From Our House to Yours
Setting Up for Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota ‘box day,‘ and am setting up for Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory (Beyond). My first step is to read through the Beyond Introduction, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and make note of any special supplies, such as a world map or globe, and a map of the United States. Likewise, it is important to read through the beginning pages of the phonics or reading program you chose. The tips there note any special preparation needed. For example, Reading Made Easy‘s beginning pages note “Things to Do Ahead of Time.” The Reading Lesson’s beginning pages note how to use the download. Sound Bytes Reading’s beginning pages note pacing instructions. Drawn into the Heart of Reading’s beginning pages and its “Getting Started” section in its Appendix are important to read too.
Setting Up the Front of My “Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory” Binder
First, I make a color photocopy of my Beyond cover and insert it in my binder. If you don’t have a color copier, black and white looks nice too! Second, I print the Introduction of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents from the Introduction as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1: Sept. 2-6, 2019). Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. If your state requires you to turn in your student’s completed portfolio or meet with a principal or umbrella school, the Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview of what is covered. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)
Label Tab Dividers Inside My Beyond Binder
Next, I label tab dividers for my binder. My goals are to show what my child did and how he progressed in skills. So, I label my first tab “HISTORY.” I place anything my child did on the left Learning Through History themed part of the plans here. Usually this includes lots of art projects, some flat easy-to-store science and geography projects, and photocopies of some decorated Bible verses my children mailed out. At the end of the year, I put my child’s completed history timeline first behind this tab as well.
Next, I label my second tab “POETRY.” Usually I place some of the cut apart/reassembled poems here to show the completed sequencing activity. I also include my child’s decorated poems that either he copied or I photocopied. If my child would enjoy it, I have him decorate a special cover for his booklet of poems. Then, I label my third tab “LANGUAGE ARTS.” Here, I put Storytime projects/typed oral narrations, phonics worksheets (if my child did any), and any written spelling words/sentences or grammar activities. If my child did Drawn into the Heart of Reading, I either choose a handful of completed workbook pages to include in his binder, or I just keep his entire DITHOR 2/3 Student Book. Last, I label my fourth tab “MATH”and put any completed math activity pages or worksheets here.
Extra Tab(s) for Those Who Take Pictures and Actually Print Them
If you are a super mom who not only takes pictures but also prints them, you can include one more tab called “HANDS-ON.” Behind this tab, you can place printed action photos of hands-on Geography activities, History Activities, Science Exploration experiments, Bible Study gross motor skills activities, Language Arts Day 5 grammar activities, and/or the Corresponding Music singing. Or, you can label the tab “OTHER” and put pictures of anything special, like you reading the History or Devotional to your child. However, ask me how many times I have gotten that done in three trips through Beyond? Zero. So, if you don’t get this done, no worries! I DO have many pictures taken, and I DID have them on a slideshow in a photoframe for awhile. So, if you don’t have the time, don’t do this. Your binder without any of these extra tabs will still be amazing!
Things to Either Do at the Start or to Do As They Come Up in the Plans
These things can be done either at the start of the guide or as they come up in the plans. If I want to do everything at the start, I photocopy the poems from the Appendix and put them in a folder. Next, using the Appendix, I use a black Sharpie to write the spelling words one at a time on white index cards. I jot the unit number in the top right corner of the first card, put a colored index card or divider between each set, and place them all in a recipe box. (Otherwise, this is an easy prep thing to do each week, and to start you can just do the first week of spelling words! Or, have someone else do it! One year, I had our babysitter make the cards.) Finally, I make my child’s timeline, following Unit 1 Day 4’s History Activities’ directions.
Setting Up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading
If your child is using DITHOR, you can either set this up at the start or do it as you move through the plans. If I do this at the start, I fill out the DITHOR 2/3 Student Book “Reading Calendar.” Using HOD’s “Optional Book Recommendations,” I fill in the page numbers to be read each day. For example, if my son is using the DITHOR Level 2 Book Pack, I see ’15 days’ next to Biography: Amelia Earhart. So, I divide the total number of pages or chapters in Amelia Earhart by 15. As there are 15 chapters, I just write “Ch. 1” on ‘Day 1’ of the Reading Calendar, “Ch. 2” on ‘Day 2,’ and so on. I might do this for each genre or just the first one to start. Also, I might choose my first genre kickoff in my DITHOR Teacher’s Guide.
Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the Beyond Guide
Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. Then, I label the next tabs “SPELLING” and “POETRY,” placing them in the Appendix. If I’m using the Emerging Reader’s Set, I label another tab “ER SET” and place that in the Appendix. Likewise, if I’m using the second grade math plans, I’d label another tab “MATH” and place that in the Appendix. Or, if I’d rather not reference my Appendix for the 2nd grade math, I’d just jot the page numbers in the daily “Math Exploration” box of plans instead. Finally, if you are planning on using your library for the Storytime suggestions in the Appendix, I’d label another tab “STORYTIME.” If I am using DITHOR, I label 2 tabs “DAILY PLANS,” placing one in the teacher’s guide and one in the student book.
Shopping for Supplies
Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. For example, the plans may call for either a bean bag and a basket, or a rolled up pair of socks and a plastic bin. I just skim the Art and Science plans every month or so, to look for the one-off supply. However, to get ready to begin Beyond, I just stock up on usual art supplies, like crayons, markers, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tissue paper (colored), tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, playdough, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards, page protectors, and a few catalogs. Finally, I’ve found a flashlight, deck of cards, CD player (for Hide ‘Em in Your Heart), bouncy ball, paperclips, paper plates, food coloring, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.
Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes
One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins. I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of Beyond’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!