How should I handle the English credit for MTMM for 9th grade?

Pondering Placement

Question: My daughter will do MTMM as a 9th grader. I have it all figured out, except how should I handle the English credit?

I’ve been mapping out my 12 year old’s progression through Heart of Dakota. She’s in Resurrection to Reformation now. I am confident using Missions to Modern Marvels for 9th grade, except for the English credit. My daughter reads on grade level, but she has to work extra hard to do so. Until this year, I have read all her history, science, and a read aloud to her, while she read mainly historical fiction novels to herself with questions. This year she is reading most of history herself, science by herself, and the DITHOR books herself! She has a hard time with step-by-step directions, which we are working on. She has been apathetic in the past, not caring and only doing j.u.s.t. what was required of her. I just wondered what my options for English credit for MTMM for 9th grade might be?  Thanks in advance!

Carrie’s Reply:

It sounds like your daughter is making good gains this year in RTR. Looking ahead to MTMM’s English credit, you have several good options. To earn English credit you would need to combine the Rod and Staff English level your student is doing (English 6 is scheduled in MTMM, but is very advanced so we typically use it for 8th graders), plus the composition scheduled in MTMM (which is Write with the Best II – and is definitely high school worthy), plus the literature you choose to do. If you desired to keep the guides intact coming up, you would do Drawn into the Heart of Reading for your literature portion. You could use either the level 7/8 book pack or choose harder selections of your own. Either would work for grade 9. Together the grammar/composition/literature would equal one English credit for grade 9.

Or, you could borrow the literature from the guide ahead for another option.

If you borrow the literature from the guide ahead, the only potential problem is you may at times need to borrow the full English credit. This would be to keep needed balance. For MTMM, you could either use the writing program as written and borrow just the literature from World Geography, or if the composition and grammar from World Geography seemed a better fit than the composition and grammar in MTMM, then you could borrow those from World Geography too.  The following year you would borrow the literature from World History. Depending on what you did for composition and grammar the previous year, we would then decide whether to also borrow the grammar and composition from World History or use what was scheduled in World Geography.

You will want to consider how much your daughter is used to reading on her own each day when you make this decision.

One thing that will make a difference in how you handle literature will be how well your student does in this area and whether she is used to reading quite a volume on her own each day. There is quite a difference in volume between what is read for Drawn into the Heart of Reading and what is read for literature in the World Geography guide.  There is also a difference in level of difficulty, vocabulary, and in the level of literary analysis. So, you have several good options for literature for high school English credit!  Either will be fine, so just choose the one that fits your daughter best!

Blessings,
Carrie

Follow-Up Response from Poster…

Thanks for helping me think this part through! I had two main reasons for switching to HOD. I fearfully decided to switch after 7 years with another curriculum. One was because my girls became very passive in their learning with our previous curriculum/style and the. The second reason was their relationship with the Lord. At 7-1/2 weeks in, I will say that both of my older daughters are not as passive, and they are engaging with the material more with HOD’s teaching! I was skeptical when seeing people rave about HOD, but now that we’ve dipped our feet in, I have become one that raves. Even if it is silently to myself, I am elated with how this is working for us. In fact, the girls beg me to switch totally over to HOD (which we will next year in Rev to Rev). Surprisingly, it’s not because it’s easier. On the contrary, it is much more challenging than before. It leads me to believe that the reason they want more is because they are interested and engaged. Bravo!!

Indomitable: The Faith and Principles of Theodore Roosevelt

History with Heart of Dakota

Who was Theodore Roosevelt?

“The problem with meeting Roosevelt face to face is that you have to go in hating him an awful lot not to come out liking him even more.” – unknown political opponent of Roosevelt’s (Grant 137)

When it comes to American heroes, few accomplished as much as Theodore Roosevelt did in his lifetime. Over nearly 61 years, Theodore Roosevelt…

…the list of his accomplishments goes on and would be worthy of their own blog post. However, today I am going to focus on what fueled all these exploits: Theodore Roosevelt’s indomitable spirit, his principles, and his faith.

An indomitable spirit

“He was forever defying the odds, defying all reason, defying the very physical realities of life in this poor fallen world.” – biographer George Grant (31)

Theodore Roosevelt never had it easy in life. Although many people think of him as being “fit as a Bull Moose,” (Grant 29) as a young boy, he suffered from severe asthma. “I was a sickly, delicate boy,” he would later recall. “[I] suffered much from asthma, and frequently had to be taken away on trips to find a place where I could breathe.” (Grant 32) Concerned that Theodore might live his whole life an invalid, his father told him, “Theodore, you have the mind but you have not the body. And without the body the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make your body. It is hard drudgery to make one’s body, but I know you will do it.” (Grant 34) Theodore’s response was characteristic: “I’ll make my body. By heaven, I will.” (Grant 35)

Principles of a leader

“Right is right and wrong is wrong. Woe be unto the man who shies away from the battle for justice and righteousness simply because the minions of injustice and unrighteousness are arrayed against him.” – Theodore Roosevelt (Grant 113)

One thing that stands out about Theodore Roosevelt is his unflinching dedication to principles. The circumstances of his life varied wildly – from frontiersman to American President. However, the way he conducted his life never changed. He treated each person with genuine interest, regardless of their race or cultural standing. Also, although he believed in peace, he was willing to fight for worthwhile causes. “I abhor unjust war,” he once commented. “I abhor injustice and bullying by the strong at the expense of the weak, whether among nations or individuals. I abhor violence and bloodshed. But it takes strength to put a stop to abhorrent things.” (Grant 129)

Because of his unwillingness to advocate peace at any price, some critics labeled him a “warmonger.” Nonetheless, although Roosevelt built up America’s military might, his two terms as president were “among the most peaceful and harmonious in all of American history.” (Grant 128)

Christian faith

“Walk humbly; you will do so if you study the life and teachings of the Savior, walking in His steps.” – Theodore Roosevelt (Grant 186)

Unlike some historical figures, there is no doubt as to whether or not Theodore Roosevelt was a Christian. He once said, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” (Grant 167) His own life proved this to be correct. The principles he lived by owed their roots to none other than the Bible. For Theodore, the Bible contained truths that deserved to be lived out, whether he was enacting public policy or capturing boat thieves in the Dakota territories. “Every thinking man…” he argued, “realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed.” (Grant 168)

A legacy worth carrying on

“Before a man can discipline other men, he must demonstrate his ability to discipline himself. Before he may be allowed the command of commission, he must evidence command of character. Look then to the work of his hands. Hear the words of his mouth. By his fruit you shall know him.”  – Theodore Roosevelt (Grant 163)

As I studied to write this blog post, I was struck by how practical Roosevelt’s principles still are today. We all have people who look up to us in some way, shape, or form. From Roosevelt’s dedication to leading by example, we can learn how to better influence those people. We all fear failure sometimes. To us, Roosevelt says, “There is no disgrace in a failure, only in a failure to try.” (Grant 142)

Finally, there are times – especially when raising a family – that we feel insignificant when we consider our personal successes. After a lifetime of personal success, Roosevelt tells us, “No other success in life – not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or anything else – comes up to the success of the man and woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up to call them blessed.” (Grant 91)

In a day and age when relativism and narcissism rules, we would do well to emulate Roosevelt’s solid faith and selflessness. More importantly, Roosevelt’s example should cause us to look up and see the Savior that he so loved. In the end, just as it was with Roosevelt, so it is with us; in Christ alone can we find the strength to live with indomitable greatness.

Which HOD guides can you find Theodore Roosevelt in?

You can find Theodore Roosevelt in several of Heart of Dakota’s guides! He can be found in Little Hearts for His Glory, Missions to Modern Marvels, and US History II. You can also find a more in-depth study of him in George Grant’s excellent book The Courage and Character of Theodore Roosevelt, which students read in the Boy Living Library package in US History II.

Bibliography

Grant, G. The Courage and Character of Theodore Roosevelt. (Cumberland House Publishing Inc., 2005).

 

PS: Want a closer look at Theodore Roosevelt’s childhood and homeschooling? Have a look at this excellent video playlist by Notgrass History

Charlotte Mason’s Nature Journals in Missions to Modern Marvels

Dear Carrie

How are nature journals planned in a Charlotte Mason way in Missions to Modern Marvels?

Dear Carrie,

My daughter and I have enjoyed Heart of Dakota’s way of including a rotation of Charlotte Mason fine arts. She loved the watercolor painting and poetry in Creation to Christ. Next, she was thrilled with the art and picture study in Resurrection to Reformation. Then, she oohed and ahhed over Revival to Revolution’s music appreciation and composer study. Now, we see there is a Charlotte Mason style nature journal in Missions to Modern Marvels. We’re tentatively excited, but we tried our hand at nature journals when my daughter was much younger. She just didn’t do very well with it. I think I tried it way too young with her and expected way too much. So, my question is, how are nature journals planned in a Charlotte Mason way in Missions to Modern Marvels?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Explain How Nature Journals Are Done”

Dear “Ms. Please Explain How Nature Journals Are Done,”

We’re very excited about the Charlotte Mason style nature journal we have planned in Missions to Modern Marvels! It is titled Nature Drawing and Journaling and is an outstanding product created by Barry Stebbing of How Great Thou Art! This resource was exactly what we were looking for, as it incorporates a love for nature, includes lessons on drawing from nature, guides students in keeping a nature journal, and works to look at nature as God’s glorious handiwork.

As this describes it so well, here is the product description of Nature Drawing and Journaling!

Nature Drawing and Journaling is a unique combination of nature journaling instructions, reflections, and space for your own work. Nature Drawing and Journaling will keep you observing & thinking for as long as you have time. Filled with Barry Stebbing’s 40 years’ worth of insights on studying nature and keeping an art journal, with patience and practice you’ll be able to create your very own! Supply lists, instructions on what a journal is (and is not), and hints on starting your own are provided. The journal pages feature journal entries, full-color illustrations, a quote at the top, and often full-page reproductions of Barry Stebbing’s journal.

Nature-inspired poetry pairs beautifully with Nature Drawing and Journaling!

In tandem with the nature journaling twice weekly, we included nature-inspired poetry from Wordsworth, Longfellow, and Whitman. We spend 12 weeks, which is a Charlotte Mason-style term, on each poet. Nature-based poems provide inspiration for journaling and give lovely narrative to describe God’s handiwork.

An Overall Look at Charlotte Mason’s Fine Arts Skills in Heart of Dakota

With this last choice of doing nature journaling in MTMM, we have done the Charlotte Mason fine arts skills in a 4 year rotation (as you have already mentioned). We did watercolor painting weekly along with Robert Frost’s poetry in CTC. Then, we did art appreciation with picture study in RTR. Next, we did music appreciation with composer study in Rev2Rev (plus classic paintings included throughout the Student Notebook). Finally, we did nature journaling in MTMM.

Additionally, we did classic poetry every year from Beyond Little Hearts on up. We did sketching practice with instruction through Draw and Write from CTC through MTMM. Not to mention, we scheduled hymn singing and hymn appreciation in both Bigger Hearts and MTMM.  I won’t get into high school and Charlotte Mason’s fine arts skills here, but I will just say, I think you and your daughter are sure to enjoy that balance as well!

Blessings,

Carrie

How Best to Approach Typed Key Word Oral Narrations

Dear Carrie

How should we best approach the key word typed oral narration in Missions to Modern Marvels?

Dear Carrie,

My daughter is using Missions to Modern Marvels this year, and she is loving it!  For those of you new to Heart of Dakota, I highly recommend it! Now for my question. My daughter has used Heart of Dakota for many years, and she is excellent at giving oral narrations – too good maybe actually.  When it came to the day I was to type the key word oral narration she gave, I had a hard time keeping up with her. I didn’t want my typing speed to slow down her oral narration, but I couldn’t keep up.  She also wanted to refer to the manual now and then for key words.  Is that alright? I guess my question is, how should we best approach the key word typed oral narration in Missions to Modern Marvels?  Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
“Ms. Please Help with Key Word Typed Oral Narrations”

Dear “Ms. Please Help with Key Word Typed Oral Narrations,”

One thing my hubby did for the typed key word oral narration day was to have my son record his narration on his IPod.  My hubby told my son to try to include most of the key words suggested in the guide in his narration. He allowed him to stop and start the recorder in order to get most the words included. It took my son quite awhile, but he really got into it and actually did a good job including all the words eventually. It also was much easier to type from the recording, as the parent can pause the narration and catch up with the typing or replay as needed. This makes a typed narration much easier to do!

It’s fine to look back in the book for key words, but don’t narrate directly from the book!

Doing a typed narration like this works well if you have a child who has been narrating for awhile, like your daughter. Just make sure the child isn’t looking right at the book as he/she is narrating!  I will admit that my son did have to look back in the book while stopping the recording to see what some of the key words noted in the guide referred to. But, I didn’t think this was all bad either, as it drew his attention to the names and places and forced him to use them in his narration. It also gave time for the parent to catch up on the typing for the typed narration!

Keep in mind, giving key word oral narrations is a higher level skill.

Giving a key word narration that is also meant to be a typed narration is definitely a higher level oral narration skill. So, this wouldn’t be as appropriate for a younger narrator who still needs immediate parental feedback. However, it would work for those who have been narrating awhile and are ready for the next step.  We’ve been doing it this way ever since for the typed narrations and enjoying it immensely!

Blessings,
Carrie

Missions to Modern Marvels: A Seventh or Eighth Grade Program with Optional Extensions

From Our House to Yours

Missions to Modern Marvels: A Seventh or Eighth Grade Homeschool Program with Extensions for Olders

Heart of Dakota‘s Missions to Modern Marvels homeschool curriculum has a target age range of 12-14 years old, with extensions for 15-16 years old.  Geared toward advanced seventh graders or typical eighth graders, this guide offers an inspirational look at the modern times. But, maybe just as importantly, it also equips students to be well prepared for high school. It also can be beefed up for high school, with minimal tweaks and with a little creative borrowing of credits from World Geography

Let’s “meet” the Learning Through History part of the plans!

So, let’s first ‘meet’ the Learning Through History part of MTMM’s plans!  The “Learning Through History” part delves into the time period from the 1890’s to modern day. It is an exciting period that appeals to most teenagers, as it directly relates to the modern world they are living in themselves today!  Just like most teenagers are going through a period of change, this modern time period includes major changes in the world via inventions, industries, discoveries, and modern marvels. This guide provides a “you-are-there” narrative look at American history set within a worldwide context. Students ‘meet’ statesmen, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, inventors, revolutionaries, and leaders of this time. Their accomplishments are celebrated, but in a way that still shows God is sovereign in all – including the making of history – even modern history.

Varied responses to the history readings keep learning fresh!

MTMM’s Economy Package is full of Charlotte Mason-style living books and resources that chronologically move through time together, painting one fluid picture of modern American history within the context of world history.  Varied responses to the history readings keep learning fresh, while teaching many necessary skills along the way.  Students respond by giving oral narrations, and some are typed by the parent as the student gives them.  Storytime living books connect to the weekly history theme and are either read aloud by the parent or independently by the student.

Mapping exercises, audios, primary source documents, Socratic discussions, notebooking, and projects offer even more variety!

Student complete historical mapping exercises and make connections using Map Trek and the United States History Atlas. They are also taken on an intriguing audio overview of history via Diana Waring’s What in the World Vol. IIIParents and students delve into provided Primary Source Documents via Socratic discussions.  Students keep a full-color student notebook of their trip through the modern times as well!  This notebook includes timeline sketches, period memorabilia, written narrations, and copywork form timeless speeches and quotes.  Students also respond to a provided “Snapshot in Time” by connecting a photograph or sketch with the history reading through captions, bulleted notes, outlines, quotes, excerpts, etc.

Research, economic principles, and a Christian state study further enhance the learning in MTMM!

Students use two forms of media to research each of the Presidents of the United States.  First, they delve into The Big Book of Presidents, and then they round out their research with The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents DVD. Not only is this optional Presidents’ study informative and entertaining, it also teaches students to mesh research from two different media sources.  Second, students dig into learning economics principles. This witty yet spot-on economics introduction uses two amazing living books as resources. In Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? and Common Sense Business for Kids students learn to summarize and log key economic principles.  Finally, students get to know the ins and outs of what makes their state special. This Christian State Study is sure to make its impact!

The “Learning the Basics” part of the guide has much to offer too!

In Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here?, students focus on developing a Biblical worldview of self-image. This Christian parent-led study gives ample opportunity to discuss how to have a healthy self-image. Students draw even closer to the Lord during their own personal Bible Quiet Time with Faith at Work.  This inductive Quest Bible study has students delving into Romans, Galatians, and James, and includes prayer time, Scripture memory work, and written work.  Students round out their Bible Quiet Time with a hymn study via Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Vol. 2, which further connects to the history with some patriotic hymns as well!

Science takes a deeper look at 20th Century scientists, chemistry topics, and creation vs. evolution!

Living book science readings pique student’s interest in 20th Century scientists, chemistry topics, and creation vs. evolution. In Evolution: The Grand Experiment, students study current evidence both for and against the theory of evolution. The textbook, teacher’s manual, and DVD series work together to help parents discuss this controversial topic with their children. Author Carl Werner examines the still-missing links in the fossil record and points out the mistakes that have been made in the 150 years since Darwin’s Origin of Species was published. Finally in MTMM’s science study, students become the ‘scientists’ themselves by performing experiments with the Chemistry C500 Kit and Genetics & DNA Kit.  Science written narrations, DVDs, notebooking assignments, and written lab sheets emphasizing the Scientific process round out this exciting science year!

Students get to express their creativity with a Charlotte Mason-style nature study and with Write with the Best Vol. II!

Each year Heart of Dakota tries to showcase different Charlotte Mason themed studies.  In MTMM, students get to enjoy a Charlotte Mason-style nature study!  Students delve into studying nature with Nature Drawing and Journaling by none other than Barry Stebbing.  Likewise, students get to express their creativity in writing with Write with the Best:Vol. II! As students get ready for the upcoming rigor of high school composition, WWTB prepares them well by teaching note-taking, outlining, and summarizing.  Students also learn to write persuasive essays, expository essays, literary critiques, book reviews, newspaper articles, and speeches.

Finally, students round out their “Learning the Basics” skills with spelling, grammar, literature, and math!
  • Spelling: Choice of three sets of Dictation Passages
  • Grammar Lessons using the text Progressing with Courage: English 6
  • Literature Study using Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 6/7/8
  • Writing Lessons with Write with the Best: Vol. II on
  • Choice of Primary Mathematics 6A/6B, No-Nonsense Algebra, Videotext Algebra, or Principles of Mathematics Book 1

In Christ,
Julie