Homeschool Recap: Beyond Little Hearts Unit 4 & More!
Changes, changes, changes! Well, maybe more like tweaks. There is only one thing we totally scrapped. The other adjustments were just modifications made to fit us a little better. Here’s what it looked like at our house during week 4 of the 2018-19 school year!
History: I really do love Heart of Dakota. I love the family of homeschoolers I get to chat with in groups. I love the home office staff and writers. But we are not loving our history books this year. The History Activity and Geography boxes are a hit, though! For now, we are just changing how we do the readings, but if things continue to be this “rocky” during history time, we may need to look at a more involved switch. I’ve decided to just read the “key idea” summary and if there happen to be pictures, I’ll show those as well and do a little “picture study” to draw out some more of the content. I am learning just how important pictures are to my son. On a somewhat silly note, I found the perfect snack to nibble on during our readings. I was disappointed (just a little) that neither of my kids wanted to try these windmill cookies! “But the Pilgrims went to Holland…and the windmills…get it guys!?” Oh they got…but they didn’t see frosting or sprinkles so it was a no-go.
Math: I wish I had more pictures of the smiles at math time. Thank you, Singapore Math! The trouble is, we are all enjoying it so much that I don’t think to stop and snap a picture. The scheduled activities in the Beyond guide are fabulous!! They are just enough and we all love them – low prep for me, hands-on for my son and little tag-along. I will seriously try to get pictures so you can see some of the things we get to do for math! Super fun! I also just recently read that the workbooks are intentionally black and white so students can color in the illustrations when they finish/get correct answers. I suggested doing this and the boy jumped for joy!
Science: We wrapped up our weather study by spending a couple days discussing seasons. Our library is just fantastic. I didn’t know that Gail Gibbons books come on DVD!! We really enjoyed a little change of pace by watching her seasons book on DVD instead of me reading it for the lesson. (This was one of the suggested extra books to read when RSO Earth and Space Level 1 using . It is not required.) I wish we could have captured the experiment we did this week! We used a lamp without the shade to act as the sun and as you can imagine, it proved nearly impossible to get a picture of anything but that bright light. We put a ball of playdough on a skewer to simulate the earth rotating around the sun. This really helped to cement the impact the earth’s tilt and position have on seasons. And it was so simple!
Geography: I love the way Heart of Dakota is bringing in geography terms. I created a word wall with the help of my little dude and we are using it to display this vocabulary. (If you are not part of the Beyond FB group – get there! One mama shared a whole set of geography flashcards w/pictures to use with the guide!) I am somewhat surprise that the learning/displaying vocab is my son’s favorite part of geography so far. This unit we talked about canals and dikes in Holland. We even had a little “contest” to see who could keep the little Lego house dry with a handmade dike. Big brother won.
Reading: We moved over completely to BJU Press Reading 2 . This made me a little sad. I was so excited to move into the Emerging Readers list this year. But my son has this thing about finishing a book/story. He doesn’t want to just read a few pages and then come back the next day to read a few more. The books on the list were too long for him to read all in one sitting and so he was completely opposed to reading them from day one. He loved the BJU readers in first grade, so we “went home” and found he likes the second grade ones as well.
Literature: Storytime with Heart of Dakota has also been a let down for us. I absolutely love the suggestions and thought they would make for a great year of enjoying good books! But like I said earlier, my son just isn’t having it without pictures. It was really painful and I feared causing him to dread read alouds. So, we completely stopped mid-book and switched. We went back to what worked last year – Memoria Press read aloud suggestions.
So, while we all think the year is going well (and it is), I can’t help but feel a little sad that perhaps Heart of Dakota isn’t going to be our curriculum home as I once thought. We may end up being ecclectic after all. If you knew me in real life, this is the last word you would ever use to describe me. Looks like my kiddos aren’t the only ones learning and growing through this homeschool adventure.