Why do you use specific editions of literature in high school?

Dear Carrie

Why do you use specific editions of literature in high school?

In looking at Heart of Dakota’s high school literature, I like what I see. I’ve seen some high school literature programs that just have too many books too soon. Or, I’ve seen others that never ramp up enough to prepare my children for college. You’ve found a good balance, and I just plain love your book choices! So, I’m definitely doing Heart of Dakota’s literature. I have no questions about that. My question is actually about the book editions themselves. My daughter is starting with World History’s literature, as we unfortunately didn’t find Heart of Dakota until her sophomore year. I see specific versions of the books are necessary. I’m sure there is a simple explanation, so I apologize if this is a silly question. But, why do you use specific editions of literature?  Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Explain Why Certain Editions of Literature Are Used in High School”

Dear “Ms. Please Explain Why Certain Editions of Literature Are Used in High School,”

This is a good question, and I am glad you asked! First, each day of plans has specific page numbers to be read. So, if you have a different edition, the page numbers will be off, and your student will be left unsure where to start and to stop reading each day. Second, and even more importantly, the plans direct students to specific pages for their follow-up work. For example, the plans may have students underline a specific passage on page 186. Then, they may find a specific quote on page 217. Next, they may search for allusions to certain Scripture on page 238. So, each part of the plans draws out something special from the book! This helps us walk with the students hand by hand, as they journey through its pages!

Details About World History’s Literature

In World History’s literature plans, Days 1, 3, and 4 follow a similar pattern. The literature box is broken up into “Introduce,” “Read and Annotate,” “Select,” and “Reflect.” “Introduce” gives a little background or something to watch for or think about in the day’s reading. “Read and Annotate” assigns pages to be read and expects the students to annotate as they read. Often a specific annotation is given to the kiddos to help them learn to annotate better and to key them into important nuances within the narrative. “Select” requires students to select a passage to copy in their Common Place Book. “Reflect” is a written Literature Journal style reflection based on the day’s reading with topics ranging from Biblical/life applications to literary themes/elements to character motives/descriptors to Scripture connections/Godly character traits, etc.

Specific editions of books make all the difference in the world!

With as many pages as they are reading each day, searching through them for answers without the intended aid of the page numbers to locate them upon is incredibly frustrating! Not to mention, kiddos’ work probably isn’t a true reflection of all they are capable of doing. Using the wrong editions of books leaves kiddos frustrated, unable to do their best work, and working much longer to complete assignments than intended.  In contrast, using the right editions of books helps kiddos fully enjoy their reading, equips them to do their best work, and aids them in completing their assignments in a doable amount of time. Specific editions of books make our plans special, and they make all the difference in the world!

Blessings!

Carrie

Setting Up for U.S. History I

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for U.S. History I

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school U.S. History I (USI). My first step is to read through USI’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent.

Setting Up the Front of My U.S. History I Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color U.S History I Journal cover in the front of my 1  1/2 inch 3-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. Some states require a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school. The Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview for this. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Setting Up the Rest of My U.S. History I Binder

I continue setting up the rest of my U.S. History I binder. Behind the First Week of Plans, I place USI’s notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping. This makes a beautiful keepsake of our year of spent doing U.S. History I!

Preparing for the Living Library Extra Credit Work

If my student is doing the U.S. History I Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), from the USI Appendix, I photocopy the “Double-Entry Journal Assignment” sheet. I have my student glue it in the front of a bound and lined composition book of his choice. This way, he can refer to the example to know the format expected for his journal assignments. I simply keep the notebook with his completed double-entry journal assignments on hand as a record of his extra credit work for the year.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries (BOC), the USI Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. This already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my binder. Then, I place the 3-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. (If you used World Geography or World History the years before, you’ve already done this step). Then, I add the extra pages needed for the 17th-19th A.D. Centuries. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors.  Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the USI Introduction, I print the History Through the Ages: U.S. History I Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

A Few Other Noteworthy Things About Setting Up for the U.S History I Course

Throughout the year, my student follows the USI daily plans to make photocopies for U.S. History Map Activities and from Great Documents from U.S. History. I help with making these copies the first time they come up in the plans. Then, my student follows the directions to do this on his own. We file his completed maps in the back of his U.S History I journal. I also let my student know he will need a DVD player for The American Testimony DVD Set. He will also need about thirty-seven (I like a few extra) 3″ x 5″ index cards for the Day 3 Talking Points assignments.  Likewise, he will need a yellow highlighter and a pink or green highlighter (or small yellow and pink or green sticky notes) for his key word narrations.

Setting Up for the Government/Civics Course in U.S History I

For the Government/Civics Course, U.S. History I’s Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. Following the directions in U.S. History I’s Introduction, I print the video transcripts, answer keys for quizzes/tests, and the “Grade Book” on p. xxi-xxii from the A Noble Experiment: Teacher Resource CD. I also use a folder to hold any loose pages. Next, I decide whether to remove the quiz and test pages from the back of the A Noble Experiment: Student Activity Book. Or, I just leave them intact and remove them as needed throughout the year. Finally, I make sure to have a DVD player on hand for my student to watch the A Noble Experiment DVD lessons, as well as the DVD Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (which can be rented when it is assigned in Lesson 41 of A Noble Experiment).

Getting Ready for Bible

For Bible, students keep a prayer journal. Any bound book with lined pages can be used. We found some beautiful options at our local Christian bookstore! Next, I photocopy “Preparing Your Heart for Prayer” from the Appendix of the U.S. History I guide. I have my student fold this and put it inside his Prayer Journal cover to highlight as he uses it for his daily Bible Quiet Time. Students also need their own Bible  to look up Scriptures each day. So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best. Likewise, make sure your student has a CD player handy to listen to When Morning Guilds the Skies. Finally, we choose a Common Place Book. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. Walmart  had many lovely, inexpensive options!

Getting Ready for English III

For English III, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition). If my student is still completing his dictation levels, I use 4 composition books, OR 1  large book with 4 section dividers. I label this “English III.” Likewise, I make photocopies (one for each novel and a few extras to have on hand) of the “Literary Synthesis Sheet” from USI’s Appendix.  Then, I photocopy a handful of the “Word and Idea Helper” sheets from the Appendix as well. I 3-hole punch all of these and keep them in my student’s binder, or put them in a folder if I didn’t choose to use a binder. The Common Place Book already mentioned in the above Bible section is also used for English III.

Getting Ready for Constitutional Literacy, Spanish II, Chemistry, and Math

For Constitutional Literacy, I get 1 bound and lined composition book for my student to record his “Probe” research question responses. I print the Constitutional Literacy Answer Key to Workbook Questions, 3-hole punch them, and put them in a 1/2 inch three-ring binder. We plan to have a DVD player handy for my student to watch the Constitutional Literacy DVD lessons. For Spanish II, I plan for my student to listen and practice with assigned Spanish CD tracks as scheduled in the Spanish II: Student Books. Likewise, I use the Spanish II: Teacher’s Guide “Audio Scripts” section to help my student write the assigned audio CD number and Track number on the blank next to each CD icon in each unit of each Student book. I might do this as it comes up in the plans, or all at the beginning of the year, whichever I prefer.

For Chemistry, I get a bound and lined composition book for my student and label it “Chemistry.” Next, if I am dong the lab, I gather all needed “Experiment Supplies” noted on p. v-ix of Discovering Design with Chemistry. If I am choosing to give the chapter tests, I copy each chapter test from the Answer Key and Tests for Discovering Design with Chemistry. I place these in a folder. For Math: Algebra II, I gather whatever special materials are noted in the Algebra II course I chose. Or, if my student is doing Geometry instead, I refer to the World History Geometry course materials section to gather materials.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the U.S. History I Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for U.S. History I, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “LITERARY SYNTHESIS,” “WORD AND IDEA HELPER SHEET,” and “DICTATION,” placing them in the WH guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in USI’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin USI, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of U.S. History I’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

How can my daughter do creative writing in high school?

Dear Carrie

My daughter will be doing the Heart of Dakota World History guide next year. I like everything about it, but she is interested in creative writing. Should I substitute a creative writing program in place of Essentials in Writing? We thought about The One Year Adventure Novel. However, it’s a full English credit. So, I would have to figure out how to adjust the HOD schedule for English II’s dictation, grammar, and literature. I really don’t want to do that! I like the beauty of my daughter and I opening our guide and following it each day. How can I my daughter do a creative writing program without altering the rest of the English II credit, Carrie? Thanks!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Advise How I Can Do Creative Writing with My Daughter in High School”

Dear “Ms. Please Advise How I Can Do Creative Writing with My Daughter in High School,”

We are excited for you to use World History with your daughter! I just wanted to let you know that we do schedule creative writing in high school. It is in the US1 Guide using In Their Sandals. My son is using – and loving – the program this year. So, the creative writing is coming!

Your daughter can choose her own topics in EIW, and then build on that foundation in US1’s ‘In Their Sandals’ creative writing.

I would advise you to wait to do the creative writing course until the US1 Guide. Your daughter will need the foundation that is laid in EIW to do many of the assignments in other subject areas in the coming HOD guides. EIW lays a terrific foundation in a variety of needed writing skills and types of writing. My older two sons are both creative writers at heart. They both truly enjoyed EIW. Just be sure to allow your daughter to choose her own writing topics for the lessons, within reason. That will spur her interest in what she is writing!

EIW’s writing skills prepare students well for college level writing.

Even if you have already done EIW in the World Geography Guide, you’ll find the WH Guide year of EIW really cements those writing skills and makes them more second-nature. With my sons in college right now, they are continually thankful for the foundation from EIW. The writing output they are required to submit weekly for their coursework draws heavily on the writing practiced in EIW. There is little to no creative writing in college.

EIW is planned twice weekly, alternating with grammar, which keeps the total time it takes to do the English II credit balanced.

The One Year Adventure Novel is also quite an intense, time-consuming program that would add more time to your daughter’s day than we are planning for EIW to take (doing it twice weekly alternating with grammar). I spent quite a bit of time looking at the One Year Adventure Novel for my own oldest son when he was in high school, and I was surprised with how much time the daily expectations would take to complete! You could always consider having your daughter do the One-Year Adventure Novel partly in the summer if desired. So, creative writing is coming! Your daughter will get to enjoy it next year in US1!

Blessings,
Carrie

Setting Up for World History

From Our House to Yours

Setting Up for World History

So, I’ve placed my children, had my Heart of Dakota  ‘box day,’ and am setting up for high school World History (WH). My first step is to read through WH’s Introduction/Overview, Appendix, and first week or month of plans. This helps me envision my year and understand what my guide covers. Each high school credit includes its own specific course description, required resources, course materials, and suggested grading. So, taking time to read through these is time well spent. As I read, I make notes of supplies I need and don’t have on hand in the introduction’s margins. This way, I can easily make my shopping list later based on my notes.

Setting Up the Front of My World History Binder

First, I slide the preprinted full color World History Journal cover in the front of my 1  1/2 inch 3-ring binder. Second, I print the Overview of the guide off the Internet (click here). I use the Table of Contents as my attendance record, noting the dates we completed each unit (i.e. Unit 1:  Sept. 2-6, 2019). Likewise, I include the Earning Credits and Possible Grading Scale in my binder to show how credit was earned.  Third, I print the first week of plans (click here), which is a nice overview. Some states require a completed portfolio for meeting with a principal or umbrella school. The Introduction and first week of plans give an excellent overview for this. (Carrie gives permission for the Introduction and First Week of Plans to be printed or copied for portfolio compilation. However, any other photocopies or retyping of plans would be a copyright infringement.)

Label World History and Living Library Tab Dividers 

Next, I label tab dividers for my WH binder. My goals are to show what my student did to earn his credit and how he progressed in skills. So, I label my first tab “WORLD HISTORY.” Behind this tab, I place WH’s history notebook pages inside clear page protectors. Throughout the homeschool year, my student takes out each notebook page he is using for the week. Then, when he is done with each page, he simply puts it back in a page protector for safe keeping.

If my student is doing the World History Living Library 10% extra credit option (which is an option I personally love for my children to do), I label my second tab “LIVING LIBRARY.” From the WH Appendix, I photocopy about 22 (I like a few extra) “Literary Synthesis” sheets and about 10 “Word and Idea Helper” sheets.  These will be used alongside the Living Library resources.  I 3-hole punch these and put them behind the Living Library tab. Then, my sons take these out one at a time to use. When the pages are completed, they put them back. I don’t put these in clear page protectors, but you certainly can if you like.

Setting Up the Book of Centuries’ Binder

For the Book of Centuries (BOC), the WH Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. This already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color BOC Notebook cover in the front of my binder. Then, I place the 3-hole punched BOC pages in the binder. As many different BOC pages are used at a time and there is gluing involved, I don’t put these in clear page protectors. (If you used World Geography the year before, just keep using your BOC from last year). Next, following the “Course Materials” section in the WH Introduction, I print the History Through the Ages: World Timeline Figures from the Timeline Figures CD. I put these in a pile in order and staple the top left corner to keep them together. Last, I slide the stapled together timeline pages inside the front of my BOC binder’s pocket.

A Few Other Noteworthy Things About Setting Up for the World History Course

Throughout the year, my student follows the WH daily plans to make photocopies for Critical Thinking Using Primary Source Documents. If you have more than one student, your extra student will also need to make photocopies from Short Lessons in World History. I help with this the first time it comes up in the plans. Then, my student follows the directions to do this on his own. I also let my student know he will need a computer CD drive, a DVD player, or an MP3 compatible CD player to listen to You Are There! World History Collection. My sons enjoy using earbuds for this, as they can hear it better. I enjoy them using earbuds as well, as my other children can’t hear it and be distracted!

Setting Up for the Fine Arts: Art History/Appreciation Course

For the Fine Arts: Art History/Appreciation Course, World History’s (WH) Introduction suggests using a 1 inch 3-ring binder. The Fine Arts Notebook already comes preprinted and 3-hole punched.  So, I just slide the preprinted full color Fine Arts Notebook cover in the front of my 1 inch binder. Then, I place each notebook page in a clear page protector. Throughout the homeschool year, my child takes out the notebook page he is using for the week. Then, he simply puts it back in the page protector for safe keeping when he is done.

Per the ‘Course Materials’ section of Fine Arts in the WH Introduction, I also plan for my student to have a DVD player to watch the lessons for God and the History of Art. Likewise, if my student is doing the 1 full credit option, I plan on him having a DVD player to watch the Art Project DVDs. My sons enjoyed using our laptop computer attachable DVD drive to do this, as they could put it on the table and do each step of their project as they watched it at the table. Finally, I look at the back of each Art Project DVD’s “Materials Needed to Complete Project” section to gather all the materials. I like to do this prior to the start of school and put them all in a tub or tote, so they are gathered and ready for my student as the projects are assigned.

Getting Ready for Bible

For Bible, students keep a prayer journal. Any bound book with lined pages can be used. We found some beautiful, inexpensive journals at Walmart. They had Scripture verses on the cover and were so lovely I bought one for myself! Students use their Bible to look up Scriptures each day; it truly becomes personal and special to them throughout high school!  So, enjoy choosing whichever Bible you and your student would like best. Students also need to have a CD player to listen to their Selah: Greatest Hymn’s CD. I like to have my sons do their Bible Quiet Time in their bedrooms, first thing in the morning if possible. This helps them develop the habit of doing their Bible Quiet Time first thing each day, in a private setting that is quiet. They each have a small CD player on their nightstand.

They can also use their CD player if you are choosing for them to use the Piligrim’s Progress audio. Finally, if you have more than one student using Pilgrim’s Progress and/or if you don’t want your students to write in their hardcover Pilgrim’s Progress book, follow the plans to print assigned questions from the Student Resources for the Pilgrim’s Progress CD, as they come up in the plans. I help with this the first time, but then my sons follow the plans to do this on their own throughout the year.

 

Getting Ready for English II

For English II, I use either 3 bound and lined composition books (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition), OR I use 1 large bound and lined composition book with 3 section dividers (1 for English Grammar, 1 for Literature, and 1 for Composition). If my student is still completing his dictation levels, I use 4 composition books, OR 1  large book with 4 section dividers. I also make sure to have index cards on hand for Essentials in Writing’s research paper.

Likewise, I make sure I photocopy 12 copies (I like a few extra) of the “Plot Diagram” from WH’s Appendix. I 3-hole punch these and keep them in my student’s binder, or put them in a folder if I didn’t choose to use a binder. Finally, I have fun choosing a Common Place Book with my student. Any keepsake-like bound, composition book with lines to copy memorable passages throughout the high school years can be chosen. We found some beautiful cloth bound and hardback options at our local Christian bookstore, and my sons each had fun choosing one!

Getting Ready for Health, Spanish, Biology, and Math

For Health, I get 1 bound and lined composition book for the “Chapter Review” and “Explain” portion of the WH plans. I either plan to have my students write directly on the tests or quizzes from the Total Health: Test and Quiz Master Book or have them write directly on loose-leaf paper instead. Tests and quizzes are not reproducible. For Spanish, I plan for my student to listen and practice with assigned Spanish CD tracks as scheduled in the Spanish I: Student Books. Likewise, I use the Spanish I: Teacher’s Guide “Audio Scripts” section to help my student write the assigned audio CD number and Track number on the blank next to each CD icon in each unit of each Student book. I might do this as it comes up in the plans, or all at the beginning of the year, whichever I prefer.

For Biology, I have a DVD player for the labs. I also let my student know that the lab sheets can be found in the middle of each activity book as a tear out section. If I have decided for my student to do some of the labs alongside watching the DVD, I gather the necessary lab materials. However, keep in mind, students can earn lab credit by simply watching the lab DVD, so there is no need to do the labs unless you prefer to do so.  For Math: Geometry, I gather whatever special materials are noted in the Geometry I chose. In general, I have on hand a compass, a protractor, a rule, a bound lined notebook that lays flat easily, and a graph paper.

Thoughts on Record Keeping

For high school, I keep my student’s completed notebooks, binders, and workbooks. I put these all in order on a shelf each year, along with the checked off Heart of Dakota guide itself. Together these create a detailed record of the work that has been done to earn credit. Using www.transcriptmaker.com, I create my student’s transcript. I also keep on file any required paperwork for my state, such as approved homeschool exemption forms and completed standardized test results. Each state can vary slightly in requirements for homeschooling, so be sure to check out your own state’s requirements at www.hslda.com.

Label Sticky Tabs to Mark Places in the WH Guide

Next, I label sticky tabs to mark places in my guide. I label the first tab “DAILY PLANS,” placing it on Unit 1, Day 1. If you are going to do things more as they come up in the plans, rather than how I’ve previously described setting up for WH, then you would also want to make sticky tabs for “LITERARY SYNTHESIS,” “WORD AND IDEA HELPER SHEET,” and “DICTATION,” placing them in the WH guide’s Appendix. One final thing I liked to do is make a photocopy of the Narration Tips, Written Narration Tips, and Written Narration Skills.  Carrie does give permission to photocopy these. I keep these lists for me and for my student to reference throughout the year. However, you can just put another tab in WH’s Appendix for “NARRATION TIPS,” if you’d rather.

Shopping for Supplies

Carrie’s plans use readily available household supplies, and many options are suggested. However, to get ready to begin WH, I just stock up on usual art supplies – like colored pencils, thick and thin markers, a few permanent markers and high-lighters, glue (sticks and liquid), scissors, construction paper, tissue paper (colored), tape (masking and clear), a ruler, a yardstick, sticky notes/tabs, paints/paintbrushes, cotton balls, yarn/string, etc. I also stock up on index cards and page protectors. Finally, a flashlight, paperclips, paper plates, food coloring, marker board with dry erase markers, and q-tips/toothpicks are also nice to have on hand.

Sorting Resources into “Things We Need Now” and “Things We Need Later” Bins or Totes

One of the last things I do is get two canvas bins.  I use one for ‘things we need now’ and the other for ‘things we need later.’ As I read through each box of my first week of WH’s plans, I put each needed resource in the bin  for ‘things we need now.’ I put the remaining items in the bin for ‘things we need later.’ Throughout the year as we finish using resources, I put them in the back of the ‘things we need later’ bin, and I move the next books or resources we need into the ‘things we need now’ bin or tub. This way, my ‘things we need now’ bin only contains what we need for each week. Another benefit is the ‘things we need now’ are always mobile! Likewise, I put many art supplies in a tool turnabout, so these are mobile too!

In Christ,
Julie

 

There are few “normal” days of homeschooling.

Teaching Tip: 

There are few “normal” days of homeschooling.

One thing I am discovering as I am getting older is there are few “normal” days of homeschooling. Life is often filled with unexpected surprises. The further we travel down life’s path, health and medical issues are bound to crop up. Issues may arise within our own families, our extended families, or both. This is just a part of living in a sinful world where our bodies break down with the passing of time. What a glorious blessing that the earth is not our eternal home and our bodies will one day be made new again!

Let your HOD guide be a help during uncertain times.

With the fragility of health in mind, it is a huge blessing the HOD guides have all your planning done. I am thankful the guides are truly open-and-go. Over the past year, we have really put the open-and-go claim to the test! Our son Greyson struggled with his health and was in and out of the hospital 160+ days. Since we never knew when we would have to head to the hospital, often there was no time to prepare. With the specialty hospital 4 hours away, we had a myriad of teachers come and go to help at home. Both grandmas took a turn teaching. Our older sons alternated teaching with working on their college classes. Some days my sister taught our youngest son along with her own boys. Many days we had to have our sons do as much as they could on their own. Upon our return, we picked up where the other teachers left off and jumped right back in. Even with all sorts of teachers popping in to do different parts, we went forward with our HOD guides in hand. The guides were a constant “normal” in our ever-changing days.

What should you do if a situation of duress arises?

So, what should you do when a situation of duress arises? If the situation is short lived, it makes sense to downshift and do whatever you must. If the situation is longer term, the advice we most often hear is to shift down to doing only the 3R’s. Yet, doing only the 3R’s leaves a houseful of kids who still need something to do all day. So in our situation, we decided to go forward with our HOD guides even if we were limping through. Of course there are extreme situations, where downshifting to the basics makes sense. Just be sure to watch so this doesn’t become the norm.

Let your HOD guide provide needed structure to your days.

In times of duress, let the pattern of the HOD guides give your school days some normalcy. Your kids will recognize and take comfort in the pattern, even if you aren’t there. Don’t spend precious time thinking of how to cut back, shift, change, add, adapt, or subtract from the HOD guide. Instead, just teach the guide “as is” and progress steadily forward day by day. Let the guide provide needed structure in the good times and the tough times. Try it, and you may find (as I have) that you are actually relieved to have the guides drive your days.

Blessings,
Carrie