Placement for a Freshman New to HOD Who Struggles with Spelling and Writing

Pondering Placement

Where would you place a freshman new to HOD who struggles with spelling and writing?

This was our first year homeschooling. Spelling has been a constant struggle. No matter what we do, he doesn’t retain it. He reads well for his age (Chuck Black books), especially regarding his spelling struggles. As far as his writing…he can write….it just takes a LOT of effort on both of our parts. I’ve ordered R & S English level 5 for him. I chose not to deal with this until now, as he was unwilling to work on it. But, he finally came to me 2 nights ago and said he needed to learn about adverbs, adjectives, etc., so he could write better. Detoxing my boys from PS has been a much longer process than I anticipated. But, we have also made a lot of progress, so I know he will catch up! So, where would you place a freshman new to HOD with spelling and writing struggles?

Carrie’s Reply: I would be inclined to place him in either Revival to Revolution or Missions to Modern Marvels.

Thanks so much for taking time to share about your son!   It really helps to get a fuller picture of where he is at skill-wise. From what you’ve shared, I think I would be inclined to place him in either Revival to Revolution or Missions to Modern Marvels. This is because placement in HOD is very skill-based. Correct placement makes a huge difference in how successful a child is in his/her guide.

Writing, grammar, literature, and spelling are important skills wound in all subject areas.

Writing, grammar, literature, and spelling are a big part of HOD. This is because these skills are wound within all of the subject areas. Since our guides lean heavily in the Charlotte Mason direction in many areas, it helps so much if your child is comfortable with some of these skills gradually before working into the higher level of version of the skills later. We do want to place your son appropriately in writing, grammar, literature, and spelling to make sure that he gains the needed skills he is ready for in these areas.

I would lean toward doing Revival to Revolution, English 5, DITHOR 6/7/8, and The Exciting World of Creative Writing.

I would encourage you to take a good look at Revival to Revolution and Missions to Modern Marvels. See which would be the best fit in the areas of writing, grammar, literature, and spelling. I’d lean toward having your freshman do Revival to Revolution with the Extension Package and with Rod and Staff English 5 (as scheduled in Rev2Rev). I would recommend using the Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 6/7/8 Student Book with the Level 7/8 Book Pack. He can also do Level 5 dictation along with The Exciting World of Creative Writing, as scheduled in Revival to Revolution. Your son would also do the Exploration Education Physical Science Advanced Version (which is high school level Physical Science). He would do the inventor study as well. I think this would be a good fit for your freshman.

Thoughts on Government, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, and Bible 

He would need to add something for government (as he wouldn’t get to that in our final two high school guides). As there is a composer study in Rev2Rev, you could add to it to award 1/2 credit in Fine Arts music appreciation. To award this 1/2 credit, you’d need to get to 70 hours. There will already be around 45-50 hours in the study as scheduled in the guide. Then, when your son reaches World History for his senior year, you could do borrow the Government from U.S. History I and put it in place of the Fine Arts elective. So your son would use Rev2Rev as is, except for adding government (possibly adding foreign language study and beefing up the Bible). Suggestions are given in the Rev2Rev for high school thread, if you do decide to go this route.

I think these recommendations would fit your son’s skill level well and still push him in many areas.

The reason I would lean in this direction is that I think it would fit your son’s skill level well and still push him in many areas. The grammar will be daily and significant, while the writing will be more than he is used to as we write across the curriculum all throughout the school day. He would do copywork daily as well in a variety of subjects and do written narrations. The literature study through DITHOR sounds like it will be a new set of skills too, which would be good. We want to solidify those important skills before jumping up into guides that assume these skills are in place.

Looking Ahead to the Following Years

Looking ahead to the following year, he could do MTMM with all of English 6 (as scheduled in MTMM), WWTB II for high school level composition (as scheduled in MTMM), and Drawn into the Heart with either some high school level classics of your own choosing or with a DITHOR Book Pack instead. He would also continue with studied dictation. This Bible in MTMM is credit-worthy, and you would add Economics (and possibly Foreign Language). There is a thread that explains how to do this as well for high school, should you decide to go that route. This guide includes Chemistry, which would need some supplementing. Or, you could borrow IPC for the science from the World Geography guide. As a junior, he would do the World Geography guide as written. As a senior, he would do the World History guide.

This overall plan would give him the needed core credits.

This overall plan would give him the needed American history, government, economics, geography, and world history credits for high school. It would also give him Physical Science, Chemistry, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, and Biology credits with lab for science. It would give him a credit each year in English. Math would need to be at his level each year to earn a credit each year there. That takes care of your core credits of history, science, English, and Math.

This plan would also give him electives.

In Bible, he would earn a full credit two years (from the World Geography and World History Guides) and a 1/2 credit in MTMM. He’d also earn 1/2 credit in logic, 1/2 credit in World Religion & Cultures, 1/2 credit in health, and 1/2 to 1 full credit in Fine Arts, either in music or art appreciation . He would gain 1/2 credit in foreign language in the World Geography and 1/2 credit in foreign language in the World History Guide too. I share this so you can gain a picture that it would be possible to follow this plan for high school and still have your son earn the credits he needs for graduation. If instead, you felt MTMM was a better fit, you could go that route instead for his freshman year. If you have questions as you pursue your options, let us know. We’d be glad to help!






April Library Builder: Save 10% on the Revival to Revolution Basic Set!

Library Builder

Use coupon code APRIL-LIBRARY for 10% on this month’s Library Builder book set: The Revival to Revolution Basic Package!

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 APRIL-LIBRARY on our website for the entire month of April to apply the savings to your order. The coupon applies to the Revival to Revolution Basic Package set of books.   To view all of the books in this set, just click here! (Scroll down until you see the “History Read-Alouds” section.)

How is the Basic Package used in Revival to Revolution?

Well, we could tell you, but why reinvent the wheel? Carrie and Julie have already done an excellent job of outlining how these books are used in the Revival to Revolution Introduction, so why don’t we have a quick look at that?

(From the Introduction to Revival to Revolution):

Daily storytime sessions are linked to the “Reading about History” box of the plans by similar historical time period. These books provide the historical backdrop, or a panoramic view of history, while the “Reading about History” readings provide a more factual view.

These scheduled read-alouds are highly recommended, unless you need to
economize. Complete listings and book descriptions for these books can be found in the Appendix. These books are sold as a set as a Basic Package, or sold individually, at

The “Storytime” box of plans includes oral narration practice and higher  level thinking questions specific to each day’s reading. Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions are meant to encourage reflection about the readings and promote higher-level thinking.

Analysis level questions focus on examining and breaking information into parts, identifying motives or causes, making inferences, and finding evidence to support generalizations.

Questions at the synthesis level require students to compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.

Questions at the evaluation level require students to present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria. Definitions of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions are related to Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Leading students to think in this manner goes beyond finding one right answer. Rather, students are encouraged to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they’ve read to reach their own conclusions.

Note: If you are already doing a Storytime package with a different Heart of Dakota program, you may choose to have 6th-7th grade students read the books in this package on their own by following the plans in the “Storytime” box.

Use coupon code APRIL-LIBRARY to save!

To apply this month’s savings, just enter coupon code APRIL-LIBRARY 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

PS: If you’d like a more in-depth look at what using Revival to Revolution looks like in your home, have a look at this article!

Revival to Revolution: Homeschool Program for Ages 11-13, with Extensions for Ages 14-15

World Geography for Open-and-Go, or Revival to Revolution for Best Placement?

Dear Carrie

Should my son do World Geography to keep it open and go, even though he places best in Revival to Revolution?

I’m a mother of 7 children. We use Heart of Dakota with all of our children. We tried some different things with our 13 year old son, and we’re so glad to be back! My son is finishing up Resurrection to Reformation. He didn’t do the extensions.  He’s using Revival to Revolution’s physical science.  We didn’t do RTR’s IEW writing. (Failure on my part!) In truth, he hasn’t had much formal writing. He will be 14 in August. This next year will be his freshman year, and I’d like him to use Revival to Revolution. I love HOD’s open and go feature. When I consider the things we’ll need to modify, I start to panic that it won’t get done. So, my question is, should my son do World Geography, even though he places best in Revival to Revolution, so we could keep the open and go aspect?


“Ms. Choose Between Open-and-Go World Geography or Better Placement Revival to Revolution”

Dear “Ms. Choose Between Open-and-Go World Geography or Better Placement Revival to Revolution,”

If you are finding RTR to be a good fit for your son, then it may be wise to move into Revival to Revolution for his 9th grade year. Since he hasn’t had much in the way of formal writing instruction or formal literature instruction, I’d lean toward doing RevtoRev for those areas along with the DITHOR Level 7/8 Book Pack. However, from what you’ve shared thus far, a more independent type program may be needed in those areas for the time being. With that in mind, you could definitely borrow the literature and writing from the World Geography guide to use with RevtoRev. Both may be a challenge, but they would be more independent and be on grade level for high school.

I would do either the BJU Literature or the novels with DITHOR 6/7/8.

If the literature looked too overwhelming in the World Geography guide, you could potentially do just the BJU lit. text without the novels or do just the novels with DITHOR 6/7/8 without the BJU lit. text. Either option would downsize how heavy the literature is but still keep your son moving forward in this needed area.

I would do R & S English 5 all year to cover his bases well and follow up with R & S English 6.

For grammar, I would do English 5 all in one year as planned in RevtoRev. English 5 is a key year in Rod and Staff and will cover his bases well in this area. Even if you stall out and need to take more than one year to do English 5, it is good to keep going on through it until you finish it. It is a terrific level of Rod and Staff. We will definitely want to follow-up with English 6 after that!

I would omit Storytime and do the Extensions.

You can omit the Storytime and do the Extension books instead in RevtoRev for high school. If the reading in the Extension Pack looks too heavy, he could instead do the Storytime books rather than the Extension package. He could look at both sets to see which appeals more.

I would consider doing IPC from World Geography for science.

For science, since you have already done the science in RevtoRev this year, you could consider doing the IPC from the World Geography guide for science as well. This would be a good first year of high school science for your son. If he is headed toward a science degree, he should follow the science path of the high school guides. He could consider doing Physics instead of the Astronomy and Geology for his senior year if desired. But, you will know much more about his interests for college once you get to his senior year.

I would address government later in his junior or senior year.

You could hold off on doing Government for now, as getting formal literature and writing in will be much more important for his first year of high school. If he is college-bound we have to make the lit/comp/grammar a primary focus this year. We can always address the government part later, adding it in his junior or senior year.

I would add Spanish as a foreign language credit.

I would also consider adding the Spanish from World Geography to his day to get him started on needed foreign language. Getting Started with Spanish is short and sweet and an easy way to begin that credit.

So, his credits would be as follows:

U.S. History I (1 full credit)
Fundamentals of Literature/Composition (1 full credit)
Integrated Physics and Chemistry with Lab (1 full credit with lab)
Math (1 full credit Algebra I hopefully)
Spanish I (1/2 credit)
Bible (1/2 credit – if you add additional free time Bible reading to the RevtoRev plans or sub this out with World Geography’s Bible. The World Geography Bible is worth 1 credit but will be quite a bit more intensive. If he liked the Bible in RTR, I would probably stay with the Bible as written in Rev2Rev.)
Fine Arts: Music Appreciation (1/2 credit)



Caught Between a Textbook and a Living Book

Dear Carrie

What should I do with a student who prefers short, nonfiction readings when using a Charlotte Mason literature-based curricula?

I believe my son is caught between a textbook and a living book! He enjoys nonfiction books, documentaries, factual YouTube videos, and research.  I read the first Storytime book for Revival to Revolution. He said he prefers much shorter books that get to the point. Likewise, he said he doesn’t enjoy overly descriptive language. He prefers to read textbooks or encyclopedias.  I thought Charlotte Mason’s readings were supposed to be short myself. I guess my question is, what should I do with a student who prefers short, nonfiction readings when using a Charlotte Mason literature-based curricula?


“Ms. Caught Between a Textbook and a Living Book”

Dear “Ms. Caught Between a Textbook and a Living Book,”

This is a good question! First, I think it would be wise to have your son read his own Storytime books for Revival to Revolution (Rev2Rev). While he likely does prefer nonfiction, as many boys do, it is also likely that he would prefer to move through his school day quickly with as little extra time added as possible. By the time my boys were 13, they preferred to read to themselves. Reading the book to oneself aids in comprehension, builds vocabulary, and goes much more quickly. So that would be my first piece of advice for you to try. Your son could also consider stretching the Storytime books out over 5 days each week instead of 4 days.

Charlotte Mason’s Thoughts on the Progression of Reading Length

You mentioned that Charlotte Mason (CM) advocated shorter readings, which she did at the younger levels. However, as students matured, she assigned much longer readings. She expected students to hold that information in their mind from a single reading. As we near the high school years, it is important that students move toward being able to read and process longer readings. So, Rev2Rev is a step in that direction. If your student is college-bound, much preparation will be needed. To handle the level and volume of reading required for college coursework, we stair-step our way up to doing that in Heart of Dakota (HOD). So, longer readings were definitely a part of a CM-education. Likewise, they are a part of the increasing volume in HOD.

An Adjustment Period at the Beginning of a New Guide

It sounds like you are just beginning RevtoRev. I think it is important to remember that there is always an adjustment period when beginning a new guide. Rev2Rev is definitely a step up in all ways from Resurrection to Reformation. So, there may just be some frustration in the upped level of expectations coming from your son right now. Perhaps it would be helpful to split one day of plans into two days for awhile. You could go half-speed for a few weeks as your son enters this new guide. That may make the workload a bit easier to handle for awhile until he hits his groove.

Add Extras on the Free Fifth Day

I can also see that your son would enjoy documentaries and YouTube videos. Those are something you could definitely add if desired. My own boys enjoy this type of learning as well. However, if you end up dropping all sorts of things within the HOD guide to add YouTube videos and documentaries, you will quickly find you are losing many of the skills. So, I would stay away from skipping too much, or you will quickly lose the flow of the guide. Adding videos on the free fifth day each week or in the evenings may be a way to fill this need for your son.

It is more challenging to complete a literature-based education.

I will say that it is often feels more challenging to the child to complete a literature-based education than it feels to complete a more traditional text-based approach. The reasons for this are because assignments in a literature-based education feel less predictable, have less of a pattern to follow to get the answer, and often are more open-ended allowing more than one “right” way to respond. The assignments also aren’t easy for students to skim and “find” the answer. Rather, students often have to share what he/she learned in a more open-ended fashion.

For some students this can be overwhelming at first. As they move into longer readings with more material, they may never feel sure if they have done it “right.” However, as students become more used to using this method of learning and more used to the upped level of readings, they do find there is a structure to their learning even if it is more open-ended. Over time, they do become more comfortable with this type of learning.

Boys often prefer to move quickly through their school day!

For some students, and especially boys, a literature-based education can sometimes seem like it draws out their school day. With boys, the desire to move through their day and get it done is huge! They prefer to have free time over school. This can be difficult for moms with sons to accept! I know, because it was for me! However, it is imperative that you do not expect your sons to “love” their school like daughters often will. The difference between boys and girls is accentuated in school. If you happen to have daughters, the contrast between your sons’ and daughters’ attitudes toward school will often be stark.

I always keep this in mind with my boys. They do not want me to add extra things to their school day or to go on bunny trails. Instead, they want to work as efficiently as possible to get done on time. This is why they want to read their own books. It’s quicker! This is also why (as they get older) they want a quiet space to work. They want as few interruptions as possible. Moreover, they want things to move very quickly.

They do not like to be called away from their school to do household chores or tasks or other things that I may randomly call them to do. Though they will do the tasks I assign without complaint! They also don’t want to hear my ramblings about various topics if it lengthens their day. Although they will listen politely, they are often watching the time slip away with consternation if I deviate far from the plans.

We can help boys move through their day more quickly.

I share this to show that with boys if you can keep in mind that task completion is often a huge goal, and you can help your boys toward that goal with few interruptions, more efficient conversations and correcting, few to no bunny trails, and a “How can I help you move through this more quickly?” attitude, your boys will enjoy their days much more! Also, my own boys sincerely appreciated me asking them if they would like to do an hour of school the night before to get ahead for the next day (and then have the option of sleeping in an hour later the next morning), or whether they would rather get up earlier to work in the morning and have their nights off. Buy-in to the schedule is huge!

Puberty impacts how a school day goes!

I will share that puberty definitely impacts how a school day goes. Sixth-eighth grade were the years that we noticed our boys desiring to have more say in how their day was structured. It was also a time when lengthening their school day with redoing too many assignments or with too many expectations of work done perfectly brought on negative bursts of energy. So, keeping that in mind is necessary as you look at how to best help your boys.

Grace is needed during those years of school as young men are definitely wanting to start moving toward more independence and less being tied to mama’s apron’s strings for their school needs. However, they also want to feel that you are there to partner with them to help rather than to constantly judge. So, it can be a difficult balance. During those years, I try to sense frustration and remain available to jump in and help my boys get things done when they begin to lag behind.

The benefits of a literature-based education are worth the extra effort!

As we have traveled all the way through graduation with our two oldest sons, I will share that while at times it might seem tempting to use a more strictly fact-based approach to learning, the benefits of a literature-based education in the long-run for us was worth the extra effort! As part of this type of education, our boys learned to process and hold in their minds a variety of readings for purposes other than completing a chapter review or studying for a test. If you think back to the things that you remember the most, it often will not be learning that was done for a test or to pass a class but instead was something you took away from a reading that resonated with you.

As students sift and sort through information in living books to discover what is important, they weigh and discard ideas, construct a framework of what they read, and discover what is personally important to them and file that away. This process of sifting and sorting for personal use is something that is often lost in a straight textbook type education but it is the process that is important as it makes things memorable!

A literature-based education stretches students in positive ways.

A literature-rich education stretches a student in many positive ways. It makes them readily able to read, appreciate, and take away something from almost any kind of reading material. This is because they have learned to appreciate a wide variety of authors with a wide variety of styles, and consequently they often find delight in a wide variety of reading materials. My older boys choose to read everything from classic literature to magazine articles to theology books to light reading just for fun. When my little guys move on to a new year of HOD, my older boys jump right in with a desire to reread their favorite books from long ago just one more time.

Would you ever lovingly choose to reread your middle school textbooks?

While my four sons are all very different from one another, the more years we travel down this literature-rich path the more convinced I become of its merit. If you ask yourself whether you would ever lovingly choose to reread your middle school textbooks, you will know why a literature-based education is different. A literature-based education also makes students readily able to respond in a wide variety of formats to what they’ve read. This is because they have been exposed to so many good writers over time. Good writing eventually pours out of their own pens. To begin with, the students mimic other writers, but eventually they develop their own style. While this process can take years, it is a process worth seeing come to fruition!

Seeds sown through years of HOD literature-based education come to fruition at graduation!

By the time a student graduates from high school, the seeds that have been sown through years of an HOD literature-based education come to fruition. For me, with each of my older two sons, the senior year of high school was a time of pure joy in this capacity. Meeting with the boys during their senior year, as they shared their thoughts, reflections, and narrations was just plain fun! During the senior year of each of our oldest boys, my husband and I got an opportunity to see how much each son had grown. As they animatedly shared with us, we got a chance to see the books that spoke to their hearts the most.

In the final year of high school of HOD, students can often move through their work more quickly and concisely.

By their final year of high school, our boys were able to move through their work much more quickly and concisely. They had become able to do almost anything the guide asked of them. This made their senior year an easy one compared to previous years! I will share that this has also been true of many of the families we’ve talked to who are graduating their students through HOD this year. Their students have grown and changed so much! It is simply a product of years of a literature-based education.

Encouragement to Carry on with a Literature-Based Education

So, in closing, I would encourage you to persevere with a literature-based education. While students will have special strengths of their own (and areas of weakness too), their experience will be richer for the books they have read and the ways they have been asked to respond. Their education will also be deeper for the variety of authors they have pondered. When in doubt, compare your education with the one that your students are receiving, and you will often see a marked difference. While not easy, a literature-based education is worth pursuing. I hope this encourages you as you journey. We only get this one chance to educate our kiddos!



Revival to Revolution: Homeschool Program for Ages 11-13, with Extensions for Ages 14-15

From Our House to Yours

Revival to Revolution: Heart of Dakota’s Homeschool Program for Ages 11-13, with Extensions for Ages 14-15

Heart of Dakota‘s Revival to Revolution curriculum is written for students within a target age range of 11-13 years old. Students this age would be in about 6th or 7th grade. An advanced 6th grade student would probably do just fine with Revival to Revolution.  A 7th grade student would more than likely thrive! The Extension Package can be added for students who are ages 14-15. This set of books and follow-up assignments are meant to be completed independently by 8th or 9th grade students. They extend the history by following the same chronological flow of time as the daily plans. This exciting set of living books takes the reading up a notch! But, it also keeps the Charlotte Mason style of learning alive and well for 8th-9th graders.

Cole with His Extension Package
Carrie and Shaw Discussing Reading About History
Multiple choices in physical science make Revival to Revolution customizable for 6th to 9th grade students as well!

Likewise, there are 2 exciting options for physical science! Both options include Heart of Dakota’s specially designed Inventor Study, complete with Charlotte Mason style living books and full-color Inventor Student Notebook pages! The first option includes the Inventor Study along with the Standard Exploration Education lab kit. This option is most appropriate for 6th or 7th grade students.  The second option includes the Inventor Study along with the Advanced Exploration Education lab kit. This option is most appropriate for 8th or 9th grade students.  Students in 9th grade who complete both the Inventor Study and the Advanced Exploration Education kit earn one full credit in Physical Science with Lab.

Multiple levels of literature instruction offer further choices in customizing Revival to Revolution!

Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) includes multiple levels of student books and book packages.  What level you choose depends on how new you are to Heart of Dakota and formal literature study! Sixth grade students who have not completed Level 4/5 previously may want to use the 4/5 DITHOR Student Book.  If they have completed the 4/5 Student Book prior to sixth grade, they can either move up to the 6/7/8 Student Book or purchase another 4/5 Student Book to do again with harder books. Seventh and eighth grade students should use the 6/7/8 Student Book, as this will prepare them best for high school level literature.

Any level of DITHOR book pack works with any level of DITHOR Student Book.  So, if you have a sixth grade student who is a strong reader who is not as strong of a writer, you might choose the 4/5 Student Book and the 6/7 Book Pack.  Or, if you have a strong writer who is not as strong of a reader, you might choose the 6/7/8 Student Book, and the 5/6 Boy or 5/6 Girl Interest Book Pack.  Or, if you’d rather choose your own books altogether, you can use our Sample Book Ideas List to do that too!  Regardless, if possible, it is best for 7th and 8th grade students to use the 7/8 Boy or 7/8 Girl Interest Book Pack, as this will prepare them best for high school level literature.

Multiple levels of spelling, math, and grammar help each student progress to the next level as well!

For spelling, there are 4 levels of dictation passages in the Appendix of Revival to Revolution.  The passages begin with Level 5 and progress through Level 8.  Levels 6 through 8 are included in the next guide’s Appendix (Missions to Modern Marvels).  So, students start where they need to ability-wise in spelling, and progress each year as able.  If a student struggles with spelling, he/she might begin with Level 5.  Or, if a student is an excellent speller, he/she might begin with Level 7 or 8. Likewise, for math there are plans for a choice of 3 levels: Singapore Math 5A/5B, Singapore Math 6A/6B, or Principles of Mathematics Book 1.  Finally, there is a choice of 2 grammar levels.  Students can either complete one full year of R & S English 5, or they can finish out the second half of R & S English 6.

Reading about History grows up a little more each year!

Revival to Revolution recognizes high school is just around the corner, and it steps up the skills incrementally accordingly!  Students read their own Reading about History and sharpen their written narrations skills by increasing their length to 10-14 sentences.  They also step up their self-editing skills by using their Written Narration Skills: Student’s List to edit their own written narrations.  Students give both detailed and summary oral narrations. They also use provided Scriptures to weigh a historical character’s thoughts, words, or actions in light of the Bible.  Furthermore, full-color period artwork pertinent to the history reading is also included each week. Students study the period artwork and discuss it using provided guiding questions.

Geography, notebooking skills, history projects, and independent history studies provide additional ways to respond to history readings!

In Geography, students use the U.S. History Atlas to locate significant places in history and label their own history specific maps using Map Trek: Revival to Revolution. Additionally, Charlotte Mason-style timeline entries march on, as students continue to add to their “Book of Time.” A variety of history follow-up assignments teach a multitude of skills.  The History Project teaches students to follow incremental steps to complete a hands-on project connected to the history reading each week.  Independent History Study assignments have students listening to audio presentations, drawing step-by-step illustrations, completing notebook entries, writing copywork entries of quotes and verses, and coloring noteworthy historical pictures.

Worthy Words, Research, and a Fifty States Study – oh my!

Some new and notable things that are unique to Revival to Revolution are Worthy Words, the Research of the Signers, and the Fifty States Study!  In Worthy Words, students learn to read primary source documents. Students study speeches and letters of famous men and women in history.  Provided guiding questions help students understand the primary source, the writer’s sentiments, and the purpose for which the document was written.  In Research, students use The Signers to research the lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Students note their research findings on full-color portrait cards provided in the Student Notebook.  Finally, a Fifty States Study provides a witty and interesting overview of the building of our nation, state by state.

Shaw with His Signers of the Declaration of Independence Cards
Storytime – who shall do the reading?

It could be that this is the year your student takes over the Storytime readings!  I know.  You probably have mixed feelings about that, which Carrie realized. This is why she labeled Storytime as either a “T” teacher-directed or an “I” independent part of the plans!  It’s so nice to have that flexibility, isn’t it?  I remember my oldest son noticing the “T” or “I” politely asking if I’d be very hurt if he just read the books himself.  Hmmm.  I was kind of hurt. But then he wisely said, “I mean, Mom, you have two other little guys to read to – and I can read these.  I LIKE to read these; so why don’t you just read to the ones who need it?”  Hmmm.  Good point.

With my middle son, he came up with the middle-of-the-road plan of me reading for 10 minutes, and when the timer dinged, he would read the rest.  Very middle child-like, right?  My youngest son has already told me he’d LOVE for me to read them all.  Very youngest child-like, right?  The point is, it all works.  Just pick what you and your child like best! No matter how the reading is accomplished, higher level thinking questions specific to each day’s reading are provided.  Hence, students ponder provided analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions, as well as orally narrate in response to the readings.  Very balanced, don’t you think? Much higher level thinking required here than just one right answer questions!

Let’s get inspired!

Revival to Revolution says, “Let’s get inspired!” First, by music, then by Hebrew’s heroes, next by Biblical worldview, and finally by inventors!  First, students enjoy a music appreciation study two days each week with The Story of Classical Music and with Amy Pak’s Hands-on Activity lapbook.  Then, students meet the heroes faith in their own Bible Quiet Time with Hidden Treasures in Hebrews.  Next, students delve into a Biblical Worldview Study with you as the parent via Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? Finally, students meet the inventors who used physical science principles to pave the way for growth in power, manufacturing, production, communication, and transportation!

Shaw Using His Bible and ACTS Model Prayer Starters for Bible Quiet Time
Mike and Shaw Discussing Heroes of the Faith
Mike Teaching Biblical Worldview
Inventor Study
Composer Study Lapbook
Furthermore, let us not forget creative writing and poetry study!

While R & S English provides more systematic step-by-step writing assignments, The Exciting World of Creative Writing balances this out by drawing out the creative side of your student! Poetry study further taps into that creative ability with thought-provoking questions, copywork of classical poetry, connections between poetry and historical events, and pertinent background information.  Yes!  Students will be inspired by timeless words of others, but in turn they will also learn to inspire themselves, with words of their own! So, that wraps up Revival to Revolution! 

In Christ,