Tuesday, October 18, 2016


2016-2017 Curriculum

 Aspen - 7th Grade

Bible - Veritas Press self paced Gospels  and Foundations 1

Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2 with Saxon Teacher DVD's

English - Rod and Staff English 6

Spelling - Rod and Staff Spelling 6

Writing - Writing with Ease online class with The Well Trained Mind

History - Veritas Press self paced New Testament, Greece and Rome with Literature.  She is also required to write an essay a week on what she has learned.

Science - Human Anatomy and Physiology utilizing lots of resources - Novels, Brain Pop
We will study Chemistry and Physics in the Spring.

Literature - Aspen is choosing her own books this year:) We will begin an in depth literature study next year.

Aiden - 4th grade

Bible - Veritas Press self paced Gospels  and Foundations 1

Math - Christian Light Math 4 and Xtra math to drill math facts

Language Arts - Christian Light 4 ~ includes grammar and spelling

Writing - Treasured Conversation

History - Veritas Press self paced New Testament, Greece and Rome with Literature

Science - Human Anatomy and Physiology utilizing lots of resources

Literature - Aiden is choosing her own books this year:) We will begin an in depth literature study next year.

Ashton - 1st grade

Bible - Christian Light Bible 1

Math - Christian Light 1

Language Arts - Christian Light - 1

Phonics/Reading - Christian Light Learning to Read and Reading 1.  Lots of fun books

Science - Nature Reader 1

History - he likes to listen in on Veritas Press.  We will start him on Veritas Press next year.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Curriculum 2015-2016

We are doing a little curriculum change this year:)  We did Heart of Dakota Beyond and Creation to Christ last year.  Some of it was really good, but we felt like we were just going through the motions.  Some of the skills/reading fit my child while some of it didn't.  I had to tweak it to the point that we were barely following the guide.  However, the books are wonderful with the exception of a few, as with the case with any boxed program.  I know many people love HOD, but it just wasn't for us at all.

We are moving on to Sonlight Core A for my Kindergartener, and Core D for my 3rd and 6th grader.  My 3rd grader will read the regular readers, while my 6th grader will read the advanced readers.  I am also using the Language Arts as a supplement to Christian Light Education Language Arts.  This is our first year to use CLE LA, so hopefully it will work out.  We were using Rod and Staff English in the past and I truly love Rod and Staff and have no issues with it at all.  The ONLY reason we are giving CLE a try is because I hear it can be more independent.  Spelling and handwriting is also included in the program and I felt like it could really streamline our day.  Rod and Staff has so much writing, and while you can do most of it orally, I felt like they were not truly retaining the information unless they put pen to paper.  Also, we always let spelling fall by the wayside:(  I figured that they will get more spelling done since it is in CLE:)  I will also have them play games and study their words on Spelling City.  Someone has already entered all the CLE spelling words by grade level in Spelling City! Yay.. perfect.

We are also trying out Sonlight Science core A and D for the first time this year.  I am hoping and praying it will be a good fit.  The discover and do dvd's look wonderful, and I absolutely love all the books that are included with both programs.

For math we are giving Teaching Textbooks a try.  We have used Saxon in the past and it takes forever to get through a lesson.  I have heard all the praises and horror stories on TT, so I am a little nervous about using the program.  However, I think most horror stories were due to the parents not really monitoring what was being taught and reviewing the information with their child.  My children have to do a lesson within earshot of me, so I hear when they get something wrong.  They are to stop and go over the concept with me before moving on.  I may add on Life of Fred and a supplement later on.  I hear wonderful things about those books.

What are you using this year?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Are you being tossed in the "Sea of Curriculum"

I know that I am not alone here... I have been in this "sea" way too many times!  It is an overwhelming feeling!  You feel sick to your stomach, confused, but excited at all the possibilities!  Just when you think you will find your way to shore... you are thrown back out to "sea" on yet another boat!

I have homeschooled for many years, and each year it does not get any easier picking out curriculum.  Each and every year, I think that I have finally found the perfect curriculum!! LOL I KNOW you know what I mean!

Here are a few tips I have learned along the way...

1.  There is NOT a perfect curriculum!  It does not exist!  It has taken me years, and wasted money to figure this one out!  I would use something for a few months, and there would be something, anything, even a minor thing I did not like about it, and I would quit using it.   I have learned that it is ok to tweak things, and that you don't have to follow things to a "T"! Make it work for you!! You are in control, not the curriculum.  Yes, I know, it is an easy concept, but a hard one to get!

2.  Don't feel guilty if you have to muddle through several curriculum's to get that fit!

3.  The grass is NOT always greener on the other side... curriculum wise:)  I have tried Singapore Math, Horizon's Math, Math Mammoth, Math U See, Teaching Textbooks, Rod and Staff Math, and Saxon Math.  We started with Saxon Math 15 years ago... and I would hear all of these awful things about Saxon, and wonderful things about other math curriculum's.  Guess what... I am back to Saxon.  It isn't perfect, but my kiddo's understand it and it works for our family.  So, I just have to ignore the Saxon haters... It does not mean that your choice of Singapore is better.... it simply works for you and your family!! The goal is that your children are learning!!!

I have done the above with History, Science, English, Spelling, ect....  yes, I was in a stormy sea!!

4.  Don't compare yourself with others and what they use, and where their children are at.  You are in charge of your children, not others and how they are doing.  You know your children best.  Do not get in an academic competition with others... (and that is a whole 'nother blog post in and of itself)

I just really want to encourage all of you mommies to stay the course with your plans, and that they are your plans, for your family!!  Do what works for you! Do not be tossed in the "Sea of Curriculum"!!  We are so very blessed to have so many choices out there!!  Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and not the leading of your mommy peers!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014-2015 plans


Aspen is my gymnast! She will be in 5th grade this year.  She will be doing Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts for His Glory.  This will be our first year with HOD and I am so excited! Everything looks so good! 

 Aspen will do a one year overview of World History before diving into the history time periods more thorough, and I love this about HOD! 

Bible in woven throughout the program, which I LOVE!!  Aspen will also have a daily bible study time studying various scriptures, as well as scripture memory.

Science will be done a bit differently this year.  I am used to a textbook science, and I love BJU Science.  To be honest, I am a little unsure if I will like science done in a living book manner.  However, I am going to give it a try this year.  Heart of Dakota utilizes the Unit Study approach, so sciences topics and history themes will mesh to allow for natural connections to be made between the two areas. I do love that she will be reading several biographies of scientists this year!! She will be notebooking, drawing pictures, and doing many experiments throughout the year.

Saxon Math 6/5

Aspen will be using Drawn into the Heart of Reading for her literature studies, and will read the Level 4/5 girl interest book pack.

Language Arts
Rod and Staff English 4
Rod and Staff Spelling 4
Dictation as assigned in Heart of Dakota Preparing Manual
IEW Student Intensive A
Written Narrations from History and Science
Poetry from Robert Louis Stevenson

Independent History Reading/Notebooking
Aspen will have daily independent reading assignments that correspond with the time period she is studying.  

Read Alouds
The True Story of Noah's Ark
Aesop's Fables
A Triumph for Flavius
Fountain of Life
Viking Quest 1 - Raiders of the Sea
The Door in the Wall
The Wonderful Winter
The Family Under the Bridge
Twenty and Ten


Aiden will be in 2nd grade this year!  He is my artsy boy!  He loves movies, and aspires to be a director or an actor someday.  He also enjoys playing basketball.  He is very tall for his age, and is a funny, very lovable boy!  Aiden will be doing Heart of Dakota Beyond Hearts for His Glory

Aiden will be learning about early American History from 1565-1865. He will also be notebooking after each lesson as well. 

I will be reading through Leading Little Ones to God with Aiden.  I love this book!!  He will also have scripture memory as scheduled in Heart of Dakota.  Just like in all HOD guide, bible is woven throughout the whole program! Very Christ Centered. 

Science in HOD is unit based, therefore his science lessons will mesh with his history.  Science is only scheduled twice a week with HOD.  I am concerned this may not be enough, but that could just be my typical "do to much" personality!! ha ha  He will also be notebooking all of his experiments.

 Saxon Math 3. 

Aiden will be working through the Emerging Reader's Set.  Aiden is a very good reader, but I want to instill a love of reading, so I don't want to push too fast.  After he has worked through the Emerging Reader's Set, we will move on the Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 2 Bookpack.

Language Arts
Rod and Staff English 2
Rod and Staff Spelling 2
Dictation 2x a week
Weekly Poetry Study
Daily Copywork

Read Alouds
We will be reading through the nine different genres throughout the year. We will learn the different types of literature, identify and analyze a different story element for each genre, learn Godly character traits, and practice oral narration.  Love that this is ALL scheduled out for me in the Beyond guide! I love HOD!!

Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
Sword in the Tree
Sarah Whitcher's Story
The Cricket in Times Square
The Railway Children
Mr. Poppers Penguins 
Follow My Leader
The Apple and the Arrow


Ashton is my 4yo, and he truly thinks he can leap off of tall buildings in a single bound.  He has lots of energy and makes us laugh all the time.

We will be using Heart of Dakota Little Hearts for His Glory.  He will be on the younger side of this guide, so I may spread it over two years.  We will just see how it goes.  The following is what is what will be covered in the HOD Guide:

Bible Memory Work
Devotional Topics
Science Discovery
Art Projects
Dramatic Play
Thinking Games
Gross Motor Skills

I am so excited about using HOD with my little man.  I know he will love it, and it is such a Christ Centered Program!!

I will be using Rod and Staff Phonics and Reading 1, and Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.  I also own Reading Made Easy, and may use parts of that as well.  After teaching five other children to read, I have learned that sometimes a little of one program, and a little of this program is just what they need.  There are aspects that I love about all of the three above programs!!  But I REALLY love Rod and Staff Phonics and Reading 1.  It is a mix of sight words, and phonics and it gets them reading fast.  Even though they begin reading by "sight words" at first, I believe it gives them the motivation to keep learning because they are already reading a real book.  I love this approach! R&S is very thorough in teaching phonics rules as well... overall a wonderful program!

We will be using Singapore Early Bird A & B

I also plan to use Rod and Staff Preschool workbooks.  Ashton LOVES workbooks and these books are precious!!  Handwriting, cutting, pasting, thinking skills, and more math will be covered in these books!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Change in Heart of Dakota Plans!

You know how it goes... You research, analyze, pretty much go crazy trying to figure out what you will be using for your curriculum... then when you have it all figured out, it is like winning the lottery!! I know you know what I mean! LOL  So we were going to use HOD Beyond for my 7yo, and CTC for my soon to be 10yo.  However, my soon to be 10yo, started looking over the CTC and Preparing books that was on the table, while I was organizing and pretty much fell in love with the Preparing books.  She asked if she could please just do Preparing first before moving on the CTC!  How could I say no?  She was in public school last year, and although she had a decent year, I feel like her love of learning was lost.  She really wants nothing to do with anything "school wise" at all.  Her taking an interest in the Preparing books is nothing short of a miracle! So of course I said YES!!... Now, of course, I had just about everything planned and ready to go for CTC, so I feel like I am starting over in terms of organizing!  But it will be all worth it!

The only thing that concerns me about doing Preparing, is that she will be off track for the high school sequence and will hit MtMM when she is in 9th grade.  I know I can "beef" it up for credit, and have several ideas on how to do that, but she will miss out on one of the High School guides.. and I DON'T want her tooo..... I feel like throwing a tantrum!   We may do school 5 days a week instead of 4 to get all the guides in by the time she hits High School.. we will see!  That is, of course, several years down the road, so I need to just relax!  Why do we try to plan so far in advance? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hi and welcome to my humble blog!  I LOVE reading other blogs, and decided to start my own to document our homeschool adventures!  I plan to post weekly updates using Heart of Dakota Beyond and Christ to Creation.  I am very excited about this curriculum.  It seems to be everything I have ever wanted in a curriculum.  I love the philosophy and all of the books use in the program!

I have been quite the curriculum junkie in the past, but am determined to stick out HOD no matter what!  I think my problem is that the first time I hit a bump with other curricula, I tend to just quit and move on to something else instead of working through it. Therefore, I never seem to get the full benefit of using a particular program.  No program is perfect, and I have come to realize that!

I hope that posting my weekly updates will be of some benefit to others in the future!