Rekindle Hope and Patriotism with U.S. History I for High School

From Our House to Yours

Rekindle hope and patriotism with U.S. History I for high school!

Heart of Dakota’s U.S. History I is sure to rekindle hope and patriotism!  Within its pages, students discover how America’s struggling beginnings gave way first to sufferings. But then, these sufferings produced perseverance.  Then, that perseverance produced character.  And finally, that character produced hope!  Which it can still produce today!

So, what credits are covered in U.S. History I?

Well, students actually can earn up to 6 1/2 full credits in U.S. History I.  Credits include 1 full credit in U.S. History I, 1 full credit in Bible, 1/2 to 1 full Government, 1/2 credit in Constitutional Literacy, 1/2 credit in Spanish, 1 full credit in English, 1 full credit in Math, and 1 full credit in Science with lab.  This guide is written for students ages 15-17. However, it can be extended for students in 12th grade by adjustments to the 3 R’s and science. There are 4 days of plans each week, and they are all noted on a 2-page spread. Finally, students can expect to spend about 7 hours, 4 days a week, to complete their work.

What does the “Learning Through History” part of the program look like?

First, the “Learning Through History” part of the program sets students off on an adventure with America: The Last Best Hope. Starting with the 13 colonies, students ‘meet’ those who labored to create our democratic republic. Then, in Faith of Our Fathers, students ‘meet’ the men and women who answered the Lord’s call to evangelize America. Next, in The Book of Heroes, students ‘meet’ George Washington, Daniel Boone, Louisa May Alcott, Robert E. Lee, and George Washington Carver.

Then, students see the power of the penned word in Great Letters in American History and in Great Documents Within U.S. History. They also ‘meet’ America in a more visual way in The American Testimony DVD Set. Additionally, students delve into U.S. History Map Activities and the U.S. History Atlas. These resources helps students visualize sweep and influence of key events. Finally, students delve more deeply into history with our Charlotte Mason inspired Living Library! This incredible book/audio set has been selected for its narrative quality and its connections to U.S. History I.

What kind of work do students do in U.S. History I?

First, students keep a full-color Book of Centuries using Amy Pak’s timeline figures. Next, in their full-color U.S. History I Journal, students make many different kinds of entries. For example, entries include analysis of primary source documents, notes from DVD viewing sessions, multi-paragraph narrations, in-depth interpretation of maps, critical thinking questions regarding U.S. documents, written opinions using excerpts to support conclusions, history-related shared talking points, and quotations in context. Finally, assessments such as key word, summary, detailed, topic, typed, opinion, and recorded oral and multi-paragraph written narrations keep the beloved Charlotte Mason flavor of the plans intact.

What can students expect in Government and Spanish?

First, students delve into Government by exploring its political heritage and studying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Next, students discuss contemporary issues affecting our nation with DVD and workbook sessions within A Noble Experiment. Then, they discover what’s gone wrong with America’s legal system and economy and how to fix it within “Whatever Happened to Justice?” Finally, students round out the “Learning Through History” part of the plans with the Spanish Homeschool Curriculum Kit. This full color course teaches Spanish through audio CDs of dialogue. Furthermore, students learn to write Spanish well in daily written assignments.

What does the “Learning the Basics” part of the program look like?

The “Learning the Basics” part of U.S. History I teaches essential skills that meet academic and spiritual needs. First, students draw closer to the Lord with The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study: A Survey of the New Testament. Additionally, students’ Bible time includes Scripture memorization, a prayer journal, and a hymn study. Next, daughters partner with parents by delving into home, life, and spiritual life management in Beyond Beautiful Girlhood. Likewise, sons partner with parents by diving into how to find God in the heart of daily conflicts and decisions in Everyday Battles. Finally, both sons and daughters enjoy Stay in the Castle and the Seven Royal Laws of Courtship to find and marry the person whom God has created just for them!

What is included in language arts in U.S. History I?

Students enjoy a balanced language arts approach in U.S. History I. They  read 8 novels, 8 short stories, 4 primary sources, 1 full-length autobiography, and 1 play with our Charlotte Mason inspired American literature plans. Timeless favorites like The Prince and the Pauper, The Scarlet Letter, Rip Van Winkle, Man Without a Country, Up From Slavery, The Purloined Letter, The Robe, The Virginian, The Lilies of the Field, and more provide a fresh approach to high school American literature.

Furthermore, introductions, readings, annotations, oral narrations, written narrations, Common Place Book entries, and guided Literature Journal reflections including literary devices, Scriptural connections, in-depth discussions, and literary synthesis assignments all provide higher level assessments without taking away the joy of reading. Moreover, for composition, students use In Their Sandals, which helps them experience the Bible personally by writing 8 Scripturally-based stories. Finally, students finish out this balanced English credit by using grammar, writing, and English skills with Rod and Staff English. Dictation skills with included dictation passages round out this balanced language arts approach.

What do students learn in Constitutional Literacy?

Students can get the most out of their Government course by choosing to also do Constitutional Literacy. With over 500 minutes of engaging video instruction, constitutional expert Michael Farris walks students through the history, theory, and application of the Constitution and what it means for future American self-government. Moreover, professional video footage with beautiful photographs, timelines, and special effects will have students on their way to beginning their voting career as an informed citizen, well versed in the content and meaning of the U.S. Constitution!

What can students expect in Chemistry and Math?

Next, students move on to earn their science credit with lab in Chemistry with Dr. Jay Wile!  Discovering Design with Chemistry is a college-prep, high school chemistry course. This includes visually appealing narrative text, comprehension checks with detailed answer keys, 46 experiments with fully described expected outcomes, and calculations with completely worked out solutions. Lastly, students round out their “Learning the Basics” part of the plans by choosing from one of our many math options.

In Christ,







Expand Your Horizons by Embarking on a Worldwide Journey… World History for High School

From Our House to Yours

Prepare to expand your horizons by embarking on a worldwide journey via high school World History!

Get ready to travel from one end of the earth to the other via this worldwide World History journey with Heart of Dakota! Be ready for change… a change for the better or worse, a change of course, a change of scenery, a change of direction, or even a change of heart. World History takes students on a thrilling every-changing globe-trotting adventure that is sure to leave its mark!

Heart of Dakota’s World History Introduction

A high school student’s trip through high school includes some important stepping stones. We may not know what will be around the bend for them when they graduate.  Heart of Dakota’s World History guide recognizes this by including an Introduction that is sure to be your best help! Carrie has taken the time to plot a course through high school that includes all a student needs to be prepared for whatever comes next! Course titles, course descriptions, suggested grading, credits required, electives required – these are all a part of the Introduction!  So, you can copy and paste these right into your student’s transcript!

So, what credits are covered in World History?

Students can earn up to 7 full credits in World History.  Credits include 1 full credit in World History, 1 full credit in Bible, 1/2 to 1 full credit in Fine Arts, 1/2 credit in Health, 1/2 credit in Spanish, 1 full credit in English, 1 full credit in Math, and 1 full credit in Science with lab. This guide is written for students ages 14-16, and can be extended for students in 11th and 12th grade by adjustments to the 3 R’s and science as needed.  There are 4 days of plans each week, all noted on a convenient 2-page spread. Students can expect to spend 6 1/2 – 7 hours each of the 4 days to complete their work.

What can be expected in the World History credit?

You can expect amazing narrative chronological readings in World History! Unveiling the Kings of Israel, People, Places & Principles of World History, Short Lessons in World History, King Alfred’s English, In Context: Stories Behind Seventy Memorable Sayings in Church History, Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History, Courage and Conviction – all incredible resources students enjoy!  Not to mention the Living Library readings followed by literary synthesis exercises, which offer too many awesome titles to list, but you can click here to peruse them yourself!

So, will my student have high level, varied work assigned in World History?

On any given day in World History, you can expect your student to enjoy a variety of high level work. World History keeps the Charlotte Mason flavor alive with oral narrations in a varied formats of key word, summary, detailed, topic, typed, and opinion narrations. Full-color World History Journal entries consist of answers to critical thinking questions, graphic organizer style notes on varying viewpoints from You Are There! listening sessions, written opinions, quotations in context, interpretation of maps, and responses to primary source documents.  In Critical Thinking Using Primary Sources in World History, students analyze multiple documents about the same event, draw conclusions, and use excerpts to support their conclusions. They also write multi-paragraph written narrations, keep a lovely Book of Centuries, and share Talking Points from their history readings.

Bible Study: Meaningful, Deep, and Life Changing

World History’s Bible Study uses The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Study: A Survey of the Old Testament Bible Study.  It includes Scripture memorization, the keeping of a prayer journal, and a beautiful hymn study with Selah’s Greatest Hymns. Students also ‘dig deeper’ in the All-in-One Curriculum for Pilgrim’s Progress with “Digging Deeper” Questions, Charts, Discussion, and Scripture References. Truly, this is a deep and meaningful Bible Study that can be life changing!

A Beautiful Art Study That Doesn’t Leave God Out

The most beautiful art can be seen in God’s hand as we behold His landscapes, His sunsets, His rainbows, or even just by viewing the intricacy of a butterfly’s wings.  World History has planned an art study that doesn’t leave God out!  Students delve into this Fine Arts credit with God and the History of Art DVD viewings and guided questions.  They read biographical selections of artists through history. Likewise, they view a beautiful art gallery of paintings, make reflective notebook entries, and complete Exercises and Activities for Short Lessons in Art History. Students become the artists themselves by using  See the Light Art Project DVDs, which include art history, elements, principles, step-by-step projects, and integrated Bible truths.

A Complete English Course That Has It All

Students completing the English course in World History will find this is a complete course that truly has it all!  Classic novels Charlotte Mason would surely love provide the literature for this course. Classic novels include Ben Hur, Julius Caesar, Pearl Maiden, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, A Man for All Seasons, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, Animal Farm, and The Celestial Railroad. Each novel has follow-up assignments that include introductions that provide the focus for reading, annotations, oral and written narrations, Common Place Book entries, guided reflection include literary devices, graphic organizers, and novel discussions focused on thematic elements from a Biblical Worldview.

Composition is covered via Essentials in Writing: Grade 11.  This includes DVD lessons with follow-up assignments addressing expository, persuasive, compare/contrast, descriptive, cause/effect, narrative, process analysis, literary response, and a college prep research paper. Grammar is added in via Building Securely, while dictation is continued to completion.  Truly, World History’s English course has it all!

Biology: Do it up big, or do it up small, but either way do it in the comfort of your own home!

Biology with lab can be one of the tougher subjects to cover in high school!  Well, I have good news for you!  With World History’s  Biology, your student can do it up big, or do it up small, but either way – he or she won’t have to leave the comfort of home!  With this Biology course, students have the option to watch the labs or perform them alongside watching the labs themselves.  Either way, 12 Paces of narrative text include accompanying activity books that utilize matching, underlining, multiple choice, true/false, categorizing, vocabulary, and short answer questions. Twenty-five biology labs include corresponding lab sheets, as well as optional lab kit recommendations.

Finally, add in Health, Spanish, and Math, and you have one good year in World History!

To round out the credits for World History, students complete courses in Health, Spanish, and Math. To read more about each of these, click on each below…

Total Health



To find out more about HOD in general, click here!  Otherwise, we hope you enjoy your trip through World History with HOD!

In Christ,


Explore the World in a Whole New Way… World Geography for High School

From Our House to Yours

Get ready to explore the world in a whole new way via high school World Geography!

In Heart of Dakota‘s World Geography, get ready to explore land and sea, discover treasures old and new, solve past and present mysteries, and journey from one end of the earth to the other!  If you are like me, fellow homeschool moms, your own past personal trek through World Geography back when (we won’t say how far ‘back when’) might not have been all that exciting.  Well, forget that!  HOD’s World Geography will set your 13-15 year old on an exciting expedition.  Armed with knowledge, filled with compassion, and consumed with love for others around the world, who knows what great things our God has planned for our high school students during their year of exploration in World Geography?!?

High school can be scary for both moms and students, but Heart of Dakota has your back!

I remember begging, yes, begging Carrie to write high school guides.  One year at a time, one guide at a time, one son getting one year older at a time, and the Lord laid it on her heart to do this.  Praise God!  That’s all I can say, because I just couldn’t envision homeschooling high school in any other way.  High school feels a little scary.  Both moms and students can balk at homeschooling in high school. Well, rest easy, friend, because HOD’s high school guides cover it all. Course descriptions, course materials, all typical credits and electives needed, suggested grading, a 4-day week plan, easy-to-use 2-page spread lesson plans, Charlotte Mason focused, Christ-centered, literature-based… ahhhhhhh… need I go on?!?  High school can be scary, but HOD has your back! So, it’s not so scary.  In fact, I dare say, it’s incredible!!!

High school is all about the numbers.  So, how many credits can be earned?

Creating a good transcript is fairly important. We feel the responsibility as homeschool parents of making sure our kiddos are ready – ready for whatever God may have planned for them after high school graduation. It can feel like high school is all about the numbers.  And in some regards, it is.  How many credits should be earned?  Well, the very basic thought on this would be the 4 x 4 – 1 full credit in English, 1 full credit in Math, 1 fun credit in History, and 1 full credit in Science each year.  That is the very basic formula, with required electives thrown in for measure.

Homeschool students should shoot higher than the ‘basics,’ but guard against ‘padding the transcript.’  Too few credits might leave students unprepared for college.  Too many credits raises red flags and can overload a student. World Geography is just right.  With 6 1/2 possible credits, it is perfect for college entrance requirements!  Maybe kiddos won’t choose the ‘college’ path, but should they want to, at least we won’t have held them back from it!

So, what are the 6 1/2 credits covered in World Geography?

There are a total of 6 1/2 credits covered in World Geography, but you always can tailor your student’s transcript according to the plan you like best. The Economy Package alone sports 1 full credit in World Geography, 1 full credit in Bible, and 1/2 credit in World Religions and Cultures. Then, the Complete English Package covers 1 full credit in English, including literature, composition, and grammar.  Next, the science package covers 1 full credit in Integrated Physics in Chemistry, with or without lab.  Add 1 full credit in math Algebra 1 by choosing from our multitude of math options.  Tack on 1/2 credit in Spanish and 1/2 credit in Logic, and voila!  You’ve earned 6 1/2 credits!

What can be expected in the World Geography credit?

So, I’ve promised an intriguing year in World Geography, but what exactly can students expect?  Amazing chronological history readings from ‘real books’ provide the backbone of the credit. Add in Charlotte Mason style key word, summary, detailed, and topic oral narrations. Stir in full-color beautiful Expedition Journal Entries peppered with bulleted notes, outlines, sketches, primary source documents, questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, video viewing guides, research topics, Socratic discussions, and more!

Mix in breathtaking Reader’s Digest DVD viewings and follow-ups that transport students visually to the very places they are studying!  Sprinkle in some geography reading based written narrations and some one-of-a-kind Book of Centuries portrait gallery and lined timeline entries. Amp up the flavor with Ellen McHenry’s guided mapping lessons and hands-on navigational projects in Mapping the World With Art. Spice it up with extra credit Living Library readings, and you have the recipe for a fantastic year in World Geography!

So, why are the 1/2 credit in World Religions and Cultures and the 1 full credit in Bible part of the Economy Package?

Good question, and there is a good answer!  As students are taking their tour of the world via their World Geography history credit, World Religions and Cultures takes them on a matching tour of the major religions of the world.  With inspiring biographies of people who converted from their first religion to Christianity, what could be a better match?!?  Likewise, the Bible and Devotional Study introduces students to unreached people groups and how to pray for them!  Moving readings about unreached people groups from the very places students are learning about in World Geography correlate with annotations, Scripture memorization, the Biblical model of prayer, a personal prayer journal, and devotions.  What an inspiring match for World Geography!

Why should your student do Integrated Physics and Chemistry for science?

Why not, I say?  Doing Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) earlier on in high school has its definite advantages. First, completing it earlier helps it not be so heavily math-based. Second, completing it earlier gives students more options in 12th grade. How? Well, by 12th grade students will probably know if they are going to require physics for their future plans post-graduation.  If they are going into a field that requires physics, then they can take a full-blown physics course their senior year.  If they are not, they’ve already fulfilled their physics requirement in IPC, and they can enjoy our awesome 12th grade Astronomy/Geology/ Paleontology course instead!

What can your student expect in the English credit?

Heart of Dakota’s English credit includes a balance of literature, composition, grammar, and dictation.  BJU Fundamentals of Literature provides the spine of literature study. It includes readings, discussions, literary analysis, Biblical worldview, and critical thinking questions.  Classic girl or boy set novels are interspersed at balanced intervals. So, Charlotte Mason’s living books, oral and written narrations, and Common Place Book entries are married with BJU’s plans beautifully! Next, Essentials in Writing covers the composition portion of the credit. DVD lessons, follow-up assignments, personal/persuasive/expository/compare and contrast essays, and a final research paper are all included. Finally, Building Securely English includes grammar/English skills, and studied dictation keeps students progressing in spelling.

Finally, add 1 full credit in Algebra 1, a 1/2 credit in Logic and a 1/2 credit in Spanish!

With multiple choices in Algebra 1, you can choose what fits your student best.  Each math option has its benefits. With a wide range of options, one of the math programs is sure to fit your student well. Next, your student can enjoy a 1/2 credit in Logic via The Fallacy Detective and The Art of Argument.  Finally, your student can learn Spanish via Getting Started with Spanish.  And there you have it!  6 1/2 credits earned in one year of high school, just like that!

In Christ,


P.S. For more information on Heart of Dakota in general, click here!

P.S.S.  To read more about Carrie’s choices for World Geography, check out her sneak peaks specific to each subject area by clicking here!



Missions to Modern Marvels: A Seventh or Eighth Grade Program with Optional Extensions

From Our House to Yours

Missions to Modern Marvels: A Seventh or Eighth Grade Homeschool Program with Extensions for Olders

Heart of Dakota‘s Missions to Modern Marvels homeschool curriculum has a target age range of 12-14 years old, with extensions for 15-16 years old.  Geared toward advanced seventh graders or typical eighth graders, this guide offers an inspirational look at the modern times. But, maybe just as importantly, it also equips students to be well prepared for high school. It also can be beefed up for high school, with minimal tweaks and with a little creative borrowing of credits from World Geography

Let’s “meet” the Learning Through History part of the plans!

So, let’s first ‘meet’ the Learning Through History part of MTMM’s plans!  The “Learning Through History” part delves into the time period from the 1890’s to modern day. It is an exciting period that appeals to most teenagers, as it directly relates to the modern world they are living in themselves today!  Just like most teenagers are going through a period of change, this modern time period includes major changes in the world via inventions, industries, discoveries, and modern marvels. This guide provides a “you-are-there” narrative look at American history set within a worldwide context. Students ‘meet’ statesmen, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, inventors, revolutionaries, and leaders of this time. Their accomplishments are celebrated, but in a way that still shows God is sovereign in all – including the making of history – even modern history.

Varied responses to the history readings keep learning fresh!

MTMM’s Economy Package is full of Charlotte Mason-style living books and resources that chronologically move through time together, painting one fluid picture of modern American history within the context of world history.  Varied responses to the history readings keep learning fresh, while teaching many necessary skills along the way.  Students respond by giving oral narrations, and some are typed by the parent as the student gives them.  Storytime living books connect to the weekly history theme and are either read aloud by the parent or independently by the student.

Mapping exercises, audios, primary source documents, Socratic discussions, notebooking, and projects offer even more variety!

Student complete historical mapping exercises and make connections using Map Trek and the United States History Atlas. They are also taken on an intriguing audio overview of history via Diana Waring’s What in the World Vol. IIIParents and students delve into provided Primary Source Documents via Socratic discussions.  Students keep a full-color student notebook of their trip through the modern times as well!  This notebook includes timeline sketches, period memorabilia, written narrations, and copywork form timeless speeches and quotes.  Students also respond to a provided “Snapshot in Time” by connecting a photograph or sketch with the history reading through captions, bulleted notes, outlines, quotes, excerpts, etc.

Research, economic principles, and a Christian state study further enhance the learning in MTMM!

Students use two forms of media to research each of the Presidents of the United States.  First, they delve into The Big Book of Presidents, and then they round out their research with The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents DVD. Not only is this optional Presidents’ study informative and entertaining, it also teaches students to mesh research from two different media sources.  Second, students dig into learning economics principles. This witty yet spot-on economics introduction uses two amazing living books as resources. In Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? and Common Sense Business for Kids students learn to summarize and log key economic principles.  Finally, students get to know the ins and outs of what makes their state special. This Christian State Study is sure to make its impact!

The “Learning the Basics” part of the guide has much to offer too!

In Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here?, students focus on developing a Biblical worldview of self-image. This Christian parent-led study gives ample opportunity to discuss how to have a healthy self-image. Students draw even closer to the Lord during their own personal Bible Quiet Time with Faith at Work.  This inductive Quest Bible study has students delving into Romans, Galatians, and James, and includes prayer time, Scripture memory work, and written work.  Students round out their Bible Quiet Time with a hymn study via Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Vol. 2, which further connects to the history with some patriotic hymns as well!

Science takes a deeper look at 20th Century scientists, chemistry topics, and creation vs. evolution!

Living book science readings pique student’s interest in 20th Century scientists, chemistry topics, and creation vs. evolution. In Evolution: The Grand Experiment, students study current evidence both for and against the theory of evolution. The textbook, teacher’s manual, and DVD series work together to help parents discuss this controversial topic with their children. Author Carl Werner examines the still-missing links in the fossil record and points out the mistakes that have been made in the 150 years since Darwin’s Origin of Species was published. Finally in MTMM’s science study, students become the ‘scientists’ themselves by performing experiments with the Chemistry C500 Kit and Genetics & DNA Kit.  Science written narrations, DVDs, notebooking assignments, and written lab sheets emphasizing the Scientific process round out this exciting science year!

Students get to express their creativity with a Charlotte Mason-style nature study and with Write with the Best Vol. II!

Each year Heart of Dakota tries to showcase different Charlotte Mason themed studies.  In MTMM, students get to enjoy a Charlotte Mason-style nature study!  Students delve into studying nature with Nature Drawing and Journaling by none other than Barry Stebbing.  Likewise, students get to express their creativity in writing with Write with the Best:Vol. II! As students get ready for the upcoming rigor of high school composition, WWTB prepares them well by teaching note-taking, outlining, and summarizing.  Students also learn to write persuasive essays, expository essays, literary critiques, book reviews, newspaper articles, and speeches.

Finally, students round out their “Learning the Basics” skills with spelling, grammar, literature, and math!
  • Spelling: Choice of three sets of Dictation Passages
  • Grammar Lessons using the text Progressing with Courage: English 6
  • Literature Study using Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 6/7/8
  • Writing Lessons with Write with the Best: Vol. II on
  • Choice of Primary Mathematics 6A/6B, No-Nonsense Algebra, Videotext Algebra, or Principles of Mathematics Book 1

In Christ,

Revival to Revolution: Homeschool Program for Ages 11-13, with Extensions for Ages 14-15

From Our House to Yours

Revival to Revolution: Heart of Dakota’s Homeschool Program for Ages 11-13, with Extensions for Ages 14-15

Heart of Dakota‘s Revival to Revolution curriculum is written for students within a target age range of 11-13 years old. Students this age would be in about 6th or 7th grade. An advanced 6th grade student would probably do just fine with Revival to Revolution.  A 7th grade student would more than likely thrive! The Extension Package can be added for students who are ages 14-15. This set of books and follow-up assignments are meant to be completed independently by 8th or 9th grade students. They extend the history by following the same chronological flow of time as the daily plans. This exciting set of living books takes the reading up a notch! But, it also keeps the Charlotte Mason style of learning alive and well for 8th-9th graders.

Cole with His Extension Package
Carrie and Shaw Discussing Reading About History
Multiple choices in physical science make Revival to Revolution customizable for 6th to 9th grade students as well!

Likewise, there are 2 exciting options for physical science! Both options include Heart of Dakota’s specially designed Inventor Study, complete with Charlotte Mason style living books and full-color Inventor Student Notebook pages! The first option includes the Inventor Study along with the Standard Exploration Education lab kit. This option is most appropriate for 6th or 7th grade students.  The second option includes the Inventor Study along with the Advanced Exploration Education lab kit. This option is most appropriate for 8th or 9th grade students.  Students in 9th grade who complete both the Inventor Study and the Advanced Exploration Education kit earn one full credit in Physical Science with Lab.

Multiple levels of literature instruction offer further choices in customizing Revival to Revolution!

Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) includes multiple levels of student books and book packages.  What level you choose depends on how new you are to Heart of Dakota and formal literature study! Sixth grade students who have not completed Level 4/5 previously may want to use the 4/5 DITHOR Student Book.  If they have completed the 4/5 Student Book prior to sixth grade, they can either move up to the 6/7/8 Student Book or purchase another 4/5 Student Book to do again with harder books. Seventh and eighth grade students should use the 6/7/8 Student Book, as this will prepare them best for high school level literature.

Any level of DITHOR book pack works with any level of DITHOR Student Book.  So, if you have a sixth grade student who is a strong reader who is not as strong of a writer, you might choose the 4/5 Student Book and the 6/7 Book Pack.  Or, if you have a strong writer who is not as strong of a reader, you might choose the 6/7/8 Student Book, and the 5/6 Boy or 5/6 Girl Interest Book Pack.  Or, if you’d rather choose your own books altogether, you can use our Sample Book Ideas List to do that too!  Regardless, if possible, it is best for 7th and 8th grade students to use the 7/8 Boy or 7/8 Girl Interest Book Pack, as this will prepare them best for high school level literature.

Multiple levels of spelling, math, and grammar help each student progress to the next level as well!

For spelling, there are 4 levels of dictation passages in the Appendix of Revival to Revolution.  The passages begin with Level 5 and progress through Level 8.  Levels 6 through 8 are included in the next guide’s Appendix (Missions to Modern Marvels).  So, students start where they need to ability-wise in spelling, and progress each year as able.  If a student struggles with spelling, he/she might begin with Level 5.  Or, if a student is an excellent speller, he/she might begin with Level 7 or 8. Likewise, for math there are plans for a choice of 3 levels: Singapore Math 5A/5B, Singapore Math 6A/6B, or Principles of Mathematics Book 1.  Finally, there is a choice of 2 grammar levels.  Students can either complete one full year of R & S English 5, or they can finish out the second half of R & S English 6.

Reading about History grows up a little more each year!

Revival to Revolution recognizes high school is just around the corner, and it steps up the skills incrementally accordingly!  Students read their own Reading about History and sharpen their written narrations skills by increasing their length to 10-14 sentences.  They also step up their self-editing skills by using their Written Narration Skills: Student’s List to edit their own written narrations.  Students give both detailed and summary oral narrations. They also use provided Scriptures to weigh a historical character’s thoughts, words, or actions in light of the Bible.  Furthermore, full-color period artwork pertinent to the history reading is also included each week. Students study the period artwork and discuss it using provided guiding questions.

Geography, notebooking skills, history projects, and independent history studies provide additional ways to respond to history readings!

In Geography, students use the U.S. History Atlas to locate significant places in history and label their own history specific maps using Map Trek: Revival to Revolution. Additionally, Charlotte Mason-style timeline entries march on, as students continue to add to their “Book of Time.” A variety of history follow-up assignments teach a multitude of skills.  The History Project teaches students to follow incremental steps to complete a hands-on project connected to the history reading each week.  Independent History Study assignments have students listening to audio presentations, drawing step-by-step illustrations, completing notebook entries, writing copywork entries of quotes and verses, and coloring noteworthy historical pictures.

Worthy Words, Research, and a Fifty States Study – oh my!

Some new and notable things that are unique to Revival to Revolution are Worthy Words, the Research of the Signers, and the Fifty States Study!  In Worthy Words, students learn to read primary source documents. Students study speeches and letters of famous men and women in history.  Provided guiding questions help students understand the primary source, the writer’s sentiments, and the purpose for which the document was written.  In Research, students use The Signers to research the lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Students note their research findings on full-color portrait cards provided in the Student Notebook.  Finally, a Fifty States Study provides a witty and interesting overview of the building of our nation, state by state.

Shaw with His Signers of the Declaration of Independence Cards
Storytime – who shall do the reading?

It could be that this is the year your student takes over the Storytime readings!  I know.  You probably have mixed feelings about that, which Carrie realized. This is why she labeled Storytime as either a “T” teacher-directed or an “I” independent part of the plans!  It’s so nice to have that flexibility, isn’t it?  I remember my oldest son noticing the “T” or “I” politely asking if I’d be very hurt if he just read the books himself.  Hmmm.  I was kind of hurt. But then he wisely said, “I mean, Mom, you have two other little guys to read to – and I can read these.  I LIKE to read these; so why don’t you just read to the ones who need it?”  Hmmm.  Good point.

With my middle son, he came up with the middle-of-the-road plan of me reading for 10 minutes, and when the timer dinged, he would read the rest.  Very middle child-like, right?  My youngest son has already told me he’d LOVE for me to read them all.  Very youngest child-like, right?  The point is, it all works.  Just pick what you and your child like best! No matter how the reading is accomplished, higher level thinking questions specific to each day’s reading are provided.  Hence, students ponder provided analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions, as well as orally narrate in response to the readings.  Very balanced, don’t you think? Much higher level thinking required here than just one right answer questions!

Let’s get inspired!

Revival to Revolution says, “Let’s get inspired!” First, by music, then by Hebrew’s heroes, next by Biblical worldview, and finally by inventors!  First, students enjoy a music appreciation study two days each week with The Story of Classical Music and with Amy Pak’s Hands-on Activity lapbook.  Then, students meet the heroes faith in their own Bible Quiet Time with Hidden Treasures in Hebrews.  Next, students delve into a Biblical Worldview Study with you as the parent via Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? Finally, students meet the inventors who used physical science principles to pave the way for growth in power, manufacturing, production, communication, and transportation!

Shaw Using His Bible and ACTS Model Prayer Starters for Bible Quiet Time
Mike and Shaw Discussing Heroes of the Faith
Mike Teaching Biblical Worldview
Inventor Study
Composer Study Lapbook
Furthermore, let us not forget creative writing and poetry study!

While R & S English provides more systematic step-by-step writing assignments, The Exciting World of Creative Writing balances this out by drawing out the creative side of your student! Poetry study further taps into that creative ability with thought-provoking questions, copywork of classical poetry, connections between poetry and historical events, and pertinent background information.  Yes!  Students will be inspired by timeless words of others, but in turn they will also learn to inspire themselves, with words of their own! So, that wraps up Revival to Revolution! 

In Christ,