Setting Up for Revival to Revolution

Heart of Dakota - From Our House to Yours

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From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for Revival to Revolution

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for Revival to Revolution (RevtoRev). My first step is to read through RevtoRev’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 Revival to Revolution Binder

First, I slide the extra preprinted full color RevtoRev Student Notebook cover in the front of my 3-ring binder. 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. (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.)

Creating the Inventor Study Notebook Pages and Binder

For the Inventor Study portion of science, RevtoRev’s Introduction suggests using a 3-ring binder with clear page protectors for the notebook assignments. Personally, I like to use a small 1/2 inch separate 3-ring binder for RevtoRev’s science, as it sets it apart and makes it special. I just slide in the extra preprinted full color RevtoRev Inventor Study Notebook cover in the front of the binder.

Label History, Geography, and History Projects 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 RevtoRev’s history notebook pages inside clear page protectors. My child takes out the notebook page he is using for the week and puts it back in the page protector for safe keeping when he is done. If I have an older child using the history extensions, I place any completed 3-4 paragraph summaries or written narrations including his opinions here as well. Next, I label my second tab “GEOGRAPHY.” I place any of my child’s completed Map Trek assignments here (or, these can be put in a separate smaller binder instead). Then, I label my third tab “HISTORY PROJECTS.” I place any completed flat projects that are not part of the History Notebook here.

Label Language Arts and Math Tab Dividers

For language arts and math, there are many options. I could add more tabs to my history 3-ring binder or start tabs in a new smaller 3-ring binder. Or, I might not have a binder at all, but instead simply keep on hand the actual notebooks and workbooks in their entirety. If I choose to add to my history 3-ring binder, I would label my fourth tab “LANGUAGE ARTS.” For DITHOR, I would choose some completed workbook pages to include. Likewise, for the R & S English 5 or 6 written work and for the spelling/dictation written work, I would choose a handful of completed pages for the binder. For The Exciting World of Creative Writing, I would include samples of my child’s writing.  Finally, I’d label my fifth tab “MATH” and include some completed math workbook pages.

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 and label a composition notebook ‘DICTATION.’ For SCIENCE, I use use the provided code on the Exploration Education box to load it on my computer, so it is ready to go. For GEOGRAPHY, I either print the Map Trek maps right away, or I do this as it comes up in the plans. Personally, I like to print all of the already labeled Map Trek maps in color and the maps for my student to write on in black and white at the start. However, you can always view the colored maps on your computer screen instead of printing them and just print the black and white maps.

Setting Up for Grammar, Math, Music Appreciation, Bible Quiet Time, Biblical Worldview, and Common Place Book Entries

For the written work in English GRAMMAR, I label a lined composition book ‘GRAMMAR.’ 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 choose a lined notebook, I label it ‘MATH.’ For the science INVENTOR STUDY, I put the notebooking pages in a small 1/2 inch separate binder and slide the full-color notebook cover in the front.

For MUSIC APPRECIATION, I choose either to print the project pages from the Composers: Hands-on Activity Pak CD and place them in separate labeled ziplock bags, or I do this as they come up in the plans.  Next, for BIBLE QUIET TIME, I photocopy from the Appendix Possible Prayer Starters. For BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW, I label a lined notebook or journal for my child’s written work. Finally, I choose a special lined and bound book for my child’s COMMON PLACE BOOK, which is described in the Copywork section of RevtoRev’s Introduction.

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 startI fill out the DITHOR 6/7/8 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 6/7 Book Pack, I see ’10 days’ next to Biography: Behind Rebel Lines. So, I divide the total number of pages or chapters in Rebel Lines by 10 and fill out the first 10 days of the Reading Calendar accordingly.

Then, as I see ‘5 days’ next to Biography: America’s Paul Revere, I divide the total number of pages by 5. As there are 46 total pages, I divide 46 by 5 and fill in the reading calendar for about 9 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 RevtoRev 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.” 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 RevtoRev

There are a few special items needed for RevtoRev. By this time I already know which items I’ll need, because I wrote them in the margin of my Introduction or first week of daily plans earlier. Some things I noted are a globe, a children’s Bible, and a small set of oil pastels. I also noted I’d need a CD player for What in the World Volume III? and for the audios in the Independent History Study box and the Extension Package.

Likewise, I noted I’d either need a CD player or a CD-ROM computer player to listen to the Story of Classical Music for the Music Appreciation box of plan. Similarly, I noted I’d need a CD-ROM computer player for the Map Trek CD, for the Composer Hands-On Activity Pak CD, and for the Exploration Education CD. If using the Extension Package, I noted I’d need a DVD player for the American Testimony DVD. Finally, I noted any special supplies from the Lap Book Assembly instructions on the Composer Activity Pak CD.

Teacher and Student Narrations Skills’ Lists

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 RevtoRev 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. I just skim the History Project plans every month or so, to look for the one-off supply. However, to get ready to begin RevtoRev, I just stock up on usual art supplies, like crayons, colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tissue paper (colored), tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, playdough/modeling clay, sticky notes, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards, page protectors, and a few catalogs. Finally, a flashlight, deck of cards, 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 RevtoRev’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!

In Christ,


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Author: Julie Grosz, M.Ed.

Some passions of mine are homeschooling with Heart of Dakota, cooking with All Recipes, reading Jane Austen in a bubble bath, singing along with lyrics that strike a chord, making family traditions, creating organization out of disorganization, and writing words - in emails, posts, and books - that glorify God. I'm a teacher and an editor by trade. Here's a quick rundown of my numbers... 24 years of teaching (7 public school, 17 homeschool), 6 years of college (4 undergrad, 2 graduate for my masters in education), 18 years of working for HOD, 48 years old, 24 years of marriage, 3 sons who are 20, 16, and 12 - and I believe that should about 'sum' it up! You can view my blog here -

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