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.

Have a Written Routine and Provide it to Your Child

Teaching Tip

A written routine promotes independence and efficiency.

This is the next installment in our series of posts about things to check if your school day seems to be running longer than you would like. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Tip #5:

A written routine can make all the difference.

Have you written your routine down and provided it for your child, so the child knows what to do in what order each day? I know this seems like such an easy tip, but I find the easiest tips are often the easiest to overlook. When I first began homeschooling more than one of my boys, I spent endless hours planning and writing the “perfect schedule.” I typed the schedule, printed it, and launched into our homeschool day. As we progressed through our day, my boys were constantly coming to me to see “what to do next.” As the official holder of the schedule, I was interrupted over and over throughout the day to delegate to each child what to do next.

Where do you place your schedule?

The next day I typed a schedule for all to see and placed it on the refrigerator. This was a better plan than the day before, as my boys could now check the schedule without bothering me. However, it also left them standing in front of the refrigerator all day and led to quite a bit of unnecessary chatter and even horseplay! So, the next day I typed a schedule for each child, placed it in a plastic page protector and gave it to each child. Success!! The boys could now check their own schedules without coming to me and without bothering each other. I added a dry erase marker for each child to check off the items on his schedule each day, and we were off and running. Of course, I had to remind the boys to check their schedules fairly often throughout the day, and I needed my own master copy of the schedule. But, for us, having a written routine provided for each child was a lifesaver.

How does a schedule become routine?

As the year progressed, I found that the boys had memorized their schedules, and so had I. We rarely had to refer to them, because the schedules had now become routine. For us, having a written schedule for each child is a necessary step in making a routine function effortlessly. As you look at how to make your school day run more smoothly, try writing down a schedule and giving it to your child. See if it makes a difference for you too!!



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,

Keeping a Similar Routine Each Day

Teaching Tip

Is your school day running longer than you would like?

This is the next installment in our series of posts about things to check if your school day seems to be running longer than you would like. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Tip #4

Do you keep a similar routine each day?

Do you keep a similar routine each day so that your children’s routine becomes second nature? While you don’t necessarily have to be exactly on time each day, it is so helpful to keep the same general routine or order of subjects each day. This takes away the question of what a child should do next and minimizes interruptions. I’ve had to become more scheduled and more routine the more years I’ve taught, however it has actually been a blessing at our house as everyone knows what to do when. Try it and see what you think!