February Library Builder: Save 10% on the Creation to Christ Girl Interest Set!

Library Builder

Use coupon code FEBRUARY-LIBRARY for 10% on this month’s Library Builder book set: The Creation to Christ Girl Interest Package!

We are excited to continue our  Heart of Dakota Library Builder book set promotion! On the 1st Wednesday of each month we will be promoting one of our book sets with a 10% coupon code. For this month’s special, use coupon code FEBRUARY-LIBRARY on our website for the entire month of February to apply the savings to your order. The coupon applies to the Creation to Christ Girl Interest set of books.   To view all of the books in this set, just click here! (Scroll down until you see the “Basic Package Option 3” section.)

How is the Girl Interest Package used in Creation to Christ?

Well, we could tell you, but why reinvent the wheel? Carrie and Julie have already done an excellent job of outlining how these books are used in the Creation to Christ Introduction, so why don’t we have a quick look at that?

(From the Introduction to Creation to Christ ):

Storytime
There are 3 book set options for Storytime: History Interest Set, Boy Interest Set, or Girl Interest Set. If you desire to read aloud books that coordinate with the historical time period being studied, you will want to choose the History Interest Set. In keeping with the ancient time period, the History Interest Set does contain some violent content.

If you wish to avoid this, choose the Boy Interest or Girl Interest Set instead; these sets do not match the history, but were instead selected to provide excellent read-alouds from 9 different genres.

Sixth and seventh graders should either listen to this book set read aloud, or read the Extension Package books (as scheduled in the Appendix), or do both of these options in order to extend their learning. If you are a family that enjoys reading aloud, you may choose to read aloud more than one set of books from the Basic Package.

These scheduled read-alouds are highly recommended, unless you need to
economize. Complete listings and book descriptions for these books can be found in the Appendix. These books are sold as a set as Basic Package Option 1, 2, or 3, or sold individually, at www.heartofdakota.com.

Each unit includes the following activities in coordination with the “Storytime” read-aloud assignments:
*Day 1: give a detailed oral narration
*Day 2: rotate through the following 4 narration activities: an outline sketch, a short skit, a question and answer session, and an advertisement speech for the book
*Day 3: give a summary narration
*Day 4: make connections between the story and Proverbs

Use coupon code FEBRUARY-LIBRARY to save!

To apply this month’s savings, just enter coupon code FEBRUARY-LIBRARY on our website when you check out! We hope these books will be as treasured to you as they are to us!

Have a great rest of the week!
Heart of Dakota

PS: If you’d like a more in-depth look at what using Creation to Christ looks like in your home, have a look at this article!

Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13

January Library Builder: Save 10% on the Creation to Christ Boy Interest Set!

Library Builder

Use coupon code JANUARY-LIBRARY for 10% on this month’s Library Builder book set: The Creation to Christ Boy Interest Package!

We are excited to continue our  Heart of Dakota Library Builder book set promotion! On the 1st Wednesday of each month we will be promoting one of our book sets with a 10% coupon code. For this month’s special, use coupon code JANUARY-LIBRARY on our website for the entire month of January to apply the savings to your order. The coupon applies to the Creation to Christ Boy Interest set of books.   To view all of the books in this set, just click here! (Scroll down until you see the “Basic Package Option 2” section.)

How is the Boy Interest Package used in Creation to Christ?

Well, we could tell you, but why reinvent the wheel? Carrie and Julie have already done an excellent job of outlining how these books are used in the Creation to Christ Introduction, so why don’t we have a quick look at that?

(From the Introduction to Creation to Christ ):

Storytime
There are 3 book set options for Storytime: History Interest Set, Boy Interest Set, or Girl Interest Set. If you desire to read aloud books that coordinate with the historical time period being studied, you will want to choose the History Interest Set. In keeping with the ancient time period, the History Interest Set does contain some violent content.

If you wish to avoid this, choose the Boy Interest or Girl Interest Set instead; these sets do not match the history, but were instead selected to provide excellent read-alouds from 9 different genres.

Sixth and seventh graders should either listen to this book set read aloud, or read the Extension Package books (as scheduled in the Appendix), or do both of these options in order to extend their learning. If you are a family that enjoys reading aloud, you may choose to read aloud more than one set of books from the Basic Package.

These scheduled read-alouds are highly recommended, unless you need to
economize. Complete listings and book descriptions for these books can be found in the Appendix. These books are sold as a set as Basic Package Option 1, 2, or 3, or sold individually, at www.heartofdakota.com.

Each unit includes the following activities in coordination with the “Storytime” read-aloud assignments:
*Day 1: give a detailed oral narration
*Day 2: rotate through the following 4 narration activities: an outline sketch, a short skit, a question and answer session, and an advertisement speech for the book
*Day 3: give a summary narration
*Day 4: make connections between the story and Proverbs

Use coupon code JANUARY-LIBRARY to save!

To apply this month’s savings, just enter coupon code JANUARY-LIBRARY on our website when you check out! We hope these books will be as treasured to you as they are to us!

Have a great rest of the week!
Heart of Dakota

PS: If you’d like a more in-depth look at what using Creation to Christ looks like in your home, have a look at this article!

Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13

November Library Builder: Save 10% on the Creation to Christ History Interest Set!

Library Builder

Use coupon code NOVEMBER-LIBRARY for 10% on this month’s Library Builder book set: The Creation to Christ History Interest Package!

We are excited to continue our  Heart of Dakota Library Builder book set promotion! On the 1st Wednesday of each month we will be promoting one of our book sets with a 10% coupon code. For this month’s special, use coupon code NOVEMBER-LIBRARY on our website for the entire month of November to apply the savings to your order. The coupon applies to the Creation to Christ History Interest set of books.   To view all of the books in this set, just click here! (Scroll down until you see the “Basic Package Option 1” section.)

How is the History Interest Package used in Creation to Christ?

Well, we could tell you, but why reinvent the wheel? Carrie and Julie have already done an excellent job of outlining how these books are used in the Creation to Christ Introduction, so why don’t we have a quick look at that?

(From the Introduction to Creation to Christ ):

Storytime
There are 3 book set options for Storytime: History Interest Set, Boy Interest Set, or Girl Interest Set. If you desire to read aloud books that coordinate with the historical time period being studied, you will want to choose the History Interest Set. In keeping with the ancient time period, the History Interest Set does contain some violent content.

If you wish to avoid this, choose the Boy Interest or Girl Interest Set instead; these sets do not match the history, but were instead selected to provide excellent read-alouds from 9 different genres. (Editor’s note: These book packs will be getting their own Library Builder discounts in January and February, respectively! 😀 ) 

Sixth and seventh graders should either listen to the History Interest Set read aloud, or read the Extension Package books (as scheduled in the Appendix), or do both of these options in order to extend their learning. If you are a family that enjoys reading aloud, you may choose to read aloud more than one set of books from the Basic Package.

These scheduled read-alouds are highly recommended, unless you need to
economize. Complete listings and book descriptions for these books can be found in the Appendix. These books are sold as a set as Basic Package Option 1, 2, or 3, or sold individually, at www.heartofdakota.com.

Each unit includes the following activities in coordination with the “Storytime” read-aloud assignments:
*Day 1: give a detailed oral narration
*Day 2: rotate through the following 4 narration activities: an outline sketch, a short skit, a question and answer session, and an advertisement speech for the book
*Day 3: give a summary narration
*Day 4: make connections between the story and Proverbs

Use coupon code NOVEMBER-LIBRARY to save!

To apply this month’s savings, just enter coupon code NOVEMBER-LIBRARY on our website when you check out! We hope these books will be as treasured to you as they are to us!

Have a great rest of the week!
Heart of Dakota

PS: If you’d like a more in-depth look at what using Creation to Christ looks like in your home, have a look at this article!

Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13

Alexander the Great: Brilliance and Brutality

History with Heart of Dakota

Who was Alexander the Great? 

Conqueror, explorer, leader, and visionary. These are just a few of the words that describe Alexander the Great. Born the son of legendary warrior-king Philip II of Macedonia, Alexander went on to outshine his father.  Philip transformed Macedonia from an unremarkable country to a ruling power in Greece; Alexander made Macedonia the ruling power in the entire known world. His conquests would stretch the Macedonian empire from the mountains of his homeland, to the sands of Egypt, to the expanses of Persia, all the way to the banks of the River Beas in India.

Personality of a Genius 

Alexander was a genius in more ways than one. First, his grasp of military tactics was unequaled in his day. He perfected the use of the phalanx – a tactic which his father had introduced. The phalanx was an infantry formation where soldiers grouped tightly together with each man’s shield protecting himself and his neighbor. In addition to this, each man also carried an 18-20 foot pike which he would thrust outwards from the shield wall. (Wasson) In a time where armies usually fought in a haphazard manner depending on sheer force of numbers to win, the phalanx gave Alexander’s soldiers a huge advantage. Oftentimes, enemy soldiers would simply break off his phalanxes like water off a rock. In addition to this, Alexander had distinct knack for sensing his enemy’s weakest position and massing his men to exploit it. Therefore, when his phalanxes came crashing through there was usually no stopping them.

Second, Alexander was a genius when it came to leading his men. He routinely made a point of leading the charge in battle rather than staying back in safety. Initially, he also insisted on sharing his men’s hardships. For instance, while marching his troops through the desert, according to biographer Peter Green, “…when a helmetful [sic] of muddy water had been found for him in some nearby gully – but no more was to be had – he laughed, thanked the donor, and then tipped the water out into the sand. So extraordinary was the effect of this action that the water wasted by Alexander was as good as a drink from every man in the army.” (434) Alexander lead by example, as all great leaders do. When his men saw him facing and overcoming the same challenges they faced, it inspired greatness in them as well.

Fatal Flaws

Nonetheless, Alexander was far from perfect. “Like many brilliant men,” historian John Gunther writes, “he was unstable…he ran from one extreme to another…” (46) While he could be caring and understanding, he also could be irrational and violent. He had a burning temper which resulted in him murdering some of his most faithful soldiers, such as Clitus and Parmenion. Also, during his final years he firmly believed himself to be descended from the Greek god Zeus. Those who did not acknowledge this were executed. (Gunther 138-139) Sadly, with no god to serve except himself, Alexander – once great – ended his life in drunkenness and confusion.

Lasting Impressions

Even though Alexander’s life was dramatically short (he only lived to be 32!) what he accomplished in that time has had repercussions that affect us to this day. His use of soldiers as disciplined units formed the gold standard in military tactics for hundreds of years afterward. In addition, by bringing many different countries under one empire, he spread the use of a universal language – Greek. Many scholars believe this was instrumental in spreading the Gospel 400 years later. He also founded many different cities – some of which remain to this day. (Many of these he named Alexandria, after himself.) Ultimately, much like God had used prior civilizations and kings to carry out His purpose in history, God used Alexander the Great to mold the world according to His own plan.

Which HOD guides can you find Alexander the Great in? 

Alexander the Great can be encountered in several of Heart of Dakota’s guides! You can find him in Little Hearts, Preparing Hearts, Creation to Christ, World Geography, and World History. You can also find a more in-depth study of him in John Gunther’s book Alexander the Great, which students can read in the extension package for Creation to Christ.

Bibliography 

Green, P. Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C. (University of California Press, 2013).

Gunther, J. Alexander the Great. (Sterling Publishing, 2007).

Wasson, D.L. The Army of Alexander the Great. (Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2014). 

Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13

From Our House to Yours

Creation to Christ: An Intriguing Ancients Homeschool Program for Ages 9-11, with Extensions for Ages 12-13

With Heart of Dakota, there are flexible age ranges, which becomes more and more important as children grow and mature.  That is why our Creation to Christ ancients program is written for ages 9-11, but has extensions for ages 12-13. The Lord has gifted each child differently, and the older a child gets, the more those gifts begin to show themselves.  Likewise, children have areas that just are not their gifting. We all do! This is why, at Heart of Dakota, we value placement so highly.  If you call us for placement help, reference our placement chart, or ask for placement help on our message board, you will never be told just to ‘get the 11 year old box of things.’

Likewise, we will never just ask the ages of your children, lump them all together, and tell you which guide to use.  Proper placement is a bigger deal than that! It is an entire year of your life and of your child’s life!  We want to get it right.  We want to take children where they are and move them forward, and that is just what Creation to Christ does!

Creation to Christ teaches our children one timeline, not two!

If you are like me, you might have what I call two timelines running in your head.  The Bible timeline and the public school timeline. This is because at church we learned Bible history, and at school we learned history without the Bible.  At least, that is what most public schools teach due to separation of church and state.  As a Christian, I find this very sad!  How in the world could I learn about the ancients without learning about the Bible? It truly boggles the mind. Well, blessedly, having used Heart of Dakota, my children have just one timeline running in their heads, and it begins with Creation to Christ!

So, what does the history in Creation to Christ cover?

Told in story form, Creation to Christ provides students with a Biblical overview of ancient history.  Students learn about the Sumerians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Biblical history is shown to be authoritative, and the history of ancient civilizations weaves in and out of Old Testament stories at the proper times in the overall narrative. An exciting overview of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and of Christ’s life comes next, and the year concludes with the readings of the gospels of Luke, John, and Acts.

Full of ‘can’t put them down’ books, Creation to Christ’s ancients history weaves one pretty exciting coherent and memorable timeline. Narrative books make the ancients come to life in a way I’ve not seen any other ancients study do.  So, if your kiddos have done the ancients before, but find themselves coming into Heart of Dakota placing best in Creation to Christ, no worries!  Do the ancients again – they have not ‘met them’ in the same way, so it won’t be a repeat.

So, now that you’re excited about the ancients, what’s new in Creation to Christ?

What’s new in Creation to Christ? Quite a lot really.  In fact, you will feel the change coming in Creation to Christ, right about the time you feel the change coming in your children.  They are growing up.  They want to be more independent.  And even if they don’t, they should.  They have a few years to get ready for upper middle school, and then high school will be soon to follow.  If they don’t start taking steps toward higher levels of reading, longer assignments of writing, following more directions, and taking on more independence, they will not be ready for upper middle school – and believe me, it’s tough to ‘make it up’ later.

Students’ reading skills are taken up a notch – across all subject areas!

Creation Christ is the first year students independently read the books in the Reading about History part of the plans, and it is more difficult reading in both reading level and maturity of content. However, the readings are shorter, so they can be successful with this new step.  Science readings become longer from more difficult books, with Land Animals… being just one of the 6 science books they’ll read independently.  Likewise, they will usually move up a level in Drawn into the Reading, both in the Student Books and in the Book Packs.

Students write longer narrations, learn to edit their own writing, and begin a formal writing program!

In response to the history they read independently, students write 5-8 sentence written narrations, highlight the main idea in each written narration, and use the Written Narration Tips to edit. However, the guide narrows down the focus of the narration to just a portion of the history reading, and guided questions help students think about their narration before they begin writing. Likewise, students work through the Written Narration Tips one at a time when they are editing.  Once they consistently do #1, they work on doing #1 and #2, and so on.  A formal writing program, Write with the Best, is added to the balance of language arts. It is taught twice each week and uses excerpts from classical literature for writing instruction (i.e. Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Wordsworth, etc.).

Students learn to start their day with their own Bible Quiet Time!

How exciting is that!?!  Using either the Illustrated Family Bible Stories or their own Bible, students begin their day with their own private Bible Quiet Time.  This is such an important habit to have, and it is one continued all the way through 12th grade (and  hopefully happily ever after)!  This Bible Quiet Time has all the facets you’d want in a Bible quiet time!  Reading from the Bible, praying with the 4 parts of prayer using the ACTS model, memorizing Philippians 2, singing the Scriptures being memorized along with praise music, and copying verses in a Charlotte Mason style Common Place Book to forever be remembered! Yeah, pretty neat.  You’ll be finding yourself wanting your own quiet time too if you haven’t had one!

Students get inspired by Robert Frost’s poetry and respond to it with water color painting!

“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord,” and Robert Frost’s poetry just simply celebrates the beauty of Creation.  Students begin by reading Robert Frost’s poems, move on to discussing the moods/meaning of the poem, learn about Robert Frost’s life, follow step-by-step directions to learn to water color paint a painting each week to match the poem’s meaning, and interactively share the poem by reading it to an audience (a.k.a. the family). Finally, every 9 week term, they choose a Robert Frost poem they’ve studied to memorize.  Very Charlotte Mason-like, don’t you think?!?

Students research a given topic in history and orally share their findings, and they also keep a prophecy chart!

Once each week students research a history topic inspired by the history study.  They use an index or a search engine to skim to find answers to provided questions.  Then, they share their findings orally.  What important skills are learned in this assignment!  They also keep a prophecy chart showing the fulfillment of Scriptures, so they can see God’s hand through history across time.

Students have new responses to their Storytime read-alouds!

So, you as the parent still read aloud the Storytime books, which is wonderful, because you will enjoy them just as much as your children do!  In fact, I highly recommend the History Interest Set, just because it is pretty neat to totally immerse yourself in the ancients, and those books are like a little time machine that seem to do just that. But, back to the responses!  Your kiddos will rotate through giving a detailed oral narration, doing an outline sketch narration, a short skit narration, a question and answer session, an advertisement speech for the book, a summary narration, and a making connections between the story and Proverbs session.  Now, doesn’t that sound fresh and fun?!? But, kiddos aren’t the only ones that get to have fun, you do too!

So, what new things do you get to do as the homeschool teacher in Creation to Christ?

A lot, really! You get to head up a Genesis study using The Radical Book for Kids, which is done 2 days a week. Intriguing readings, in-depth discussions, and meaningful connections to Genesis are all a part of your time together with your children. Also, you get to lead a Geography of the Holy Land study, which is done the other 2 days a week.  Narrative read-alouds, globe and map activities, discussions, and travel logs are just some of the neat things you’ll get to lead in this geography study that shows the many of the very places kiddos read about in their Bibles still exist today.

Many things from last year in Preparing Hearts for His Glory are still a part of Creation to Christ as well!

Many of your favorites from last year in Preparing Hearts for His Glory are still a part of Creation to Christ! Not everything is new, and skills taught previously are practiced and strengthened.

In closing, check out the Learning Through History part of the plans of Creation to Christ in list form below…
  • Corresponding History Readings
  • Prophecy Fulfillment Chart
  • Guided Written Narrations
  • Timeline Entries
  • Copywork: Quotes, Verses, and Literature Passages
  • Research Questions
  • Weekly Hands-on History Projects
  • Bible Passage Memory Work of Philippians 2 with CD “Bible Study in Stereo: Philippians 2”
  • Step-by-step sketching corresponding with Greece and Rome
  • Creation of a History Notebook
  • Oral Narrations
  • Mapping
  • Personal Quiet-time Bible Study of Old and New Testament stories
  • Choice of Read-aloud Options based on History Interest, Boy Interest, or Girl Interest
  • Corresponding Audio Overview of History with Diana Waring’s What in the World Vol. I
Check out the Learning the Basics part of the plans of Creation to Christ in list form below…
  • Classic Poetry from Robert Frost
  • Spelling: choice of three sets of dictation passages
  • Grammar Lessons using the Text Building with Diligence: English 4 or Following the Plan: English 5
  • Bi-Weekly Creative Writing Lessons using Write with the Best: Vol. I by Jill Dixon
  • Literature Study using Drawn into the Heart of Reading
  • Choice of Math
  • Daily Living Book Science Readings in the area of Life Science/Biology
  • Science Experiments with written lab sheets emphasizing the scientific process
  • Weekly Science Notebooking
  • Science Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Biblical Application Questions
  • Weekly Oral Science Narrations
  • A Study of the ancient roots and Biblical theology of the Christian faith
  • Focus on Geography of the Bible Lands

In Christ,

Julie

P.S.  You can check out our placement chart to see if Creation to Christ… is a fit for your kiddos! If your child places better in Preparing Hearts…, check out this blog post by clicking here!

P.S.S. Click on each link below for Creation to Christ..
P.S.S.S. New to HOD?  Check out our top ten questions!