5th and 7th Grade Placement When Using 3 Guides Already

Pondering Placement

I use 3 HOD guides with my younger children and want to start using it with my 5th and 7th graders, but how can I add just 1 more HOD guide when my 7th grader wants to be by herself?

I already love using Heart of Dakota with 3 children! I’m using Little Hands with my preK son, Little Hearts with my first grader, and Bigger Hearts with my 2nd grader. I like it so much I’m considering using it with my 5th and 7th graders. However, since I’m already using 3 younger guides with more teaching time, I only want to add 1 guide. I was going to add Creation to Christ, but they don’t want to “do school together” like we have in the past. My 7th grader wants to be able to do it all “by herself” without my interference. Could I combine my 5th grader with my 2nd grader in Bigger Hearts? Or, should I combine my two oldest in CTC, even though my 7th grade girl doesn’t want to? She hasn’t expressed it too much, just asked could they please “not do it together”?

Carrie’s Initial Reply: Could you please share about your 5th grade son in regard to the first page of the placement chart? (Parent response below)

My just turned 10 year old has a mathematical mind and is a problem solver. He’s an excellent reader and loves to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He’s never narrated, has messy handwriting, and hates to write. I homeschooled him for 1st-3rd, and he went to public school for 4th grade. His learning slowed down in public school! They didn’t do much grammar, and they didn’t have history; they had “social studies”. He retained nothing from science, as they didn’t do any science experiments. He places between Bigger and Preparing on the placement chart. I just ordered Singapore 5A/5B and Rod and Staff 5 for him. He looked at the Bigger guide I’m using with my 2nd grader and got really excited. The hands-on activities are right up his alley. I’ve caught him peeking at the Stories of Great Americans book already. So, I know he’ll love the history!

Carrie’s Response with English and Literature Recommendations

Based on what you’ve shared thus far, and about your desire not to do two more guides, I do think your son could be placed in Bigger Hearts with Extensions. I would recommend that he do Rod and Staff English 4 instead of English 5, and do a lesson daily 4 days a week. I would also recommend that he do Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) with the level 4/5 Student BookI’d recommend the 4/5 Boy Interest Set. You could just do DITHOR 3 times weekly in order to lighten your load.

Carrie’s Response with Math Placement Recommendations

As far as math goes, I would give him the Singapore Math U.S. Primary Edition placement test. I’d begin with the test for 3A and see if he passes. Make sure not to aid, help, or explain in any way, or the results will not be accurate. It would not be uncommon for a 5th grader who is new to Singapore to have to start back somewhere between 3A and 4B, simply due to the differing scope and sequence. I wouldn’t start a 5th grader who is new to Singapore in 5A/5B, as it will assume that he has had the Singapore method and foundation laid in 3B on up to guide and help him. Since you just ordered your English 5 and Singapore 5A/5B Math, you can return them and exchange them for the texts you need from us instead. We want to be sure that you have what you need to have a successful school year!

Carrie’s Request for Placement Information About the 7th Grader

As far as your 7th grader goes, if my experience with kiddos her age is correct, she is deeply desiring independence due to her age and increasing maturity level. She probably feels excited about any guide that will insure she is not combined with her younger sibling. I would be interested to hear where she places on the first page only of the placement chart when you consider her all by herself (no combining scenarios in mind). It is possible that she may fit in Resurrection to Reformation instead. If you get a chance to share a bit more about her reading, math, grammar, writing, independence level in regard to our placement chart, and about her ability to read her own materials that would be great!

Placement Information Shared Regarding 7th Grade Daughter (Parent response below)

My daughter places between Resurrection to Reformation and Revival to Revolution. She is a voracious reader and writer. She loves to draw and is very talented. Her weakness is math. The idea of her being “above” Creation to Christ appeals to her. I showed her Resurrection to Reformation in the Heart of Dakota catalog, and she is super excited! As she has not done much in the way of narrating, oral or written, I think RTR will be a better start for her.  I started Bigger Hearts with my 5th grade son, and he is loving it already! Now, I just need to order the extensions for him and RTR for my daughter.

Carrie’s Final Recommendation Thoughts

I think you will enjoy Bigger Hearts with extensions for your 5th grade son. I’m also excited for you to begin Resurrection to Reformation with your 7th grade daughter. I think you will both enjoy the independence in that guide, as well as the mother/daughter Biblical girlhood study that celebrates your daughter’s maturing. Thank you for ordering from Heart of Dakota; we depend on that support – God bless!

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

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.

Dictation
Grammar
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,

Julie