What should I do for Drawn into the Heart of Reading our last 2 weeks?

Dear Carrie

What should I do for Drawn into the Heart of Reading for our last two weeks of Bigger Hearts?

Dear Carrie,

So next week my son will be finishing up his realistic fiction project and presenting it. Then, I will only have two weeks left of the Heart of Dakota‘s Bigger Hearts manual. So, does that mean I do nothing for DITHOR for the last two weeks? Read the folk tale books for fun? I am just trying to figure out those last two weeks and how I could fit folk tales into that time slot? Thanks! This is our first time with Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR), and we love it. My son has done wonderfully with the projects, and we look forward to using it in the future!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help with the Last 2 Weeks of Drawn into the Heart of Reading”

Dear “Ms. Please Help with the Last 2 Weeks of Drawn into the Heart of Reading,”

How exciting that you are close to finishing Bigger Hearts! I am so glad that you have gotten a chance to use and enjoy DITHOR too. Since you are only two weeks away from being done with Bigger, I can see a couple of options working for DITHOR.

Option 1: Use the folk tale unit when you start Preparing Hearts.

One option would be to set aside the folk tale unit to start when you begin Preparing instead. If you chose to do this, then DITHOR would just drop out for the final two weeks of the Bigger Hearts guide.

Option 2: Read the folk tale books without doing the DITHOR unit.

A second option, if you feel your child may outgrow the folk tale books as a reader before you begin Preparing Hearts, would be to read the folk tale books while you finish Bigger Hearts (but not do the DITHOR unit). If you chose this option, your child would finish reading the Folk Tale books over the break before you begin Preparing. Then, when you do Preparing you would move onto the next book set and get to do the folk tale unit from DITHOR along with the new folk tale books in the next book set.

Either option would work! Happy reading!

Blessings,
Carrie

Follow-Up from “Ms. Please Help with the Last 2 Weeks of Drawn into the Heart of Reading”

Thank you Carrie! I think we will enjoy some cuddle time and just read those books together the last two weeks and start Preparing’s Drawn into Heart of Reading with folk tales too. Best of both worlds, and we can enjoy those great books! Love DITHOR and look forward to many more years with it!

How we use the Emerging Reader Set

Heart of Dakota Tidbit:

How we use the Emerging Reader Set

Did you know that the Emerging Reader set of books is the same exact books in both the Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory guide and the Bigger Hearts for His Glory guide? There are not two different Emerging Reader sets. We have the schedule for this set of books in the Appendix of both guides, but it is the exact same schedule in both of them.

Here is our progression for reading:
Phase 1 – Phonics
Phase 2 – Emerging Reader Set
Phase 3 – Drawn Into the Heart of Reading

We only do one phase of reading at a time, so once your child is all done with phonics, we move her into the ER set. Once she is all done with the ER set, we move him/her into DITHOR.

Have a great weekend!

How can I beef up Bigger for 5th graders so they are ready for CTC?

Pondering Placement

How can I beef up Bigger Hearts for fifth graders so they are ready for Creation to Christ?

We are lovers of Heart of Dakota and completed LHTH, LHFHG and Beyond! However, then we discovered our twins have dyslexia. We had many issues and took a hiatus from HOD. I tried to keep a Charlotte Mason approach but didn’t do so well. We did manage to read aloud Preparing’s history books, most of the science, some read alouds, and a few extensions. I love Carrie’s book selections! Now we are ready for a new chapter. My twins just turned 10 last week and will be in 5th grade. I’m going to put them in Bigger. I am thinking to then skip Preparing. My question is how can I beef up Bigger so we can make a smooth transition into Creation to Christ? I’m so excited to be back. I really need the structure I get with HOD. Otherwise, I feel like a wanderer with no clear direction.

Carrie’s Reply: The easiest way to beef up Bigger is to add the extensions.

Welcome back! It sounds like you have a good plan forming. As I was thinking through some of what you shared, I do think that Bigger sounds like a good placement for your twins. The easiest way to beef up Bigger is to use the Extension readings as assigned in the Appendix. I’d recommend reading those aloud to your kiddos if time permits, since the reading level is likely a barrier for them to read the extension books independently.

You could possibly omit the Storytime books, but then you would definitely need to do DITHR.

You could possibly forego the Storytime books in lieu of the Extension books to add greater depth to the study. However, the Storytime books have excellent literary skills that you would then miss. In this scenario, you would for sure need to do DITHR then, in order to compensate for losing those skills from the Storytime box. I hesitate to suggest this option, as it would benefit your kiddos so much to have the Storytime and follow-up skills as a daily part of their learning.

I would wait to decide what to do next until you are within 8 weeks of finishing Bigger Hearts.

In looking ahead, I would honestly wait until you are within 8 weeks of finishing Bigger to decide what to do next. This is because kiddos grow and change so much in a year’s time. By the end of Bigger, we will have a better idea of whether they should just head into Preparing, or whether they can make the jump to CTC. Even if they need to head into Preparing, doing the guide fully along with the readings will provide a very different experience from simply reading the books aloud. Not to mention it would be a terrific stepping stone for your kiddos to do the “I” boxes in Preparing by reading their own assigned material (which they may be able to do in a year’s time).

Whether you use Preparing or CTC next, your next step after Bigger will be a good one.

Kiddos often like hearing stories more than once, and Preparing is a whirlwind tour through all of world history. There is so much content that it actually would be good to cover it again. So, either way your next step after Bigger will be a good one. For now, I would just settle into Bigger and enjoy the journey. There are so many skills wound within Bigger that I think you will have a good year of growth ahead of your twins.

Blessings,
Carrie

Trying to decide between Beyond Little Hearts and Bigger Hearts?

Heart of Dakota Tidbit:

Trying to decide between Beyond Little Hearts and Bigger Hearts? 

Bigger Hearts for His Glory is rightly considered our most teacher intensive guide as there are many tedious skills that are being taught every day that will enable your child to gain their independence, but one thing to consider is that the guide right before it called Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory is more rigorous done at full speed, than Bigger is at half-speed. So, if you are looking at placement and your child falls right between these two guides, you can consider Bigger at half speed (left page one day, right page the next) or Beyond at full speed (left and right page).

Have a great weekend!

5th and 7th Grade Placement When Using 3 Guides Already

Pondering Placement

I use 3 HOD guides with my younger children and want to start using it with my 5th and 7th graders, but how can I add just 1 more HOD guide when my 7th grader wants to be by herself?

I already love using Heart of Dakota with 3 children! I’m using Little Hands with my preK son, Little Hearts with my first grader, and Bigger Hearts with my 2nd grader. I like it so much I’m considering using it with my 5th and 7th graders. However, since I’m already using 3 younger guides with more teaching time, I only want to add 1 guide. I was going to add Creation to Christ, but they don’t want to “do school together” like we have in the past. My 7th grader wants to be able to do it all “by herself” without my interference. Could I combine my 5th grader with my 2nd grader in Bigger Hearts? Or, should I combine my two oldest in CTC, even though my 7th grade girl doesn’t want to? She hasn’t expressed it too much, just asked could they please “not do it together”?

Carrie’s Initial Reply: Could you please share about your 5th grade son in regard to the first page of the placement chart? (Parent response below)

My just turned 10 year old has a mathematical mind and is a problem solver. He’s an excellent reader and loves to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He’s never narrated, has messy handwriting, and hates to write. I homeschooled him for 1st-3rd, and he went to public school for 4th grade. His learning slowed down in public school! They didn’t do much grammar, and they didn’t have history; they had “social studies”. He retained nothing from science, as they didn’t do any science experiments. He places between Bigger and Preparing on the placement chart. I just ordered Singapore 5A/5B and Rod and Staff 5 for him. He looked at the Bigger guide I’m using with my 2nd grader and got really excited. The hands-on activities are right up his alley. I’ve caught him peeking at the Stories of Great Americans book already. So, I know he’ll love the history!

Carrie’s Response with English and Literature Recommendations

Based on what you’ve shared thus far, and about your desire not to do two more guides, I do think your son could be placed in Bigger Hearts with Extensions. I would recommend that he do Rod and Staff English 4 instead of English 5, and do a lesson daily 4 days a week. I would also recommend that he do Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) with the level 4/5 Student BookI’d recommend the 4/5 Boy Interest Set. You could just do DITHOR 3 times weekly in order to lighten your load.

Carrie’s Response with Math Placement Recommendations

As far as math goes, I would give him the Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition placement test. I’d begin with the test for 3A and see if he passes. Make sure not to aid, help, or explain in any way, or the results will not be accurate. It would not be uncommon for a 5th grader who is new to Singapore to have to start back somewhere between 3A and 4B, simply due to the differing scope and sequence. I wouldn’t start a 5th grader who is new to Singapore in 5A/5B, as it will assume that he has had the Singapore method and foundation laid in 3B on up to guide and help him. Since you just ordered your English 5 and Singapore 5A/5B Math, you can return them and exchange them for the texts you need from us instead. We want to be sure that you have what you need to have a successful school year!

Carrie’s Request for Placement Information About the 7th Grader

As far as your 7th grader goes, if my experience with kiddos her age is correct, she is deeply desiring independence due to her age and increasing maturity level. She probably feels excited about any guide that will insure she is not combined with her younger sibling. I would be interested to hear where she places on the first page only of the placement chart when you consider her all by herself (no combining scenarios in mind). It is possible that she may fit in Resurrection to Reformation instead. If you get a chance to share a bit more about her reading, math, grammar, writing, independence level in regard to our placement chart, and about her ability to read her own materials that would be great!

Placement Information Shared Regarding 7th Grade Daughter (Parent response below)

My daughter places between Resurrection to Reformation and Revival to Revolution. She is a voracious reader and writer. She loves to draw and is very talented. Her weakness is math. The idea of her being “above” Creation to Christ appeals to her. I showed her Resurrection to Reformation in the Heart of Dakota catalog, and she is super excited! As she has not done much in the way of narrating, oral or written, I think RTR will be a better start for her.  I started Bigger Hearts with my 5th grade son, and he is loving it already! Now, I just need to order the extensions for him and RTR for my daughter.

Carrie’s Final Recommendation Thoughts

I think you will enjoy Bigger Hearts with extensions for your 5th grade son. I’m also excited for you to begin Resurrection to Reformation with your 7th grade daughter. I think you will both enjoy the independence in that guide, as well as the mother/daughter Biblical girlhood study that celebrates your daughter’s maturing. Thank you for ordering from Heart of Dakota; we depend on that support – God bless!

Blessings,
Carrie