How does the writing in Resurrection to Reformation build good writers?

Dear Carrie

Can you tell me a little about the writing in Resurrection to Reformation? I know it’s Medieval History-Based Writing using IEW. However, I know there are other things that round out writing too. Are there any other things you can tell me about the writing in Resurrection to Reformation? We are using Heart of Dakota’s Creation to Christ now. However, we did an online class for writing instead of what was planned in Creation to Christ. We are not liking the online class. I wish we had just stuck with the writing in CTC. I’m just thinking ahead for next year when we move up to Resurrection to Reformation. I want my son to be a strong writer. I am familiar with IEW, but I want to know more about the rest of the writing in RTR. Thanks in advance!


“Ms. Please Help Me Build a Strong Writer”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me Build a Strong Writer,”

One thing to keep in mind about writing is that it is a skill progressive subject. Some kiddos are more natural writers than others. However, all kiddos can learn to be writers if they are regularly exposed to great writing. Students are exposed to great writing through the literature that they read in Heart of Dakota (HOD). They become even better writers by receiving practice in modeling great writing. Students do this through oral and written narration in HOD. They become still better writers when they are taught strong grammar and sentence-building skills by using an excellent English program. This is why students use Rod and Staff English in HOD. Finally, students become the very best writers they can be by rounding out their writing repertoire by being taught the specific skills of writing. This is why students use various formal writing programs in HOD.

The skills needed to progress as a writer come from many different areas.

So, you can see that the skills needed to progress as a writer come from many different areas. We strive to address all of these areas within HOD. This means that as the student progresses down the HOD path, he/she will gain the skills needed to become a better writer (incrementally a little at a time). This also means that depending on how much experience the child is gaining in each of these areas, he/she may have a differing level of success with the various writing programs within HOD from other students.

The child’s literature, narration, grammar, dictation, and writing experience in HOD work together to eventually produce a writer!

So, while it may seem like certain writing programs work better for certain kiddos, it truly is the sum total of the child’s literature/narration/grammar/dictation/writing experiences that add up to success. This is why when looking at writing to help place a student in a Heart of Dakota guide, we typically ask questions about the other language arts areas as well. All of these areas work together to eventually produce a writer!

Students new to HOD should begin with the writing program that is in the guide they placed.

For those who are new to HOD, we typically suggest beginning with the writing program that is within whatever HOD guide the student ends up using for the rest of his/her day. This is because the student will make gains as we begin addressing all areas needed to improve as a writer throughout the daily plans. The writing program is just one component of that progress.

Each writing program within HOD emphasizes a different facet of writing and is kept in balance with the rest of the written assignments in the guide.

Yet, each writing program within HOD is selected to emphasize a different facet of writing. It is scheduled to give balance to a child’s school day (keeping in mind all other subjects and the volume of writing within those). So, your child will also feel better balanced skill-wise and time-wise if he/she does the writing program scheduled within the guide. The writing programs are also scheduled with the parent’s teaching time in mind, providing an ebb and flow from guide to guide. So, there are many benefits to doing the writing programs scheduled within your guide.   Of course, it is fine to borrow a program from a previous guide, if you feel your child will be overly challenged with the program scheduled in your current guide.


Poetry – Another Hidden Gem in Your Heart of Dakota Guides!

Heart of Dakota Tidbit

Poetry study is included in Heart of Dakota guides!

HOD Value: Did you know that each of the HOD guides up to high school have a full-blown poetry study included in their daily lesson plans? Many poetry books are between $15- $20. So, the hidden value in each of our guides is conservatively $15.00.

Have a great weekend!

How much time are you spending on language arts and math?

Teaching Tip:

This is the next post in our series of things to check if your school day seems too long. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Are you using Heart of Dakota’s choices for language arts and math?

If so, this will help keep your day balanced time-wise and skill-wise with the rest of the guide. The Heart of Dakota guide schedules a careful mix of subjects and skills each day. This schedule takes into account how much reading, writing, and math students are doing each day. So, by using HOD’s choices, your day is planned to be balanced.

Are you using some of your own selections for language arts and math?

If you are using your own selections, check how much time you spend on language arts and math daily. Be sure the time you spend on these areas aligns with time spent on these same areas in our guide. Otherwise, you will find your day going longer than planned simply due to differing language arts and math choices.

How much time should language arts and math take each day?

Language arts and math are the biggest time stealers in the day. They can easily take over the day, leaving little time for other subjects. So, strive to note how often we schedule writing, dictation, Drawn into the Heart of Reading, and grammar. Also, note how long these subjects are likely to take as scheduled in the guide. If you are not sure how long these subjects take, ask on the Heart of Dakota Message Board or on our Facebook page. Then, stick to a similar schedule. Take care that math does not overtake your day either. Balance in language arts and math is key to finishing your school day on time! So, strive for balance in these important areas and see if your day goes better!

Here are a few other past teaching tip posts that may also help you if your day is running a little longer than you would like:

Are you encouraging your children to do the independent boxes of plans on their own?

Have a Written Routine and Provide it to Your Child


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