From Our House to Yours
Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13
With Heart of Dakota, there are flexible age ranges, which becomes more and more important as children grow and mature. That is why our Creation to Christ ancients program is written for ages 9-11, but has extensions for ages 12-13. The Lord has gifted each child differently, and the older a child gets, the more those gifts begin to show themselves. Likewise, children have areas that just are not their gifting. We all do! This is why, at Heart of Dakota, we value placement so highly. If you call us for placement help, reference our placement chart, or ask for placement help on our message board, you will never be told just to ‘get the 11 year old box of things.’
Likewise, we will never just ask the ages of your children, lump them all together, and tell you which guide to use. Proper placement is a bigger deal than that! It is an entire year of your life and of your child’s life! We want to get it right. We want to take children where they are and move them forward, and that is just what Creation to Christ does!
Creation to Christ teaches our children one timeline, not two!
If you are like me, you might have what I call two timelines running in your head. The Bible timeline and the public school timeline. This is because at church we learned Bible history, and at school we learned history without the Bible. At least, that is what most public schools teach due to separation of church and state. As a Christian, I find this very sad! How in the world could I learn about the ancients without learning about the Bible? It truly boggles the mind. Well, blessedly, having used Heart of Dakota, my children have just one timeline running in their heads, and it begins with Creation to Christ!
So, what does the history in Creation to Christ cover?
Told in story form, Creation to Christ provides students with a Biblical overview of ancient history. Students learn about the Sumerians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Biblical history is shown to be authoritative, and the history of ancient civilizations weaves in and out of Old Testament stories at the proper times in the overall narrative. An exciting overview of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and of Christ’s life comes next, and the year concludes with the readings of the gospels of Luke, John, and Acts.
Full of ‘can’t put them down’ books, Creation to Christ’s ancients history weaves one pretty exciting coherent and memorable timeline. Narrative books make the ancients come to life in a way I’ve not seen any other ancients study do. So, if your kiddos have done the ancients before, but find themselves coming into Heart of Dakota placing best in Creation to Christ, no worries! Do the ancients again – they have not ‘met them’ in the same way, so it won’t be a repeat.
So, now that you’re excited about the ancients, what’s new in Creation to Christ?
What’s new in Creation to Christ? Quite a lot really. In fact, you will feel the change coming in Creation to Christ, right about the time you feel the change coming in your children. They are growing up. They want to be more independent. And even if they don’t, they should. They have a few years to get ready for upper middle school, and then high school will be soon to follow. If they don’t start taking steps toward higher levels of reading, longer assignments of writing, following more directions, and taking on more independence, they will not be ready for upper middle school – and believe me, it’s tough to ‘make it up’ later.
Students’ reading skills are taken up a notch – across all subject areas!
Creation Christ is the first year students independently read the books in the Reading about History part of the plans, and it is more difficult reading in both reading level and maturity of content. However, the readings are shorter, so they can be successful with this new step. Science readings become longer from more difficult books, with Land Animals… being just one of the 6 science books they’ll read independently. Likewise, they will usually move up a level in Drawn into the Reading, both in the Student Books and in the Book Packs.
Students write longer narrations, learn to edit their own writing, and begin a formal writing program!
In response to the history they read independently, students write 5-8 sentence written narrations, highlight the main idea in each written narration, and use the Written Narration Tips to edit. However, the guide narrows down the focus of the narration to just a portion of the history reading, and guided questions help students think about their narration before they begin writing. Likewise, students work through the Written Narration Tips one at a time when they are editing. Once they consistently do #1, they work on doing #1 and #2, and so on. A formal writing program, Write with the Best, is added to the balance of language arts. It is taught twice each week and uses excerpts from classical literature for writing instruction (i.e. Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Wordsworth, etc.).
Students learn to start their day with their own Bible Quiet Time!
How exciting is that!?! Using either the Illustrated Family Bible Stories or their own Bible, students begin their day with their own private Bible Quiet Time. This is such an important habit to have, and it is one continued all the way through 12th grade (and hopefully happily ever after)! This Bible Quiet Time has all the facets you’d want in a Bible quiet time! Reading from the Bible, praying with the 4 parts of prayer using the ACTS model, memorizing Philippians 2, singing the Scriptures being memorized along with praise music, and copying verses in a Charlotte Mason style Common Place Book to forever be remembered! Yeah, pretty neat. You’ll be finding yourself wanting your own quiet time too if you haven’t had one!
Students get inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry and respond to it with water color painting!
“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord,” and Robert Frost’s poetry just simply celebrates the beauty of Creation. Students begin by reading Robert Frost’s poems, move on to discussing the moods/meaning of the poem, learn about Robert Frost’s life, follow step-by-step directions to learn to water color paint a painting each week to match the poem’s meaning, and interactively share the poem by reading it to an audience (a.k.a. the family). Finally, every 9 week term, they choose a Robert Frost poem they’ve studied to memorize. Very Charlotte Mason-like, don’t you think?!?
Students research a given topic in history and orally share their findings, and they also keep a prophecy chart!
Once each week students research a history topic inspired by the history study. They use an index or a search engine to skim to find answers to provided questions. Then, they share their findings orally. What important skills are learned in this assignment! They also keep a prophecy chart showing the fulfillment of Scriptures, so they can see God’s hand through history across time.
Students have new responses to their Storytime read-alouds!
So, you as the parent still read aloud the Storytime books, which is wonderful, because you will enjoy them just as much as your children do! In fact, I highly recommend the History Interest Set, just because it is pretty neat to totally immerse yourself in the ancients, and those books are like a little time machine that seem to do just that. But, back to the responses! Your kiddos will rotate through giving a detailed oral narration, doing an outline sketch narration, a short skit narration, a question and answer session, an advertisement speech for the book, a summary narration, and a making connections between the story and Proverbs session. Now, doesn’t that sound fresh and fun?!? But, kiddos aren’t the only ones that get to have fun, you do too!
So, what new things do you get to do as the homeschool teacher in Creation to Christ?
A lot, really! You get to head up a Genesis study using The Radical Book for Kids, which is done 2 days a week. Intriguing readings, in-depth discussions, and meaningful connections to Genesis are all a part of your time together with your children. Also, you get to lead a Geography of the Holy Land study, which is done the other 2 days a week. Narrative read-alouds, globe and map activities, discussions, and travel logs are just some of the neat things you’ll get to lead in this geography study that shows the many of the very places kiddos read about in their Bibles still exist today.
Many things from last year in Preparing Hearts for His Glory are still a part of Creation to Christ as well!
Many of your favorites from last year in Preparing Hearts for His Glory are still a part of Creation to Christ! Not everything is new, and skills taught previously are practiced and strengthened.
In closing, check out the Learning Through History part of the plans of Creation to Christ in list form below…
- Corresponding History Readings
- Prophecy Fulfillment Chart
- Guided Written Narrations
- Timeline Entries
- Copywork: Quotes, Verses, and Literature Passages
- Research Questions
- Weekly Hands-on History Projects
- Bible Passage Memory Work of Philippians 2 with CD “Bible Study in Stereo: Philippians 2”
- Step-by-step sketching corresponding with Greece and Rome
- Creation of a History Notebook
- Oral Narrations
- Personal Quiet-time Bible Study of Old and New Testament stories
- Choice of Read-aloud Options based on History Interest, Boy Interest, or Girl Interest
- Corresponding Audio Overview of History with Diana Waring’s What in the World Vol. I
Check out the Learning the Basics part of the plans of Creation to Christ in list form below…
- Classic Poetry from Robert Frost
- Spelling: choice of three sets of dictation passages
- Grammar Lessons using the Text Building with Diligence: English 4 or Following the Plan: English 5
- Bi-Weekly Creative Writing Lessons using Write with the Best: Vol. I by Jill Dixon
- Literature Study using Drawn into the Heart of Reading
- Choice of Math
- Daily Living Book Science Readings in the area of Life Science/Biology
- Science Experiments with written lab sheets emphasizing the scientific process
- Weekly Science Notebooking
- Science Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Biblical Application Questions
- Weekly Oral Science Narrations
- A Study of the ancient roots and Biblical theology of the Christian faith
- Focus on Geography of the Bible Lands