From Our House to Yours
Setting Up for Preparing Hearts for His Glory
So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota ‘box day,’ and am setting up for Preparing Hearts for His Glory (PHFHG). My first step is to read through PHFHG‘s Introduction, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. As each Introduction includes options (i.e. one large binder or several smaller binders, etc.), I like to note my chosen options in the margin of the Introduction. This way, I can easily make my shopping list later based on my notes. Likewise, it is important to read through the beginning pages and “Getting Started” section in the Appendix of Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR).
Setting Up the Front of My PHFHG Binder
First, I make a color photocopy of my PHFHG 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 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 a completed portfolio for meeting 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 History, History Projects, and Science Tab Dividers
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.” Behind this tab, I place my child’s completed history written narrations (from the Reading About History box of plans), as well as my child’s completed Draw and Write Through History assignments (from the Independent History Study box of plans). If I have an older child who is using the history extensions, I place any completed 2-3 paragraph summaries or pictures with one paragraph summaries here as well. Next, I label my second tab “HISTORY PROJECTS.” I place any of my child’s history projects that happen to be flat here. Then, I label my third tab “SCIENCE.” Here, I place my child’s completed science notebooking assignments and lab sheets.
Label Language Arts and Math Tab Dividers
Next, I label my fourth tab “LANGUAGE ARTS.” I place any completed assignments from Poetry Day 2’s creative writing lessons here. If my child did DITHOR, I either choose some completed workbook pages to include, or I just keep his entire DITHOR 4/5 Student Book. Likewise, for the cursive workbook (if my child is doing cursive this year instead of last year), for the R & S English 3 or 4 written work, and for the spelling/dictation written work, I either choose a handful of completed pages for the binder, or I just keep the entire workbook and notebook(s). Finally, I label my fifth tab “MATH” and include any completed math workbook pages, or I just keep the entire workbook.
Things Either to Do at the Start Or to Do As They Come Up in the Plans
If I want to use photocopies of DICTATION instead of the Appendix, I photocopy the passages. I also label a wide-lined composition notebook ‘DICTATION.’ For VOCABULARY, I follow the directions on Unit 1, Day 2, of the daily plans to either get a composition notebook and label 2 pages for each letter of the alphabet, or get a card file with index cards and alphabetical tabs. I’ll need between 75 and 175 index cards, with the number of cards needed based on how many of the 3-5 weekly vocabulary words I choose to have my child do. For SCIENCE, I photocopy 37 (nice to have a few extra) Science Lab sheets from the Appendix and put them in a folder. For TIMELINE, I follow the directions on Unit 1, Day 4’s timeline plans to create prepare either for the accordion-style timeline or for the on-the-door timeline.
Other Things to Do
For the written work in English GRAMMAR, I label a lined composition book or notebook ‘GRAMMAR.’ For the Day 4 HISTORY written narrations, I choose either a lined notebook or loose-leaf paper. If I chose a notebook, I label it ‘HISTORY WRITTEN NARRATIONS.’ Either way though, I include the written narrations in the binder behind the ‘history’ tab. For the Day 3 SCIENCE questions, I label a lined composition book or notebook ‘SCIENCE QUESTIONS. For MATH, I choose to either have my child write directly in the textbooks/workbooks, to use loose-leaf paper, or to use a lined notebook. If I chose a lined notebook, I label it ‘MATH.’ Finally, I choose a special lined and bound book for my child’s COMMON PLACE BOOK, which is described in Unit 1, Day 4’s Bible Study box.
Setting Up for Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR)
You can either set up DITHOR at the start or do it as you move through the plans. If I do this at the start, I fill out the DITHOR 4/5 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 3 Book Pack, I see ‘5 days’ next to Biography: Louis Braille. So, I divide the total number of pages or chapters in Louis Braille by 5. As there are 10 chapters, I just write “Ch. 1-2” on ‘Day 1’ of the Reading Calendar, “Ch. 3-4” on ‘Day 2,’ and so on.
Then, as I see ’10 days’ next to Biography: Alexander Hamilton, I divide the total number of pages by 10. As there are 114 total pages in Alexander Hamilton, I divide 114 by 10 and fill in the reading calendar for about 11 pages a day. I might do this for each genre or just the first one. Also, I might choose my first genre kickoff in my DITHOR Teacher’s Guide.
Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the PHFHG 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 “DICTATION,” “POETRY,” and “MATH,” placing them in the Appendix. Likewise, if my child is using the extensions, I label another tab “EXTENSIONS.” If I am photocopying the Science Lab sheet as it comes up in the plans, I label another tab “SCIENCE LAB.” Finally, for DITHOR, I label 2 tabs “DAILY PLANS,” placing one in the teacher’s guide and one in the student book.
Special Items for Preparing Hearts for His Glory
There are a few special items needed for PHFHG. By this time I already know which items I’ll need, because I wrote them in the margin of my Introduction earlier. Some things I’ve noted are a world map or globe, and a children’s Bible for Bible Study. I also noted a Webster’s dictionary for Vocabulary. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips: Teacher’s List, How to Narrate: Student’s List, Written Narration Skills: Teacher’s List, and/or Written Narration Skills: Student’s List. Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep the teacher’s list for me to reference and the student’s list for my child to reference. However, you can always just put another tab in your PHFHG guide and label it “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.“
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 History Project and Science plans every month or so, to look for the one-off supply. However, to get ready to begin PHFHG, 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 Lead Me to the Rock), 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 PHFHG’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!
As you can see, the steps you take to set up will vary based on your personal preferences. I’m writing this post so the end result is a lovely 3-ring binder portfolio with tabs alongside a completed timeline, notebooks, workbooks, and/or card files. This will be a wonderful way to show what your child has done! However, there are many options. For example, instead of one large binder, I sometimes choose several small 1 or 2 inch binders (i.e. one for history, one for science, etc.). Or, I sometimes buy one big 4-subject tabbed notebook, and label the sections GRAMMAR, HISTORY, SCIENCE, and MATH. Usually, I base this on my child. If he prefers several small binders or notebooks, we do that. Or, if he prefers just one large binder and notebook, we do that. So, by all means, set up your year how YOU’D like!