Know your goal…exposure or mastery?

Heart of Dakota Teaching Tip Exposure or Mastery

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Teaching Tip 

Know your goal…exposure or mastery?

As you teach younger children, it helps to remember this is often their first exposure to many concepts.  Everything ranging from history to math to reading will be new. So to expect mastery of new concepts, or even terrific retention, at such a young age is a tall order.

How can you help young children be successful with school?

Instead with younger kiddos, strive for the following goals:

  1. Keep the lessons short.
  2. Keep the day moving along.
  3. Keep your expectations in line with your child’s age.
Resist the urge to add extra drill and practice beyond what is in the guide.

Often as parents, we think more practice is better.  The Internet makes it easy to add extra practice with little effort.  However, is this truly necessary for your child to gain exposure to a subject? If you add too much to the guide, your children may feel their school day is too long.  You may also find that the extra practice crowds out time for the rest of the subjects in the guide. There is a careful balance between enough practice and too much!  Your Heart of Dakota guide is designed with this careful balance in mind.

Young children make great gains when you least expect it.

Children will make great gains and strides in their younger years.  These gains often come unexpectedly after steady progress forward pays off. Take heart even if your little ones don’t seem to be “getting” everything you’d love them to take from the HOD guide. They will surprise you as the year passes in unexpected ways!


PS: In this blog post, we looked at how to enjoy your homeschool life by simplifying your school day. To find out more ways you can enjoy your homeschool life while using our guides, check out the blog post linked below!

Enjoy Your Everyday Heart of Dakota Life

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9 thoughts on “Know your goal…exposure or mastery?”

  1. I have used HOD for the last 5 years and at every turn am so blessed to be able to find the help and answers I need from Carrie and Julie! Thanks for sharing, ladies! God bless your work!

    1. Hi Cathy! For my older children in upper middle school and high school HOD guides, I like to spend the first 4 weeks training them to properly follow the plans in their guides. I do this by underlining each guideline Carrie has set forth. Often at the start, they may miss doing a portion properly. I expect this, as they are learning how to follow the guide. However, once we have carefully gone through how to do each portion of the plans, then I expect the plans to be followed. I view this as mastery, as we don’t move on until each guideline is met. Likewise, with editing, I use the Written Narration Skills editing checklist Carrie has written to help my students learn to edit. We work through 1 skill at a time, and eventually my kiddos are responsible for the entire skills list. I then give their work one final edit, and they are responsible to fix any additional things I have noted, so I view this as mastery. This has worked so well! It has taught them to be careful to follow multi-step directions properly, to complete each portion of assigned work, and to edit all their work carefully. Hope this helps!

      In Christ,

  2. I needed this reminder!! I am working with a 4yr old doing some pre-k. I was beginning to feel like it was a waste of time, then out of no where she is saying letters with the correct sounds!
    I REALLY appreciate the teaching tips!! Thank You!

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