Worried about inappropriate content? HOD books are pre-screened for you! 

Heart of Dakota Tidbit:

Worried about inappropriate content? HOD books are pre-screened for you!

Did you know that all of the literature books included in the HOD catalog and on the HOD website have been pre-read by Carrie to make sure that there is no objectionable words or inappropriate content? The books that are listed in the Sample Book Ideas list that comes with Drawn into the Heart of Reading have not all been pre-read by Carrie. The books in the Sample Book Ideas list have been very well reviewed and highly recommended, but there may be inappropriate content. So, keep this in mind as you are choosing books for your children to read.

Have a great weekend!

What should my student use for literature when using World History for 11th grade?

Dear Carrie

What should my student use for literature if she is using the World History guide for 11th grade?

Dear Carrie,

I have always loved your book choices! However, my oldest will be a junior next year. Sadly, she won’t be able to finish all of the high school guides. She is using Heart of Dakota’s World Geography for 10th grade. Next year when she is a junior, she will be using World History. I am wondering if I should just follow the literature path you have laid out in World History? Since we’ve used Heart of Dakota since she’s been in 5th grade, she has obviously read tons of great books! I just don’t want to miss some of the classics that she should have. So, my question is, what are your thoughts on what she should use for literature if she is using World History for 11th grade?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Unsure About Literature When Using World History for 11th Grade”

Dear “Ms. Unsure About Literature When Using World History for 11th Grade,”

As far as the novels for the literature portion, I made a point to put novels I consider especially important in the opening guides of the high school program. The novels in the World Geography guide are classics that are a tremendous stepping stone to the more difficult reading and difficult themes found in the World History guide’s literature.

The novels in the World History literature plans are memorable and timeless.

I believe many of the novels in the literature portion of the World History guide are unmatched for their quality and their themes, while still being enjoyable to read. They are memorable and timeless, lingering in the mind long after the book is completed.  They have stood the test of time and remain classics today.

I had my oldest son read several of these books as a senior, as I didn’t have the rest of the high school guides written, and I felt these novels were not to be missed.

I felt these novels were so important that I had my oldest son read several on that list when he was a senior (as I didn’t have all of the high school guides written yet). This was simply because I did not want him to exit high school without experiencing those books. He read Ben-Hur, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Les Miserables (along with other novels I added for his final year of high school). They were some of his favorite books of that year. My husband read all 3 as well, simply because our son was so enthused about them. I cannot say enough about these titles. The life lessons to be learned as students read these books, the quotable lines of the characters, the rich language, and the allusions to the Bible in these books are amazing.

Thoughts on The Scarlet Pimpernel and Pearl Maiden

My oldest son also chose to read several sequels to The Scarlet Pimpernel. This was simply because he loved the first one so much! In fact, my husband greatly enjoyed The Scarlet Pimpernel too. My older sister, who was a high school literature teacher and has homeschooled her 7 kiddos, said it was one of her favorites of all time.  This makes The Scarlet Pimpernel a winner here. Our son had read the other books on the World History literature list in previous years, with the exception of Pearl Maiden, which we included because of its terrific themes and because it is a great Haggard book (much preferred by me over Haggard’s classic King Solomon’s Mines, which I did not like due to its dark violence).

Thoughts on A Man for All Seasons

After watching the movie version of A Man for All Seasons, and having our pastor refer to it in a sermon, my husband and I discovered that play was such a picture into the time of Henry the VIII that it had to be included. What a classic I found it to be after I read it alongside the study of that time period! It brings up another side to Cranmer and Luther and another side to the conflict between the Church of England and the Catholic Church. This book too shows up on many classic book lists for a reason!

Thoughts on King Arthur

I believe reading about the legend of King Arthur, even with the character of Merlin, is important. This is because the legends of Arthur are a part of understanding medieval times. They show Britain at a time when the Christian religion was overtaking the religion of the Celtic Druids of the past. Known for his themes of bravery, honor, and love, Howard Pyle’s Arthur with his noble traits illustrates the selflessness a king should have for his people. It was for these traits that Arthur is remembered in legend, and those legends show up in so many ways everywhere! Please note that this is the only version of the Arthurian legends that we recommend!

Thoughts on Julius Caesar and Animal Farm

Julius Caesar is one of the “tamer” of Shakespeare’s plays innuendo-wise. It also omits the bawdy humor that is found in other Shakespeare plays. Exploring the issue of how the thirst for power affects those who desire it is a good life lesson that comes out in Julius Caesar. Furthermore, the play draws you in with the inner-workings of who is really able to be trusted as you see the conspiracy play out (and watch its aftermath). Animal Farm is a book that really shows socialism in a way that students will never forget. It is terrific to read along with the time period of WWII, which is where I included it.

Thoughts on The Celestial Railroad

The Celestial Railroad is a wonderful book to read after reading Pilgrim’s Progress. This is because Hawthorne’s version of travel to the Celestial City has been updated to reflect modern times. Travelers no longer have to walk to the city but can instead travel by train. Their burdens are no longer carried on their backs but instead are stowed in the luggage compartment! When Celestial Railroad is read as students are completing Pilgrim’s Progress, it has a huge impact! I chose to end the year with Celestial Railroad for this reason.

In Closing

As you can see, I wouldn’t want your student to miss the books on the World History literature list. I feel they are amazing classics that all students should read. In closing, I would recommend having your daughter use the World History literature this year. Truly, I hope she enjoys it as much as our sons did!

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Drawn into the Heart of Reading: A Multi-Level Reading Program That Works with Any Books

From Our House to Yours

Drawn into the Heart of Reading:  A Multi-Level Reading Program That Works with Any Books

Picture your child curled up on the couch reading a wonderful book, enjoying each page, and then sharing the excitement of what was read with you!  You can make this happy ‘picture’ a reality with Drawn into the Heart of Reading!  Written for students 7-15 years old, this Heart of Dakota multi-level reading program can help your children either become or remain passionate about books, while still teaching all the necessary reading skills. You can use any books with Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR), as the plans are genre-based.  Likewise, you not only get to choose the books your children read, you also get to choose the pacing of reading them.  This ensures your children will love the books and read them at a pace that fits them best!

So, how is Drawn into the Heart of Reading designed?

Drawn into the Heart of Reading is designed for use with students of multiple ages at the same time. The plans include instructions and activities that work with any literature.  You can use DITHOR for your entire reading program, or you can use it as a supplement to an existing program.  Students in grades 2-8 can use DITHOR year after years, as they move through the various levels of reading instruction. DITHOR is structured around daily plans that are divided into 3 levels of instruction. These levels include 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7/8. DITHOR is also divided into 9 units, which can be taught in any order.

What genre studies are included in Drawn into the Heart of Reading?

Drawn into the Heart of Reading includes 9 genre studies.  This exposes students to a variety of literary styles, ensuring they read from every type of literature.  The result?  Not only do students learn the necessary skills for each type of literature; they also learn to love new kinds of books!  The genres can be done in any order, so you can start with your student’s favorite genre or choose any order you prefer.  The 9 genres include biography, historical fiction, mystery, nonfiction, realistic fiction, adventure, fantasy, folk tale, and humor.

How are Godly character lessons a part of Drawn into the Heart of Reading?

In Drawn into the Heart of Reading, Godly character lessons evaluate a character’s actions using a Christian standard that is based on Godly character traits. The major traits emphasized are faith, fear of the Lord, responsibility, brotherly love, loyalty, virtue, obedience, joy, and integrity.  Each major trait has sub-qualities as well.  In the Godly character part of the plans, each trait includes a definition and a key Scripture verse.  Children use their own Bibles to read about a Biblical character who showed the trait. Then, you share with your children a time in your own life you showed that trait. Next, children search for characters in the book they are reading who are or are not showing that trait. Finally, children see if they themselves are showing this trait.

How are story elements taught in Drawn into the Heart of Reading?

The story element lessons in Drawn into the Heart of Reading focus on a different element for each genre. The story elements included are character, setting, conflict, mood, prediction, compare and contrast, cause and effect, main idea and theme, and point of view.  Story elements are connected with the genres they most naturally match. So, for example, the story element ‘conflict’ is matched with the genre ‘adventure.’  The story element ‘prediction’ is matched with the genre ‘mystery,’ and so on. This paves the way for success in future in-depth literature studies, such as those found in high school.

What else can be found in Drawn into the Heart of Reading?

So much more can be found in Drawn into the Heart of Reading! Prereading activities create a purpose for reading the text. Students gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the text through guided literature discussions. They learn different strategies to help discover the meanings of unfamiliar words in the text through vocabulary activities. Not to mention, students get choose from a variety of creative projects that address the needs of all types of learners. Project choices include Godly character project options, book based project options, or group project options. So, there truly is a project for any student that can be enjoyed!

Drawn into the Heart of Reading is so customizable, yet it still meets all necessary reading requirements!  It gives a ‘book club’ feel to keep the love of reading flowing, while still delivering all of the necessary skills that need to be taught to prepare students for the requirements of both standardized testing and high school level literature.  Choose from Carrie’s favorite books choices via DITHOR book packs, or choose your own literature on your own or with the help of Carrie’s Sample Book Ideas List.  Either way, HOD’s award winning Drawn into the Heart of Reading is sure to turn your children into book-loving students, while still teaching all the necessary skills that must be taught!  Why not get to making memories like the ones I’ve tried to share with you with these pics of precious memories of my own kiddos, today?!?

In Christ,

Julie

 

How Best to Use the BJU Teacher’s Guide in HOD’s World Geography

Dear Carrie,

How do I best use the BJU Teacher’s Guide in HOD’s World Geography year?

We have used Heart of Dakota for many years and enjoyed it very much. My son and I just started World Geography, and our start went so well!  However, I have a quick question about the BJU teacher’s guide for literature. There are so many facets to the BJU teaching guide. So, my question is, do I have my student only answer the questions after the story when HOD’s World Geography plans say to do so? I hope so!  But, I am just checking to be sure. Thanks in advance for your help!

Sincerely,

“Please Help Me Know How to Best Use the BJU Teacher’s Guide”

Dear “Please Help Me Know How to Best Use the BJU Teacher’s Guide,”

I’d be happy to help you decide how to best use the BJU Teacher’s Guide!  I’ve had some practice figuring that out myself. We just completed the HOD World Geography guide this past year with our third son. So, I’ll share a few things we’ve discovered about the literature.

You can view the Student Reader as a series of living stories to be enjoyed.

As far as the BJU lit goes, it really helps if you can view the Student Reader as a series of living stories that we want the students to primarily enjoy as they read. We don’t want them to feel like they must also be dissecting as they read.  Likewise, we don’t want them to feel like they must elicit a whole host of specific responses. So, in order to allow them to enjoy the story, we must not get between the story and the reader. This means we need to let students just read the story from the reader without the aid of any Teacher’s Notes or without focusing on the end story questions the first trip through.

You can follow the HOD World Geography guide’s plans to know how to assign the questions in BJU.

Next, after reading the story, the HOD guide will assign the student questions from the end of the story. The World Geography plans will note when to answer in writing and when to meet with the teacher to discuss. Even at this point, it’s not advisable to be sharing all of the Teacher’s Notes for each question with the student. In fact, we don’t want to expect the student to answer even remotely as fully as the notes suggest. In my opinion, the notes are exhaustive and are meant to provide any and all possible answers that any student may share.

You can think of the Teacher’s Notes as Cliff Notes rather than as required answers.

I see the Teacher’s Notes as a Cliff’s Notes version meant to aid the teacher rather than as a grading rubric meant to show the ideal answer a student should give. Keep in mind that these notes were written for a classroom teacher. In a classroom, the discussion of a question would result in many varied responses. There would be a lengthy discussion from a whole group of students. This is a very different situation than we have in the homeschool setting with a single student being required to answer all the questions alone!

Students can read through the Teacher’s Notes just for the questions they are struggling to answer.

If the student is struggling with an answer to a question or has been especially short with an answer, then this is the time I’d have the student read through the Teacher’s Notes for only that question. The purpose of this is to simply give them a few more ideas of the direction he/she could have gone with his/her response. There is no need to have the student read the Teacher’s Notes for every question. This may result in the student feeling inferior and inadequate in his/her responses. We definitely don’t want the student thinking he/she can never come up with the breadth and insight the manual suggests for a response.

I learned a lot from using BJU American Lit along with full-length novels for my oldest son’s 11th grade year.

Before scheduling BJU lit for grade 9 in our World Geography guide, my oldest son and I went through BJU American Lit for his 11th grade year. The BJU American Lit is even fuller than the grade 9 lit! I also added a lot of full-length novels to my poor oldest son’s year. We learned a lot that year about what was too much for lit, about how many novels are appropriate to read,  and about what was really helpful or enjoyable overall.

So, as I began World Geography with my second son, I took a lower key approach to the BJU lit. I simply allowed him to read and do exactly what it says in the HOD World Geography guide’s plans.  Likewise, I did not delve so deeply into the BJU Teacher’s guide and all of its materials. We had a much better year, my son loved the stories, loved the boy set novels, and learned a lot!

You can use the manual more as a reference for your student’s answers.

So, I would encourage you to keep the manual only for reference for you as your student answers. Share the answers from the manual for only the questions that the student either misses entirely or answers very succinctly. Make sure you let your student know that the manual gives every answer you might encounter in a classroom of students. Be sure the student doesn’t feel like he never gets the answer “right.” So, by following the lit plans in the World Geography guide and by using the BJU Teacher’s Notes in this manner, your year in lit should be a terrific year!

Blessings,

Carrie

P.S. If you are new to Heart of Dakota, check out our Top Ten Questions!

P.S.S. If you are wondering about placement in high school in Heart of Dakota, click here!

 

Use coupon code LB-BHC for 10% off the Deluxe Package – Classic Interest in Bigger Hearts for His Glory!

Library Builder

Use coupon code LB-BHC for 10% on this month’s Library Builder book set: The Deluxe Package – Classic Interest in Bigger Hearts for His Glory!

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 LB-BHC on our website for the entire month of July to apply the savings to your order. The coupon applies to the Bigger Hearts for His Glory deluxe package – classic interest set of books.   To view all of the books in this set, just click here!

This set of books contains nine read-aloud titles, one for each genre of literature that is scheduled in the storytime part of the plans in  Bigger Hearts for His Glory. Each book is used for 20 days of the plans.

How is the Storytime part of the plans in Bigger Hearts for His Glory used throughout the year?

(From the Introduction of Bigger Hearts for His Glory):

Storytime
Daily storytime sessions are based on literature that is read aloud from the following nine genres: Biography, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Nonfiction, Humor, Realistic Fiction, and Folk Tale. Each type of literature is read aloud for 20 days, except for Folk Tale which is read aloud for 10 days.

The instructions and activities are written to be used with any literature. This flexibility allows you to use your own discretion in selecting literature to read aloud to your students. The structure also allows you to select the pace at which you’ll complete your read aloud selection.

Each 5 day unit in the guide includes the following reading activities in coordination with the read-aloud assignments:
*1st Day: introduce and study different types of literature
*2nd Day: model narration to foster comprehension
*3rd Day: identify and analyze a different story element for each genre
*4th Day: relate personally to one Godly character trait, compare Biblical and book characters, and make a bookmark as a reminder of the trait
*5th Day: practice narration by retelling the story in a variety of ways

Use coupon code LB-BHC to save!

To apply this month’s savings, just enter coupon code LB-BHC 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