HOD Guides: A Journey to Enjoy Not a Race to Complete

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Teaching Tip

Think of the Heart of Dakota guides as a journey to enjoy rather than a race to complete.

Are you getting closer to the end of your school year? If so, you may feel like rushing or cramming things in to finish your guide by a designated time. I encourage you to resist that urge. Instead, think of the sequence of Heart of Dakota guides as a journey to be enjoyed each step of the way. One guide’s skills will prepare your child well for the next guide to come. So, it’s best to use each guide to its fullest along the way.

Do you feel like rushing or doubling up days to finish your guide on time?

You may have had a year full of life’s unexpected surprises, or maybe you began Heart of Dakota later in your year. Either way, there is little benefit to doubling up days or doing multiple days in one in order to finish “on-time.” However, there is a huge benefit to solidly teaching the skills that are wound within each guide one day at a time. This steady progress forward will help students practice and form skills they will need life-long!

So what should you do if you find yourself “behind” in your progress by “year-end”?

First of all, accept where you truly are in the guide. No amount of rushing will change that fact. Second, make a realistic plan to teach a day within a day until your designated break date. During your break, reassess whether your children are still correctly placed in their current guide(s). Most likely, their current placement will still be best. If you have gotten very far off track for an extended period of time, it is possible that your children may need to be placed in a different guide. Third, after your break, either pick the guide back up where you left off or begin your new guide(s). Steady progress forward pays big dividends.

What did our family do when we were “behind”?

I share this tip with you, because I know from personal experience what it’s like to be “behind.”

In one of our years of schooling, we were behind by 10 weeks by year-end. The year had started with some medical challenges that ground our year to a halt before it even began! My husband finally stepped in and set a finish date for school regardless of where we were in the guide. During our break, we reassessed our boys’ placements. Our older sons needed to move forward to a new guide. So, after our break, they did. Our younger sons needed to keep going in their current guides. So, after our break, they did. For our younger sons, we just picked their guides back up where they had left off. Once this decision was made, I felt a huge sense of relief! We felt like we had done what was best for our boys in a difficult year.

We would love to help you too!

If you need help deciding whether your children are correctly placed for the coming year, please contact us! We would love to help!!

Blessings,
Carrie

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4 thoughts on “HOD Guides: A Journey to Enjoy Not a Race to Complete”

  1. This perspective encouraged me! My 7 year old fell in love with poetry this year through his guide! It is easy to rush through a week of reading instead of enjoying the journey and getting the most out of the feast!

    1. So true! It is often the more inspirational things that can get skipped – which is sad! I’ll be doing a post on Charlotte Mason’s thoughts on inspirational and disciplinary subjects soon. I’m so glad your 7 yo has fallen in love with poetry! That can be a lifelong love that speaks not only to the mind, but also to the soul! Poetry is part of the Bible, which always reminds me of its merit. Keep enjoying your days with your little one!!! Keep up the good work feeding his soul, as well as his mind, and he will remember the journey with you as being filled with joy – God bless!

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