Honor Towards Parents

A Charlotte Mason Moment

Honor Towards Parents

Honor towards Parents – This brings us to the consideration of that education in morals which the young people must get at home, or not at all. The chief of their duties, that which should be kept always before the young, is the duty they owe to their parents; from this stem, all their other duties, to kindred, commonwealth, and neighbours, branch out; and more, they only perceive their obligations to Almighty God in proportion as they know what they owe to their human parents. (Home Education by Charlotte M. Mason Vol. 5, p. 197)

Personal Style Within the Structure of the Plans, Part 2

From Our House to Yours

Can you encourage personal style within the provided structure of Heart of Dakota’s plans?

You certainly can! In fact, as I shared last week, the opportunity for personal style is already part of Heart of Dakota’s plans. You may be wondering, then how are both included? Well, the daily plans provide specific guidelines for each school subject, which gives structure for each assignment. Structure might include which kind of oral narration to give, how many sentences to write, what headings to use, etc. So, needed parameters are given, but they need not squelch the creativity of personal style!

If you would like to see last week’s post (Part 1), click below:
Personal Style Within the Structure of the Plans, Part 1

How can students get creative with their personal style then?

Excellent question! Well, blessedly personal style is a natural part of a living books approach to homeschooling. Better yet, a living books approach to learning is already included in every Heart of Dakota guide! Narrations have structure, like which book to read, which pages to narrate upon, and which kind of narration to give. But, they also encourage personal style. Students can choose which parts to retell, what manner to retell them, and what connections they’ve made. This is the opposite of a textbook and workbook approach, which includes a more encyclopedia-like ‘facts only’ response. Similarly, the different assessments included in the structure of the plans are the opposite of ‘test and forget it’ assessments.

Do you have some examples of personal style being encouraged within the structure of the plans?

I sure do! I’m so glad you asked because this is what I wanted to share with you in my weekly check-in. Let’s chat about my son, Riley, this week, who is using World Geography this year. I’ll start with the Living Library one-sentence summary assignment. This assignment is harder than it seems! In fact, as Riley is my detailed narrator, trying to respond to his reading with a one-sentence summary is difficult. At the start of the guide, he chose the option to write 3 sentences on scratch paper first. Then, he took each of the most important parts from the 3 sentences and consolidated them into one sentence. Twenty-three units into the year, he no longer chooses to start with 3 sentences. In fact, he has become adept at writing a one-sentence summary with every part the guide asks him to include.

This assignment is the perfect follow-up to his Living Library reading. It does not ‘get between the child and the book,’ as Charlotte Mason would applaud. Keep in mind, this isn’t a required part of earning credit, but rather a way to earn extra credit. So, as a follow-up to the already extra reading of the Living Library, the assignment is kept appropriately short.

Living Library One-Sentence Summary Assignment
Heart of Dakota World Geography Living Library
World Geography Living Library One-Sentence Summary Assignment

Structure in the Plans:

•certain pages must be read
•a one sentence summary must be written
•the main character(s), the main action taken, any important conflict, the goal, and the setting must be included

Personal Style:

•option to write 3 sentences on scratch paper first
•chose what to include in summary
•chose to read aloud summary to me

A Few Things to Remember:

This is an extra credit option in the plans, so if the summary isn’t the exact sentence you would have written – in the name of personal style – let it be! However, structure demands the summary is limited to one sentence and includes the main character, a main action taken, a conflict, a goal and a setting.

World Geography Written Narration Assignment
World Geography Heart of Dakota Written Narration
World Geography Written Narration Assignment

Structure in the Plans:

•read assigned Mapping the World with Art pages
•needs to be 3-4 paragraphs long
•must be read aloud to try to catch any mistakes
•need to stick to the topic, support it with details, write in the author’s style, include a strong opening and closing
•must use the Written Narration Skills in the Appendix to edit

 

Personal Style:

•pick his own details to retell
•decide whether to write 3 or 4 paragraphs
•chose whether to write in print or in cursive
•pick his own way to open and close his narration

A Few Things to Remember:

This isn’t a quiz! So, if your student didn’t write what you’d have written – for the sake of personal style – let it be! However, structure demands reading, writing at least 3 paragraphs, reading it aloud, including noted parameters, and editing. If it’s not legible enough for the student to read aloud, that’s not ok either. This is just one more reason not to skip this step!

Geography Activities Assignment:
World Geography Heart of Dakota Activities
World Geography Activities Assignment

Structure in the Plans:

•need to watch DVD Scenic Cruises of the World
•must make bulleted list of important things to experience or see
•need to make lists for 3 provided topics

Personal Style:

•decide his own details to include in his bulleted lists
•pick whether to write list in phrases or in sentences
•decide whether to write in print or cursive
•chose to read his notes aloud to me

A Few Things to Remember:

This isn’t a composition assignment for English credit. It’s a response to a DVD viewing of geographical places being studied. So, if your student didn’t write complete sentences or certain facts – for personal style – let it be! However, structure demands the DVD is viewed and bulleted notes are written pertinent to each provided topic.

World Religion and Culture’s Assignment:
World Religion and Culture - Heart of Dakota
World Religion and Culture’s Assignment

Structure in the Plans:

•must read the assigned pages of the book
•need to answer each of the provided questions
•must answer the questions over multiple days as assigned

 

Personal Style:

•chose how much detail to include in his answers
•decide whether to write in phrases or in sentences
•chose whether to write in print or cursive
•pick to read his answers aloud to me (he orally shared his page numbers/quotes for #2)

A Few Things to Remember:

This isn’t a composition assignment for English credit. It’s a response to a DVD viewing of geographical places being studied. So, if your student didn’t write complete sentences or certain facts – for personal style – let it be! However, structure demands the DVD is viewed and bulleted notes are written pertinent to each provided topic.

Next week, I’ll share Part 3 of this series on personal style within the structure of the plans. That final post will be in regard to my son, Wyatt, who is completing U.S. History II this year. Hope you had a good week, ladies!

In Christ,
Julie

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Heart of Dakota

Enjoy Your Everyday Heart of Dakota Life

A Heart of Dakota Life

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him – for this is his part. Ecclesiastes 5:18

Every day is a gift to be enjoyed to its fullest!

Every day is a gift God is giving us to enjoy and live to its fullest. The only life we can enjoy is our own! It does no good to think to ourselves, “I’d enjoy my life if I had your life.” Nor does it do any good to tell ourselves, “I’ll enjoy my life later.” Life is meant to be enjoyed now! With Heart of Dakota, our everyday life is already quite enjoyable. The guides Carrie has written naturally add variety and fun to the day. But sometimes life is complicated, and it can tend to be stressful. Do you feel stressed and long for simpler days? Well, the good news is in the ‘labor’ God has given us as homeschool moms, we have much control over our everyday life!

Ideas to help you enjoy everyday life to its fullest!

Today I thought I’d share a few things I’ve found that help us enjoy our everyday Heart of Dakota life to its fullest. They may seem small, but they have a great impact on our attitude and approach to life. Some of them may appeal to you, and others may not. But, hopefully they will jump start your dream of how you want your homeschool days to be set up to be filled with joy!

How can you start your day with joy?

Creation to Christ Notebook• I spend 10-30 minutes in my bed first thing with a favorite devotional of mine to start my day right. Devotionals that I find encouraging and joyful are helpful in setting a happy tone for the day for me.

• The boys and I meet in our pj’s in my bed one on one in the morning to do a ‘slow start’ to school. We usually do our Bible time together there and go over any independent work completed as ‘homework’ the night before.

• Starting our day with Christian praise music playing in the kitchen gives a cheerful tone during our chores and showers. Creating Christian playlists as a family makes sure everyone gets to look forward to hearing favorite songs each day.

How can you keep enjoying your day during homeschooling?

Snacks and Drinks• Having a time for snacks and drinks mid-morning and another time mid-afternoon keeps our bodies fueled for the day. Hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles and coffee for me are favorites, along with air-popped popcorn with different toppings.

Using our whole house to homeschool keeps us all comfortable and gives variety to the day. Cuddling up on the couch in the living room with the fireplace on for Storytime readings is cozy. Using the kitchen for science experiments, the dining room table for seatwork, or the CD player upstairs keeps us moving. My son even set up an impromptu blanket area by the fireplace for Storytime last week – what fun!

candles - enjoying your day• I like to light candles and put them on the tables we use for homeschooling. Getting different candles and letting the boys pick their favorite scent to light at their work area has been lovely. The birthday sprinkle candle from the dollar store has been the most beloved!

How do you finish your day with joy?

• We like to hang the best day’s work in strong magnet clips on the fridge. When Dad gets home, we share our work with him during supper. This is especially effective with younger children!

• Stickers… yes, kiddos do still love stickers on their work! Monster trucks are a favorite for one of our sons. For older kiddos, positive comments such as “Way to go!” or “Fantastic!” written on their papers are encouraging too!

• Planned meeting times where each child shares his work with me gives individual attention. It also gives time for me to correct work, so we start our next day with yesterday’s work totally done.

Snap pictures of your happiest Heart of Dakota homeschool moments. Print them to hang on the fridge or load them for a slideshow on a digital photoframe. This is a visual reminder of how much we have enjoyed our homeschooling with Heart of Dakota through the years.

In conclusion, these are just a few ideas to help you consider how you can best enjoy your everyday life with Heart of Dakota! The first step to enjoying our everyday life is just remembering to be grateful for the lives God has given us. This ‘labor’ of love we call homeschooling truly is a blessing meant to be enjoyed. Take time to enjoy your life today rather than waiting for tomorrow. Happy homeschool mamas make happy homeschool children – so do what you can to approach each day with joy!

In Christ,
Julie

PS – For those of you who like to use the app Bloglovin, we wanted to let you know that we have added our blog to this site.

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Heart of Dakota