Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts for His Glory
(In the spirit of full disclosure, this post does contain amazon affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from the following links. I only recommend products that I use and love myself!)
About midway through my last pregnancy, I decided to switch up our homeschooling curriculum. I needed something that was all-in-one. I needed something that could keep me organized in my homeschooling. That was when I found and decided on Heart of Dakota: Preparing Hearts for His Glory. It is marked as geared for 8-10 year old kids. The two kids I was interested in using this with were 7.5 and just turning 10. The teacher book is divided up into a two page spread for each day. Each page is divided up into boxes so that you can see what needs to be done. There is a history box and a science box among others. Here is a glimpse at what the inside of the teacher book looks like: Click here. They include 4 days in a week (or unit). This leaves a 5th day to be involved in a co-op or to catch up on extra-curricular activities!
I have loved every minute of this curriculum. It is created in the style of Charlotte Mason, so the lessons are short and it includes copywork, art, poetry and Bible study. There are plenty of good literature selections included in the package, as well. We still use our own math, however, which is CLE (
Christian Light Education – more on that soon ). Click Here to read my review of CLE Math.
How do we structure our day?
In the beginning of our time using Heart of Dakota, I began with waking up my older kids earlier than the rest of the little ones. We started school from 7-8:15am and got an hour of reading and some writing work done early. In fact, we got all or almost all of our left page done for the day in that hour. We would then stop to gather the rest of the kids and eat breakfast. After breakfast I would work one-on-one with each for math and language arts. I let my 10 year old work independently on spelling and his iPad app for reading. Most of this time is independent except for the math lessons and language arts lessons. At nap time we would finish up any reading or Bible Study that we didn’t get to in the morning. We would end our day with a fun and educational board game.
This schedule worked for us for several months. Recently, after the birth of baby number 6, we’ve had to slow our pace down a bit because of sleepless nights with a newborn and because of early morning nursing sessions with her as she grows – the 7 am school time is not in my current schedule. We work around this by getting most of our schoolwork done in the afternoon. They still have independent work time in the morning – especially my rising 5th grader, who does spelling, reading, and math review by himself every morning. I come in at the end to see if he needs help with anything. My mornings are mostly focused on the infant, toddler, and preschooler at this time.
How do we organize our supplies?
I wanted to share with you how I organize my Heart of Dakota books. There are several packages on the Heart of Dakota website that you can choose from. This means that there are a lot of books to choose from. Heart of Dakota is a literature based program – so there are plenty of living books suggested and included in this curriculum.
I invested in several file folder bins which I bought on amazon.
I bought the medium size that came in a six pack. I used one for the current books that I’m using with the curriculum. This includes the teacher book, the history book(s), the Bible we read from, and the independent reading books, as well. This allows me to grab that bin if I need to do school in another room. At the very least, it helps me locate all the books I’ll need for that day.
I also filled the other file bins… one with books I will use soon with the curriculum, one with my 10 year old’s spelling notebook and spelling cards, one with their math and language arts workbooks and the teacher books for each grade level. Another bin was left empty and I put books in there as I’m done reading them. I absolutely love these file folder bins and it has helped so much with keeping me organized and sane!
Where do we store our books?
I use my china cabinet in my dining room (where I was doing a lot of schoolwork in the later days of pregnancy) to house these bins. Each of the bins resides on the shelf, along with a basket of pencils, scissors and glue. I have a drawer that is full of construction paper, for crafts, and most of my board games as well.
Overall, I’ve been very pleased with Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts for His Glory. I absolutely love that it is an overview of world history. It has a strong biblical emphasis. It incorporates vocabulary, art, poetry, Bible, history, literature, writing, spelling, language arts, math, and science all into one awesome curriculum with ZERO prep work for mom. For my son with dyslexia, we’ve seen vast improvements in him this year. I do not make him read all of the “do it yourself” parts – I allow him to read smaller segments and then I read aloud the rest (this includes part of independent history and the science section). I do allow him to do most of the writing – aside from the cursive copywork. We either do smaller segments in printing or skip that all together because those are longer passages that frustrated him in the beginning. However, allowing him to gradually do more and more independently has really boosted his self-confidence over this school year.
I love that the kids are actually retaining what we are learning in history, this year! The passages that are selected are interesting and engaging for the both kids. I have found there is just enough of Greek and Roman mythology that they get a good grasp on what the thinking of those days was without being too heavy on it. We are all enjoying Grandpa’s Box and A Child’s History. Great literature selections and fun crafts and art projects are also included! What curriculum do you use? Have you tried Heart of Dakota Preparing? Leave a comment below!
Want to read more about our use of Heart of Dakota?
I was not compensated in any way for this review. I bought this curriculum myself along with all the books that go along with it.