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Date with Ethan

Lupe and I had to run a few errands and decided to take Ethan with us.
Once were done with the errands we grabbed a bite to eat at Taco Casa.
They got caught up watching the game. I had to snap a picture with my phone.

As a special treat we took him to Starbucks. We were going to go to Shoemaker and Hardt but they were closed.
Coffee with Ethan
We all had a lot of fun. I enjoyed my time with Lupe and Ethan.

Why I’m Using 6 Guides

 Since I decided to use six Heart of Dakota Guides this year, people are asking, "Why 6?" and "Why not combine?" 

Before deciding to use 6 Heart of Dakota Guides, I did think about combining. My kids are so close in age. I could have put Ethan 11yr. and Lance 10yr. in Preparing and Caleb 14yr. and Brent 13yr. in Rev2Rev.
Heart of Dakota School
Well, first of all, I absolutely love each HOD Guide. Carrie has done an amazing job with pulling books and programs together. I love how she ties everything in. She is truly gifted in this area.

It’s amazing to me how she fits everything I ever wanted in the programs she has created: narration skill from oral to written, copywork, dictation, bullet points, outlining, one sentence summaries, analyzing, and so much more.

There are programs that I’ve wanted to use with the children but never found the time to fit them in like, nature journal, Mapping the World With Art, Pilgrims Progress Study, The Art of Argument, Fallacy Detectives, Map Trek, Apologia Science, Apologia Worldview Curriculum, What in the World? by Diana Waring, and that’s just the tip of the ice berg!
Heart of Dakota Books
Reasons Why We Are Not Combining

1. Heart of Dakota Publishing has so much to offer my children in each level that I really, really, really, want them to experience as much of HOD before graduating.
2. I have a hard time gathering children together, it’s easier for me to call for one child and we sit and work through the boxes. Some of my kids are not morning people.

Those are my two main reasons. Pretty simple.
Whose Using What?

Joshua hasn’t started the World History Guide just yet. He is finishing up the last few weeks of the World Geography Guide.

Annette is using the World Geography Guide. It’s her first year of high school. Can’t believe I have two high school age children. Annette has used Resurrection to Reformation and Mission to Modern Marvels in the past.

I put Caleb in MtMM because I wanted him to study American history before hitting the World Geography Guide. Caleb is in 8th grade, my time is going by way too fast. Caleb has used Preparing and CtC in the past.

Brent is using Revival to Revolution. He’s in 7th grade so this will give him a chance to use MtMM as well before hitting high school. Brent has used Preparing and CtC in the past.

Ethan is using Creation to Christ. In the past he used Bigger Hearts.

Lance started Preparing and has used Little Hearts and parts of Beyond.

My 4 younger boys struggle with reading so we are taking it slow. Heart of Dakota in the Guides that my children are using run 4 days a week. We are taking 5 days to complete 3 day for each Unit.

So our week looks something like this.
Week 1: Unit 1, Days 1, 2, and 3.
Week 2: Unit 1 Day 4, Unit 2 Days 1 and 2.
Week 3: Unit 2, Days 3 and 4, Unit 3 Day 1
and so forth.

Right now I’m doing most of the reading which makes for a long day but at the same time I get to spend time with each child. It’s nice sitting with Caleb and talking over what we read. I enjoy helping Brent, he’s funny and makes me laugh. Ethan and Lance are growing up so fast and sitting with them and watching their face expressions is cute.

Yes, it’s a challenge, and I’m tired, and I even get tired of reading so much but I’m also having a blast with my boys!

I am looking forward to the day when they are reading most of the books. My goal is to have them complete most of the programs by Jan./Feb. I admit I’ll kind of miss all that reading.

Schoolhouse Review: Fix It! Grammar

Fix It! Grammar Review
Ethan and I have been reviewing Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree from Institute for Excellence in Writing.
We have really been liking Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree because the lessons are short and not overwhelming for Ethan. It takes no more than 15 minutes a day!
What I received for this review:
Fix It! Grammar the Nose Tree (Book 1) Teacher Manual $19.00
Fix it! Grammar The Nose Tree (Book 1) Student Book $15.00

Recommended Age: 3rd Grade & up
Fix It! Grammar The Nose Tree
What is Fix It! Grammar: This grammar program is unique in the way grammar is taught. Your child will learn grammar while fixing mistakes in a story. With The Nose Tree your child is fixing, reading, and rewriting a Brother Grimm fairytale
There are 33 weeks of daily passages which can be completed in 4 days. Your child will learn a grammar concept, locate errors thus fixing it, then rewrite the passage.
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Student Book 1 is spiral bound and has three parts. The workbook pages, grammar cards to be cut out each week, and a glossary explaining all the grammar rules. The glossary probably won’t be used much by the younger students but is great for mom and older children.
Each week there is a two page spread. On the left side are instructions for the child as what he/she will fix that week. For instance week 1 the child will find nouns, homophones, and end marks. The editing symbol for indenting is also explained.
Fix It! Grammar
On the bottom of the instruction page the child is told exactly what to do:
*Read the sentence.
*Define the bolded vocabulary word.
*Fix and mark the sentence.
*Discuss your work with your teacher.
*Rewrite the sentence in another notebook.
Each week there are new grammar concepts to fix. By week 26 your child will fix prepositional phrases, clause starters, verbs (not just action verbs), who-which clauses, coordinating conjunctions, –ly adverbs, and the child will also learn what Institute for Excellence calls Style.
The style of
the verb- strong verb (undertake, costumed, hurry)
adjectives – quality adjectives (exquisite, juicy)
and adverbs - -ly adverbs (heartily, boldly)
As you can see it gets pretty meaty in the first book.
The Teacher Manual is semi scripted. Each page has the days sentence with answers. It guides the teacher to ask questions, for instance: Who is doing the action? or name the helping verb in this sentence?
Fix It! Grammar
There are notes in the margins to remind you to discuss, adjust the lesson as needed, or if it’s a review week. Little mental notes for mom is what I call the marginal notes!
It is recommended that older students start with book 1 and work at a faster pace. There is a placement test your child can take as well if you decide you’d rather not start at the beginning. You can also see samples of each Fix It! Grammar level at Institute of Excellence in Writing’s website.
What’s great about the 3rd edition of Fix It! Grammar, the teacher manual and the student books have a much cleaner look. There is a teacher manual for each level which for me makes things a lot easier because there isn’t so much instructions on a page. The child doesn’t have to refer to the appendix for more information, everything the child needs to know is on the 2 page spread.
How We Used It:
I used Fix It! Grammar with my 11 year old son Ethan. The first few weeks we did everything together. By the 3rd week he could do most of it on his own.
On Monday I went over everything with him. We fixed the passage together. Tuesday-Thursday he completed his work and later we would meet to go over what he completed. I would further discuss with him the grammar concept.

Friday he would do the rewrite. This can be done on the 4th day as well but for us it worked out to do it another day.
Fix It Grammar Cards
What We Thought:
If Ethan had to pick a favorite reason why he likes this program it would be that it doesn’t take long. All he has to do is fix one sentence and look up one vocabulary word and that’s it!
If he had to pick his least favorite thing about Fix It! Grammar he would most likely choose looking up the vocabulary words in the dictionary.
  I love the repetition that Fix It! Grammar provides. Every week the child is learning a new grammar concept to fix while continuing to fix/review the previous ones learned. I love that grammar is being taught in a way where the child is combining their grammar knowledge with a story and eventually in their writing when they rewrite the passage. The editing skills I think is a bonus with this program. Of course I like the ease of use. The program doesn’t take 30-40 minutes like other programs I’ve used in the past.
Bottom Line:
Fix It! Grammar.1
To read more reviews (my Crew Mates used different levels), please click on the banner below.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Heart of Dakota Homeschool 2nd Week

Warning, warning. . . 
this is an extremely long post. I don’t expect you all to read the whole post. I bolded the subjects so you can find what interest you. Have fun!

September 22nd-26th 2014
Heart of Dakota
My 2nd week of juggling 6 Heart of Dakota (HOD) guides went well. Super busy but good. I admit Wednesday I was a bit harried and grumpy. For some reason I stress out on AWANA days.
Annette 9th Grade
Annette is already on her 3rd Unit. She has worked diligently and is really enjoying Hearts for Him Through High School: World Geography.
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Focus: Ancient Empires of Babylon, Minoa, Phoenicia, and Greece
Unit 3

World Geography:
Annette read from the Book of Discovery, Archaeology Book, and the Seven Wonders of the World.
HOD Annette 003
Using A Book of Discovery the had to write a 3 paragraph narration. I love that HOD walks her through it. Giving her ideas and asking questions to make sure she sticks to the the main topic, main idea, has supporting details, and did she write in a style that reflects the personality of the author, did she had an opening and closing sentence.

Geography she she is using Mapping the World With Art she made some stamps (recipe included in the Guide). Next week she’ll make a Babylonian clay map. She also watched the DVD Mysteries of the Ancient World.
Living Library she is reading The Sign Above the Door. Once she completes the reading she has different activities to do throughout the week: orally narrate and/or write a one sentence summary. In the guide it gives her steps for writing her one sentence summary.

World Religion & Cultures she read from But Don’t All Religions Lead to God and World Religions: An Indispensable Introduction.
World Geography Guide
Annette and I went out for a cup of coffee to discuss what she read in her World Religion and Cultures course. One thing that stood out was how Heart of Dakota has Annette look up scripture to compare what she is reading to the Word of God.

Foreign Language this year is Spanish using Getting Started with Spanish.
World Geography Guide
The Fallacy Detective for Logic
HOD Annette 011
Literature Study and Grammar/Composition she is using from Bob Jones Fundamentals of Literature. From Rod and Staff: Building Securely. Writing for right now she is using Essay Rock Start: Writing an Expository Essay from Fortuigence. Once she completes this course she’ll start with Essentials in Writing.
HOD Annette 007 
She is also reading A Lantern in Her Hands.
HOD Annette 015
Bible Study: Rooted and Grounded, Scripture Memory AWANA
World Geograpy
Math: Math-U-See
Math U See
Her HOD Guide just looked nice so I took a picture of it along with her books, hehe.
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Currently she is skipping science. She is going to do the Biology course with Josh instead of the course that goes with the World Geography Guide (WG).
HOD Annette 016
Annette’s weekly homeschool books!

Whew! And that was only one guide I wrote about. This may take awhile. 
Maybe I’ll get another cup of java!

Caleb 8th Grade

This week finished Unit 1 Day 4 and Unit 2 Days 1 & 2 and part of 3. Right now Caleb is completing 3 days of Heart of Dakota: Mission to Modern Marvels. Next week he will start with Unit 2 Day 4 and complete Unit 3 Days 1 and 2.
I don’t have pictures of all his books like did with Annette’s. I’m still trying to figure out how to document all their work. It takes hours to get the pictures, crop, grab the guides, organize, and write it all.
Reading about History: I read Rescue & Redeem to him.
Caleb had to give me an oral narration, do comparison of characters, and look up provinces on the map. All this was throughout the week not in a day.

History Project: Caleb worked on making a Chinese Wall Hanging.
Mission to Modern Marvels
He had to brew a cup of strong coffee and put his paper in it to ‘age’. A few days later he painted Chines letters.

Independent History Study: he uses Rescue & Redeemed to find China, Korea, Japan, Korea, Hawaiian Islands, United States, Mexico, Germany, and Uganda. Had to look at timeline for the Modern Church Timeline and in his Student Notebook write a quote that jumped out to him from a letter that Hudson Taylor wrote.

Storytime: I’m reading Under the Hawthorne Tree. Throughout the week Caleb had to orally narrate, discuss why a character who believed in God now thought God was a monster, summarize a chapter in one sentence, and ask a question about the chapter.

Biblical Self Image: I read Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here?
Language Arts: Rod and Staff 4, IXL Grammar (for practice), Writing & Rhetoric,  The Exciting World of Creative Writing as Scheduled in Brent’s Guide (Rev2Rev) and Spelling You See.

We actually didn’t get too much of R&S and Writing and Rhetoric in this week. I’ve been so buys reading to everyone. I do need to figure something out. This is why I have added IXL, so they can at least keep learning. IXL doesn’t teach diagramming so we need to get back to R&S soon before they forget all that they’ve been learning. Thankful for IXL!

Caleb has completed lesson 16 of Spelling You See! Yay, for Caleb. He is almost done with the first book.
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Here is Caleb reading his guide.
Bible Quiet Time: Faith at Work. Scripture Memory: Romans 12:1-2. Music: Hymns for a Kid’s Heart

Math: Math-U-See and CTC Math
Caleb completed a lesson of MUS and CTC Math. He’s going to be switching to Saxon 1/2 in a few weeks though. MUS he is not understanding.

Science Exploration: I read Exploring the World of Chemistry. Next week he’ll do a science experiment. This week he answered questions from the book Exploring the World of Chemistry.

Geography: Caleb labeled the “World Empires 1900” map. Timeline: he drew pictures and dated them in his Student Notebook. Economics: Caleb read Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? He had to write one sentence that summarized the economic principle from the days reading.

Worthy Words: He had to analyze and evaluate a letter by Hudson Taylor. Caleb and I read the letter taking turns with the paragraphs and discussed the the questions. I am not having him write & answer the questions on index cards.
Heart of Dakota
Nature Journal & Poetry: He personalized his journals cover.
State Study: We both took turns reading State History From a Christian Perspective.
He had to find the boarding states of Texas, color Texas, and find the lakes.

Brent School

Brent completed Unit 1 Day 4 and Unit 2 Days 1 & 2 and part of 3. The three middle boys (Caleb, Brent, Ethan) younger kids are only completing 3 days of the schedule a week. Lance, 2 days.

Unit 2: Life in the New World at the Time of Fredrick II Becomes King of Prussia

Reading About History: Brent reads this on his own for the most part. Sometimes I’ll sit with him and listen to him read.

Brent had to write a written narration 10-14 sentence, an oral narration no longer than 6 sentences, had to find the city of Berlin in Germany on a globe, he compare the Pueblo's  spiritual gaurdians and rituals to the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:12-16, throughout the week.
History Project: Brent made a Woodland headdress and started making a Pueblo pottery.
Revival to Revolution
He will finish his Pueblo pottery next week.
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 018
State Study: Brent read from Fifty States Under God about Pennsylvania. He wrote facts in his notebook, pasted the state seal, flag, etc.
Revival to Revolution
Storytime: I read Amos Fortune: A Free Man to Brent. We discussed questions that are in the guide: evaluation, synthesis, analysis, and an oral narration.
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 014
Geography: Brent had to label Prussia using Map Trek.
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 030
Revival to Revolution
Independent History Study: Brent copies a quote from Benjamin West in his notebook, he drew an American bison, and he looked at the timeline in George Washington’s World to see who was living when Mr. Washing was alive.
Revival to Revolution
Bible Quiet Time: Brent is working through Hidden Treasures. Scripture Memory: Hebrews 11:1-3 and AWANA.

Language Arts: Spelling You See, Rod and Staff English 4, IXL grammar, The Exciting World of Writing. Like Caleb no R&S was completed. He completed his first lesson from The Exciting World of Writing. He had to write about his room using detail.

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to add some R&S lessons in as well as Writing & Rhetoric.

Biblical Worldview: I read from Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?

Math: Math Essentials Book 2, he completed 5 lessons
Science Exploration: Exploration Education, he really liking this. Here he is reading his science text from the computer.
HOD Annette 017
He made a racer.
Poetry: I must admit we only read the poem once. Bren copied the title of the poem and 6 lines from it.

Research: Using The Signers Brent read about Samuel Adams. He then had to write using bullet points information about Mr. Adams on the back of card he cut out of his notebook.

Music: we listened to The Story of Classical Music CD Tracks 1-5. We read the Periods of Music booklet and put together Opera Program together.
Inventors Study: the inventor we are studying this week is Michael Faraday. You know, reading almost everything to the boys take time and yes I’m tired at the end of the day. What I do like is I am now reading all the books that I haven’t taken the time to read before. It would have been years before I picked up the book Michael Faraday.
The inside.
Brent’s books that he used for the week.
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 041
I love finding Brent reading one of his school books.
Next up! Ethan’s school.

Ethan School

Like the other 2 boys, Ethan finished Unit 1 Day4, Unit 2 Days 1 & 2 and some of 3.

Focus: First Cities After the Flood

Reading About History: I read from The Story of the Ancient World. Ethan gave an oral narration that I wrote down for him to copy into his notebook. He’s really suppose to do this on his own. He copied a portion of Days 2 reading into his Student Notebook.
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 004
Storytime: I read Dinosaurs of Eden and started The Golden Bull. Unfortunately I didn’t have him narrate the portions reading to me. I forgot.

Bible Quite Time: Ethan read either from his Bible or The Illustrated Family Bible. He highlighted verses in his Bible and is memorizing Philippians 2:1-2. He was suppose to copy Phil. 1:1 in his Common Place Book but the stinker didn’t do it so he’ll have to copy two verses next week.
Creation to Christ
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During Bible time he also read Job and highlighted Job 42:2
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Independent History Study: Ethan was suppose to listen the What in the World? disc but the first disc to the set is missing so we are skipping that portion for now. In his Student Notebook Ethan copied in cursive Genesis 11:8-9. He didn’t want to do this but I told him he had to. He whined that it was too hard. I calmly reminded him that he can do this and to do his best for Jesus.

After a while he was whining that he couldn’t fit the whole verse in the box. I told him when his older brothers used CtC that they would write it on a lined piece of paper than tape it into the notebook.
Creation to Christ
A little while late he proudly showed me how he was able to fit the whole verse by adding some lined paper. I was very proud of him because I had told to write what he could and next week he can use notebook paper. So seeing that he wrote it all melted my mama heart. And he changed his bad attitude as well. He was happy and not whiny.

Bible Study: I am reading Genesis Finding Our Roots. This week I just read and discussed. We didn’t do any of study portion of it.

Poetry: I admit I only read the poem twice to Ethan. This week he copied a portion of the poem and painted a scene. He doesn’t say it verbally but I can tell he enjoys the poetry painting.
Unit 2
The blue part of the painting his water with branches sticking out.

Math: Teaching Textbooks 5, right now Ethan is doing 2 lessons a day because it’s on the easy side. Once it becomes more challenging he’ll slow it down to 1 lesson. Our goal is to get him through Teaching Textbooks 5 and 6.
Science: I read from Land Animals of the Sixth Day. This week Ethan made an animal track book. This is where he will draw animal tracks as we go through the book. He copied Genesis 1:26 on the cover.
Creation to Christ
He also had to orally narrate a days reading .

Here is Ethan reading a portion from his science text. As time permits I really try to have the boys do some reading. I am doing most of it but again, if I can get them reading even 1/4 for now that’s a good thing!
3.26.14 Heart of Dakota w2 015
The DNA section was confusing for him but that’s okay. With Heart of Dakota it will come around again.

History Project: we made air dry clay and next week will finish the project. We kind of got behind with this.

Language Arts: Ethan completed 2 lessons in All About Reading and All About Spelling, he completed week 5 of Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree, and 4 lessons of English Lessons Through Literature.
Language Arts
Geography work
PicMonkey Collage
Lance made us all some ice coffee. He knew we needed it!
Coffee Time


Lance my Preparing Hearts for His Glory guy struggles with writing. I have him do what he can.
I have Lance copying only one or two sentences at a time.
I didn’t get a chance to get Joshua’s school stuff. I’ll try to get a post next week of his work and where he’s at in high school.