Valentine’s Day Fun – Why Do You “Heart” Heart of Dakota?

More Than a Charlotte Mason Moment

Valentine’s Day Fun – Why do you “heart” Heart of Dakota?

Happy Valentine’s Day to our fellow Heart of Dakota moms! We thought this would be fun to do, a kind of “count our blessings” for Valentine’s Day if you will. And who better to do this with than all of you?!? So here goes…

Why I “heart” Heart of Dakota…

1. I love Heart of Dakota because it helps me keep my priorities straight. A quality education is highly valued by our family, and to us that includes educating the heart as well as the mind. Heart of Dakota does both!

2. Our children use excellent living books every single day, but they use their Bibles every single day too. Providing a rich diet of literature that makes learning come alive is important in our homeschool. Heart of Dakota has chosen outstanding living books for virtually every area of learning. From history to science, from reading to devotions, our day is filled with books we love.

3. We have three sons, so another goal of ours is for our sons to be able to provide well for their own families someday, which means they need to be competitive when it comes to earning a salary. Heart of Dakota is giving our children an incredibly strong education that is preparing them well for their future.

4. Finally, we want to have a happy homeschooling environment, which means I need to be able to school in a timely fashion, in an enjoyable way, and in a manner that doesn’t require me to leave the home. Heart of Dakota’s guides are a treasure to me. They are truly open and go, and they help me organize my day in a balanced way that allows us to get the maximum benefit out of our homeschooling time together.

I still love what I do!

I’ve been teaching Heart of Dakota for 16 years, and I still love what I do. Charlotte Mason said education should be three things…

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

With Heart of Dakota, I have all three! What can be better that that?!? I can’t wait to read why you “heart” Heart of Dakota!

Love in Christ to all our favorite Heart of Dakota ladies this 2018 Valentine’s Day!!!

Julie

PS – If you wanted to stroll down memory lane, you may also want to check out this link to our Heart of Dakota message board where I posted this same question back in 2011.

 

Welcome to Our Blog!

Welcome to Our Blog!

In the past 20 years, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting with thousands of families at homeschool conventions, on the phone, on our message board, and through emails and Facebook. The question we are most often asked is, “What are you going to write next?” For years, the answer was “the next guide,” but now that Carrie has written guides that span PreK through 12th grade, the answer to that question is “this blog!”

So what is “this blog” you ask?

Well, it is an inspirational collection of stories, personal experiences, life lessons, and tips to help moms look at their homeschooling work and lives in a new light. These lessons come from our experience as teachers for 25 years each; from our journey as moms who have homeschooled with Heart of Dakota from preschool to high school; from our own struggles with health, budgets, laundry, cooking, and cleaning; and from the lives of women we’ve met in the past 20+ years of helping others.

Sunday’s Encouraging Word sets your heart upon the Lord with Scripture to refresh you as you prepare for your upcoming week of homeschooling.

Monday’s Charlotte Mason Moment introduces you to this great lady with her own words in quotes that are as significant today as they were 100 years ago.

Tuesday’s Dear Carrie letter shares real questions women have asked Carrie and her practical yet heartfelt answers.

Rotating Wednesday’s week one’s Library Builder spotlights our favorite Heart of Dakota living books and brings you monthly coupons to build your library with our Book Set of the Month. Week two’s More Than a Charlotte Mason Moment delves deeper into successfully implementing Charlotte Mason ideals in your Heart of Dakota day. Week three’s Pondering Placement showcases Heart of Dakota placement advice given to families just like you. Week four’s A Heart of Dakota Life gives inspiration for making the most of your homeschool journey with Heart of Dakota.

Thursday’s Teaching Tips gives practical ways to help your homeschool teaching be successful and your homeschooling days with Heart of Dakota be the best they can be.

Friday’s From Our House to Yours rewinds time and shares a blast from the past and tips from the present “from our house to yours.”

Saturday’s Heart of Dakota’s Tidbits introduces you to our family and shares some of the little known quirks and facts of our lives.

So, who is this blog for, you ask?

It’s for women who love their homeschooling but want to find more joy in it.
It’s for women who no longer love homeschooling but want to reclaim that joy.
It’s for women who are brand new to homeschooling and want to begin their journey well.
It’s for women who have been homeschooling for what feels like forever and want to end their journey well.
It’s for women who are overtired, overstressed, overworked, and underpaid.
It’s for women who love homeschooling so much, they want to inspire others to find their passion for it too.

And it’s for women like us, who once felt unsure about homeschooling, who made some missteps along the way, but who found a path that leads to a meaningful homeschool life filled with joy!

We believe there is a content, happy homeschool mom in us all!

Our job is to find her. We are writing this blog to help you find a Heart of Dakota homeschool life you love. Regardless of where you live, what size your house is, how many children you have, or what ‘crazy’ is happening in your life, you have the power to strengthen, impact, and change your own life, and the lives of your children.

Our hope is that each blog will help put a smile on your face in the morning, perk you up at lunch, settle you in at night, or just give your life a needed boost or a dash of glitter to make your homeschooling life shine.

Welcome to the Olympics!

From Our House to Yours

Welcome to the Olympics!

Ancient Greece was the living book Emmett read for Creation to Christ this week, so of course his History Project included bringing to life the most popular Olympic events. Naturally, all of our sons insisted on joining in the fun! Events competed in were the…

Creation to Christ Olympics
Heart of Dakota’s Creation to Christ – History Project – The Olympics!

⦁ shot-put (launching a cotton ball across our living room)
⦁ broad jump (jumping as far as possible from a given starting point)
⦁ discus throw (tossing a paper plate to send it hurtling into the air)
⦁ javelin toss (throwing a straw torpedoing through the room)
⦁ long jump (taking a running start to jump as far as possible)

Put on your game face!
Heart of Dakota - Creation to Christ - Olympics
The “Official” Heart of Dakota Olympic Scorecard

In preparation for the Olympics, Emmett created a chart with 3 trials for each event. Using a tape measure to determine each distance in inches, he recorded the data for each trial in his chart. The results? Competition was fierce, but laughter could often be heard even during the most heated of battles! Each son showed prowess in different events, and though age was often a benefit it did not always ensure victory. Favorite events were the long jump, the broad jump, and the discus throw. Given the chance, I do believe each of them would gladly compete in the Olympics again tomorrow. However, a new history project will surely offer another opportunity for fun!

‘Fun Mama’ makes a rare appearance!
Heart of Dakota - History Project - The Olympics
The Award Ceremony!

As always, Heart of Dakota’s hands-on projects leave my sons with the impression that this homeschool mama is loads of fun. The rest of you homeschool moms know the truth; I’m just a mom doing what’s in the guide. But for now, I’m basking in the moment of being ‘fun mama’. No need to point out the obvious… that Carrie Austin actually transformed this ordinary mama into a witty, merry, creative mama with a swoosh of her magic writing wand. I’ll be back to working, cleaning, cooking, boring, Cinderella mama tomorrow, but for this Olympic moment, I was at the ball.

Heart of Dakota Science: Something to Love for Everyone

From Our House to Yours

Heart of Dakota Science: Something to Love for Everyone
Science Lab Sheet
Science Lab Sheet
(the experiments
are always
his favorite, but I
snapped a picture
of this as it
was one of his
best lab sheets)

Science in Heart of Dakota is an adventure in itself! It starts with reading amazing living books, and then it adds in a variety of ways to respond to that reading. This variety appeals to all students, as there is always something a student will love best to do! In Creation to Christ, creating a science notebook entry appeals to visual and solitary learning styles. Giving an oral narration appeals to aural and verbal and social learning styles. Answering 5 comprehension questions with scientific terms and Biblical application appeals to logical learning styles. Finally, conducting an experiment and logging it in a science notebook uses physical and visual learning styles.

I love that he is able to respond to his science with his less than preferred learning styles!
Heart of Dakota Science Experiment
Science Experiment
(notice how Emmett has
made this a social
event by inviting his
brothers to join in)

Of course our son Emmett’s favorite way to respond to the reading is conducting an experiment. He makes this physical response to his reading also into a social and verbal response (his other two favorite learning styles) by sharing the results with all of us at any and every opportunity. I love that he is not only able to respond to his science with his favorite learning styles but also that he is able to respond to his science with his less than preferred learning styles! Of course he is best at his favorites, and not quite as good at his less than favorites. So, by having all of these learning styles represented each week, he looks forward to his favorites, and he works on those he needs to improve upon. This balance helps him become a well-rounded student, who can respond in a variety of ways to what he has learned.

So, no matter what learning style your entrepreneurial student loves best and has been gifted with by the Lord, Heart of Dakota’s science has it covered! And not only that, those less gifted styles… Heart of Dakota’s got those covered too! So, your kiddo will be the best at what God’s intended and good at the rest! Have a great week!

In Christ,
Julie