Two rational ways of teaching Geography

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“There are two rational ways of teaching Geography. The first is the inferential method, a good deal in vogue at the present time; by it the pupil learns certain geographical principles which he is expected to apply universally. This method seems to me defective for two reasons. It is apt to be misleading as in every particular case the general principle is open to modifications; also, local color and personal and historical interests are wanting and the scholar does not form an intellectual and imaginative conception of the region he is learning about.

The second which might be called the panoramic method unrolls the landscape of the world, region by region, before the eyes of the scholar with in every region its own conditions of climate, its productions, its people, their industries and their history. This way of teaching the most delightful of all subjects has the effect of giving to a map of a country or region the brilliancy of color and the wealth of detail which a panorama might afford, together with a sense of proportion and a knowledge of general principles.

I believe that pictures are not of a very great use in this study. We all know that the pictures which abide with us are those which the imagination constructs from written descriptions.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 6, pp. 227-228)

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?

Sincerely,

“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)

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Placement for Seventh and Eighth Grade Daughters

Pondering Placement

Please help me with choosing placement for my upcoming 7th and 8th grade daughters.

I need help with choosing placement in Heart of Dakota for my daughters going into seventh and eighth grade. (I also have a daughter going into ninth grade, but she is attending public school now.) We all enjoyed the left side of Missions to Modern Marvels (MTMM) this past year! For this reason, I thought about moving my 2 remaining daughters into World Geography next. However, I know it would be overwhelming for my younger daughter. Also, looking ahead, my eighth grade daughter will attend public high school in 9th grade. Since they offer no ancient history, I’m thinking to combine my upcoming seventh and eighth grade daughters in Creation to Christ (CTC). I know I could add the extension package and up the language arts and math, but I guess I’m not 100% sure about this placement.

A Little Background on My Sixth Grade Daughter Going into Seventh Grade

I thought I’d give a little background on my sixth grade daughter going into seventh grade. She has never used a complete HOD guide. She was able to do Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) level 4/5 with the 4/5 Girl Interest books for her 5th grade year. However, since then, she has been through several therapy programs to help with her dyslexia. We have needed to make accommodations such as audio books or me reading aloud in most other subject areas. But now, she is testing at grade level for reading comprehension. So, I am planning to use DITHOR 6/7/8 level with her.

She does struggle more with both reading and writing. Although she can narrate and summarize, she often needs help getting through the initial reading assignments. She usually reads for a half hour or so a couple of times a day on her own. But, if she is required to do more than that, I need to read aloud to her, so she can rest her eyes (she has tracking issues, so it can be very tiring). Usually she comprehends well whether she is reading on her own or is being read aloud to. She prefers simpler language, as the effort she must make just to read doesn’t leave a lot of energy for her figuring out unfamiliar words or phrases. This does impact every subject area.

A Little Background on My Seventh Grade Daughter Going into Eighth Grade

My current seventh grader is an extremely self motivated student. She is doing eighth and ninth grade level work in most subjects. She did the left side of the MTMM guide this past year with her older sister. They both took a lit/grammar course as well. Looking at the placement she fits squarely in the MTMM category, but we did that guide this year. So, I feel she could probably move on to World Geography level work.

This daughter is used to writing two to three page long papers on various subjects. She has also completed all the writing and narrations (left side of page spread) from MTMM without any serious problems this year. Her writing and grammar experience is at or above grade level. This is true of her reading level as well. We have used DITHOR in the past several years, and she had done excellent with it!

Creation to Christ looks good, but so does World Geography!

The more I look at Creation to Christ, the more I think it would offer my younger daughter plenty of challenge because of her dyslexia, especially if we add the extension package and pick 6/7 books for DITHOR. Plus, she still struggles with the mechanics of writing. However, My older daughter probably fits best in the World Geography guide. She has studied the samples and read excerpts from many of the book over my shoulder, and she’s excited! However, I just don’t want to overwhelm her. She did well with MTMM, but we had several issues of her not reading directions well and having to redo assignments. I don’t want to push too hard, but the reality is she pushes herself and regularly asks for more. But then she is stressed if I offer more. Hmmm.  So, what do you think?

Carrie’s Reply:

Thanks for taking time to share about your daughters. That really helps, as we look at possibilities for each of them. In reading through what you’ve shared, I am inclined to think that it is wise to look at the two kiddos individually for placement. With your would be 8th grader doing MTMM’s left side this past year and weighing your younger student’s dyslexia in the equation, I think the two kiddos belong in two different guides.

I would place them where they each fit on the placement chart.

I’d be inclined to place them where they fit on the placement chart simply so that they each receive a forward moving experience skill-wise. Skills train kiddos academically for what is to come, and I also think that each HOD guide has a strong Biblical focus along with the skills providing your kiddos with hidden, unexpected spiritual-related gems at each level of their education.

I would place your younger daughter in Creation to Christ.

With this in mind, I would lean toward placing your younger daughter in CTC. The readings, following written directions, and written component of the left side of the guide would be a good fit. I think the poetry with watercolor painting from the right side of the guide would also be inspirational. The Genesis study with The Radical Book for Kids and the Geography of the Holy Lands would also be a part of her day, with the plans from the right side of the CTC guide. The parent reads aloud these two books, so she would not become fatigued with more reading.

Your older daughter could join your younger daughter for the Genesis/Child’s Geography part of the CTC plans.

If desired, you could have your older daughter join you for the alternating Genesis/Child’s Geography part of the CTC study. These studies would fit very well with the World Geography Guide topics your older student would be doing and be enjoyable for your older student to join in doing with you. We actually did this with my oldest son when he was in 8th grade and with my next son when he was doing CTC. It was a good time together for them, and my oldest hadn’t done those particular things previously, as I’d not yet written them. Placing your younger student in CTC would allow for growth in her areas of difficulty without overwhelming her. It would put her on a solid, forward-moving path skill-wise. Additionally, it would give her the exposure to the ancients that you desire.

I would place your older daughter in World Geography.

For your older daughter, I would lean toward the World Geography guide. The World Religion & Cultures study would be very timely, especially in light of the possibility of her heading to public school the following year. The explorer/history-based study of geography, woven with video footage and Biblical-based geography would provide a component to the study that she may not ever have the chance to receive again. It will impact how she views the world. Furthermore, it will give her a firm foundation for future, higher-level history studies to come.

I would also strongly consider having her complete the logic portion of the plans and probably the literature study. The Bible study is excellent as well and is included in the economy package. If you thought the Bible study in the World Geography guide would be too much for your older daughter, you could instead have her Bible study be the Genesis: Radical Book for Kids and Child’s Geography of the Holy Lands from CTC. I think this path would be a good one in meeting the needs of both students.

Blessings,

Carrie

 

World Geography Integrated Physics and Chemistry Questions

Dear Carrie

Are the activity sheets in Integrated Physics and Chemistry ‘open book,’ and do we need to do the quizzes and tests? 

Dear Carrie,

We are just starting Heart of Dakota‘s Hearts for Him Through High School World Geography. I am a bit confused about the Integrated Physics and Chemistry materials. Can you help? I guess I have 2 questions! First, are the “activity sheets” found in the IPC activities books that are to be completed after the lesson’s reading supposed to be “open book”?  The instructions say read the material through once, then read the material again while answering the activity questions. So that seems to imply “open book”, but I wanted to be sure.  Second, do we need to do the quizzes and tests? It doesn’t say anything about them, nor do I see them mentioned in the detailed grading suggestions, but I wanted to be sure. Many thanks!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help Me with Integrated Physics and Chemistry”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me with Integrated Physics and Chemistry,”

Great questions! As far as the activity books go, the students are definitely meant to refer back to their reading as they complete the follow-up questions.

We do not include the tests or quizzes simply due to the very rigorous schedule we use to complete the materials in a single year. Tiner’s Integrated Physics and Chemistry course contains 12 chapters, with 742 pages of physics and chemistry related-topics. There are 180 individual readings in the course, each taking up 4-5 pages. The content coverage is very solid, as you can imagine with this many pages of text!   We use all 12 chapters of the text, which results in 1-2 readings a day on most days. We also use all of the accompanying activity books as a follow-up to the readings.

A Note on Awarding Credits for Integrated Physics and Chemistry

The publisher mentions that two credits could be awarded for the Integrated Physics and Chemistry coursework, with one credit for intro to physics and another credit for intro to chemistry. After having each of our own oldest three sons do all 12 chapters of the IPC course during their freshman year, we feel with the time it took to complete the course that awarding only 1 credit is more in alignment with typical high school standards. However, it is one very full credit!

A Note on the Labwork That Has Been Added to Integrated Physics and Chemistry

Since Tiner’s text does not include labwork, in order to include labs, we added the MicroPhySci Kit from Quality Science Labs. This makes the Integrated Physics and Chemistry course a lab science. The kit includes 36 labs and a complete lab manual for recording results. Each lab lasts approximately 45 min – 1 hour and does include science/mathematical formulas and calculations. With the addition of the 36 labs, decisions had to made as far as what to forego in order to complete the course in a year. If you feel strongly about giving the tests or quizzes, you may certainly add those back in! We have found the course to be more than enough as written in the World Geography guide!

We pray your student enjoys the IPC course as much as our sons have! We have had 3 of our boys go through it now at different times, and all have thoroughly enjoyed the course!

Blessings,
Carrie

P.S. To read more about World Geography, click here!

P.S.S. To read more about HOD in general, click here!

Explore the World in a Whole New Way… World Geography for High School

From Our House to Yours

Get ready to explore the world in a whole new way via high school World Geography!

In Heart of Dakota‘s World Geography, get ready to explore land and sea, discover treasures old and new, solve past and present mysteries, and journey from one end of the earth to the other!  If you are like me, fellow homeschool moms, your own past personal trek through World Geography back when (we won’t say how far ‘back when’) might not have been all that exciting.  Well, forget that!  HOD’s World Geography will set your 13-15 year old on an exciting expedition.  Armed with knowledge, filled with compassion, and consumed with love for others around the world, who knows what great things our God has planned for our high school students during their year of exploration in World Geography?!?

High school can be scary for both moms and students, but Heart of Dakota has your back!

I remember begging, yes, begging Carrie to write high school guides.  One year at a time, one guide at a time, one son getting one year older at a time, and the Lord laid it on her heart to do this.  Praise God!  That’s all I can say, because I just couldn’t envision homeschooling high school in any other way.  High school feels a little scary.  Both moms and students can balk at homeschooling in high school. Well, rest easy, friend, because HOD’s high school guides cover it all. Course descriptions, course materials, all typical credits and electives needed, suggested grading, a 4-day week plan, easy-to-use 2-page spread lesson plans, Charlotte Mason focused, Christ-centered, literature-based… ahhhhhhh… need I go on?!?  High school can be scary, but HOD has your back! So, it’s not so scary.  In fact, I dare say, it’s incredible!!!

High school is all about the numbers.  So, how many credits can be earned?

Creating a good transcript is fairly important. We feel the responsibility as homeschool parents of making sure our kiddos are ready – ready for whatever God may have planned for them after high school graduation. It can feel like high school is all about the numbers.  And in some regards, it is.  How many credits should be earned?  Well, the very basic thought on this would be the 4 x 4 – 1 full credit in English, 1 full credit in Math, 1 fun credit in History, and 1 full credit in Science each year.  That is the very basic formula, with required electives thrown in for measure.

Homeschool students should shoot higher than the ‘basics,’ but guard against ‘padding the transcript.’  Too few credits might leave students unprepared for college.  Too many credits raises red flags and can overload a student. World Geography is just right.  With 6 1/2 possible credits, it is perfect for college entrance requirements!  Maybe kiddos won’t choose the ‘college’ path, but should they want to, at least we won’t have held them back from it!

So, what are the 6 1/2 credits covered in World Geography?

There are a total of 6 1/2 credits covered in World Geography, but you always can tailor your student’s transcript according to the plan you like best. The Economy Package alone sports 1 full credit in World Geography, 1 full credit in Bible, and 1/2 credit in World Religions and Cultures. Then, the Complete English Package covers 1 full credit in English, including literature, composition, and grammar.  Next, the science package covers 1 full credit in Integrated Physics in Chemistry, with or without lab.  Add 1 full credit in math Algebra 1 by choosing from our multitude of math options.  Tack on 1/2 credit in Spanish and 1/2 credit in Logic, and voila!  You’ve earned 6 1/2 credits!

What can be expected in the World Geography credit?

So, I’ve promised an intriguing year in World Geography, but what exactly can students expect?  Amazing chronological history readings from ‘real books’ provide the backbone of the credit. Add in Charlotte Mason style key word, summary, detailed, and topic oral narrations. Stir in full-color beautiful Expedition Journal Entries peppered with bulleted notes, outlines, sketches, primary source documents, questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, video viewing guides, research topics, Socratic discussions, and more!

Mix in breathtaking Reader’s Digest DVD viewings and follow-ups that transport students visually to the very places they are studying!  Sprinkle in some geography reading based written narrations and some one-of-a-kind Book of Centuries portrait gallery and lined timeline entries. Amp up the flavor with Ellen McHenry’s guided mapping lessons and hands-on navigational projects in Mapping the World With Art. Spice it up with extra credit Living Library readings, and you have the recipe for a fantastic year in World Geography!

So, why are the 1/2 credit in World Religions and Cultures and the 1 full credit in Bible part of the Economy Package?

Good question, and there is a good answer!  As students are taking their tour of the world via their World Geography history credit, World Religions and Cultures takes them on a matching tour of the major religions of the world.  With inspiring biographies of people who converted from their first religion to Christianity, what could be a better match?!?  Likewise, the Bible and Devotional Study introduces students to unreached people groups and how to pray for them!  Moving readings about unreached people groups from the very places students are learning about in World Geography correlate with annotations, Scripture memorization, the Biblical model of prayer, a personal prayer journal, and devotions.  What an inspiring match for World Geography!

Why should your student do Integrated Physics and Chemistry for science?

Why not, I say?  Doing Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) earlier on in high school has its definite advantages. First, completing it earlier helps it not be so heavily math-based. Second, completing it earlier gives students more options in 12th grade. How? Well, by 12th grade students will probably know if they are going to require physics for their future plans post-graduation.  If they are going into a field that requires physics, then they can take a full-blown physics course their senior year.  If they are not, they’ve already fulfilled their physics requirement in IPC, and they can enjoy our awesome 12th grade Astronomy/Geology/ Paleontology course instead!

What can your student expect in the English credit?

Heart of Dakota’s English credit includes a balance of literature, composition, grammar, and dictation.  BJU Fundamentals of Literature provides the spine of literature study. It includes readings, discussions, literary analysis, Biblical worldview, and critical thinking questions.  Classic girl or boy set novels are interspersed at balanced intervals. So, Charlotte Mason’s living books, oral and written narrations, and Common Place Book entries are married with BJU’s plans beautifully! Next, Essentials in Writing covers the composition portion of the credit. DVD lessons, follow-up assignments, personal/persuasive/expository/compare and contrast essays, and a final research paper are all included. Finally, Building Securely English includes grammar/English skills, and studied dictation keeps students progressing in spelling.

Finally, add 1 full credit in Algebra 1, a 1/2 credit in Logic and a 1/2 credit in Spanish!

With multiple choices in Algebra 1, you can choose what fits your student best.  Each math option has its benefits. With a wide range of options, one of the math programs is sure to fit your student well. Next, your student can enjoy a 1/2 credit in Logic via The Fallacy Detective and The Art of Argument.  Finally, your student can learn Spanish via Getting Started with Spanish.  And there you have it!  6 1/2 credits earned in one year of high school, just like that!

In Christ,

Julie

P.S. For more information on Heart of Dakota in general, click here!

P.S.S.  To read more about Carrie’s choices for World Geography, check out her sneak peaks specific to each subject area by clicking here!