to me so excited when she figured out to whom the title referred! 

Rose - 5th Grade: Creation to Christ Unit 24


Math is going very well and this week we moved into working with decimals. That little grin on her face has nothing to do with math and everything to do with my teasing her for looking so serious while she was working! 


As I was trying to get over my cold completely I wasn't able to read aloud quite as much today. Rose is such a good sport and happily read a lot of her geography on her own this week. I did read some with her, but she understood my need to read more to her youngest sister and helped me out a lot this way!


We really struggled with spelling when we first started out with HOD. We ended up following both the HOD spelling recommendation and All About Spelling. I'm grateful to both methods and where spelling was once one of the longest parts of the day, we now move through it quite quickly. 


It's a bit hard to see as I was struggling to get the lighting adjusted correctly this week for my pictures! Rose is working on her notebooking pages for history, which she loves. I really like how timelines are presented in Heart of Dakota. She draws beautifully and the timeline entries are more meaningful to her because of this. 

How was your week? If you use Heart of Dakota curriculum please link-up your week in review below! 


  1. What a joy filled week! I have four boys so it is fun to see girls and how they work! I am just starting HOD with Little Hearts and absolutely love it. Like your daughter, my son has been having tantrums when not getting his way, especially when he plays with his brothers. I am excited you wrote this was a phase....I was seriously beginning to wonder if I had not taught him something along the way about sharing or something. Lol. I also saw your board with AAS and wondered if you also did AAR. My son reads pretty well, but wondered about these programs for my other boys as they grow. Also your kindergartener...did she start the emerging readers set? I just wondered when you incorporated those in. Last question I promise, but do you teach each manual over one year or two? My son can handle doing little hearts for the full unit each week without much problem, but then I keep hearing all these things about gap years and didn't know what that was exactly. Thank you for your post and inspiring pictures! They get me excited for continued years in HOD.

    1. I'm so happy to answer your questions. First of all, as to the phase she is going through, check out the book "Your six-year-old" by Louise Bates Ames. This series has been a great help to me and there is one for every age. While it is not a Christian series I have never found anything which I felt was contradictory to parenting according to Scripture. They have just helped me understand the why behind the various phases my daughters go through while never excusing the behavior.

      We don't use AAR, but only because it hadn't been published yet when I started teaching my oldest to read in 2008. If it had I would have loved to use it! So we used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons followed by the Abeka K5 Readers because it was what I had. I then moved them into AAS and the Emerging readers. I really don't know enough about the AAR program to know how far they would need to be to move into Emerging Readers. I would say if they are ready to start AAS, then the emerging readers should be fine. Also, my daughters were begging to read by the age of 3. I pretty much made them wait until 4, but She was finished with her initial reading instruction by age 5 so it depends on where you are in that.

      For your last question, I do not have a strict rule about that. The pattern has been Little Hands, Little Hearts, and Beyond Hearts all at full speed without a problem. I've then started Bigger Hearts at Half-speed for about the first 2-4 units and then went full speed after that. For Preparing it is a HUGE jump in work-load so I am planning to go at half speed for the first 6 months and then start full speed after Christmas. It seems my middle daughter is pacing well and will be good for this.

      Pretty much with how fast you go I had to learn to really just feel out my kids and see what is working best for them. If you use Little Hearts for Kindergarten at some point you will probably need to go half speed. Some moms say to do this early on. I don't agree unless your child is having a hard time with the work load. I wouldn't slow down the speed in preparation for what might happen in the future. I can tell you from personal experience that you never know what is going to happen with the rest of your life. I ended up with some health stuff going on for a couple of years that made it hard for me to stay on track. God taught me so much about being flexible with our homeschool in that time and we are thankfully still all well above grade level.

      I'm glad you stopped by and asked questions! Feel free to ask me anything!

    2. Thank you so much for your well thought out answer! There are treasures of valuable information in what you wrote. I look forward to HOD even more! I love how God moves and directs us when we sit back and allow Him to guide us, especially in those unanticipated seasons that humble us. Blessings to your journey!