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Heart of Dakota homeschool curriculum
Excited to Start our Heart of Dakota Curriculum (Little Hearts for His Glory)
We finally received our Heart of Dakota Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum yesterday, and I spent the rest of the day covering each book in plastic wrap(-----reminded me of my own school days when I would excited wrap all my books just before school started!) I'll be sharing what I got in the curriculum in this lens so it would also help you decide whether or not you want to use Heart of Dakota for your own little one. (Little Hearts for His Glory is the curriculum designed for 5-7 year olds.)
Included Reading Selection
The Heart of Dakota curriculum agrees with Charlotte Mason's preference for living books, and I was so happy to find that it included this set of children's books (Thornton Burgess animal stories and Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and Other Stories). It makes it a lot easier than having to find each individual book myself----of course, that's because I live outside of the United States and our city doesn't really have a good bookstore or library.
First things first: Get a Bible
I love how Heart of Dakota emphasizes the Bible as the center of everything! It allows you to pick from one of the children's Bibles they recommend or use your own. In our case, we fell in love with the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, so we didn't buy a new Bible anymore.
I love the way that this Bible emphasizes that every story is about Jesus! If there's one thing I want my child to learn about the Bible, it's that everything points to Jesus and His finished work on the cross!
Heart of Dakota recommends Singapore Math----for the LHFHG curriculum, though, the Earlybirds Singapore Math has gone out of stock, so they recommended either Essential Math or Standard Singapore Math. We bought the Essential Math based on my kid's learning level.
I love how Singapore math uses manipulatives and children's visual discrimination in introducing math concepts! My son has started leafing through the books with great interest although we haven't even officially started yet! The books are filled with attractive pictures, sure to keep a small child's attention!
History for Little Pilgrims
I'm so glad Heart of Dakota uses this as one of its main texts! Don't let the title fool you: it's not all about the pilgrims of Thanksgiving. Instead, I love how the book points to us as pilgrims on this earth, and the book is all about history being His Story! I read through the entire book yesterday, and my heart burned as the stories also ended with pointing to the coming Rescuer, Jesus. For example, in the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, the story ends asking the child, "Now, who does this remind you of?" and goes on to explain that just as Isaac was given as a sacrifice (although he didn't end up dying), God would also be giving up His only Son!
I got just the Teacher's book from Heart of Dakota, but found that there's actually a set with coloring book at Amazon! If you want coloring pages to help reinforce what your child is learning, this may be a good choice!
Science: The World God Made
This is the science book included in the Recommended Resources for Kindergarten. Am I glad we ordered this along with the economy package! Each section deals with one day in the Creation story, showing us and our children that everything was created by God! A great foundation for a child's worldview of the world!
I love the full-color illustrations and easy-to-read text in this book!
Phonics: Reading Made Easy
LHFHG recommends either Reading Made Easy by Valerie Bendt or The Reading Lesson, or your own phonics program. After going through both books (which are BOTH very good, by the way!) I found myself leaning more towards Reading Made Easy. We got the CD version (which we'll just print out). But of course, I won't know how effective it is with my son until after we go through it, but I'm optimistic! :) I especially love how it ends up having the child start reading good quality literature at the end of the lessons.
Update: Day 2 Homeschooling with Heart of Dakota
I just can't resist adding a real, live photo of my 5-year-old having fun in homeschool! This is Day 2, the art portion of the curriculum: he's pasting chunks of brown and black paper onto a piece of white paper to symbolize all the stories of history, and then pasting a big red cross in the middle---to show that Jesus is the center of history, the beginning and the end!
I love how the Heart of Dakota Little Hearts for His Glory manual includes activities like this, especially since my son loves anything arts-and-craftsy. He was so engrossed with this!