Tag Archive | Little Hearts for His Glory

Planning Little Hearts for His Glory – Organization and Pictures

I have been working really hard planning our upcoming school year. We will be completing Heart of Dakota‘s (HOD) 5-7 year old curriculum Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG). We planned it over 2 years so we are entering our second year with this curriculum. There will be 2 parts to this post. The first part will just be a brief schedule and curriculum plan and the second part will be a more in depth description of how I planned. Now I must post a disclaimer first. HOD’s curriculum is meant to be a pick up and go. There really is not a lot of planning involved BUT I am a planner and I have an insatiable appetite to plan and organize and make things cater to our needs so I have a hard time just opening and going. So none of this is required if you are deciding whether or not to pick HOD in your homeschool year. Just know you can just open and go and you will have a great time!!

Daily Schedule:

Kids of Integrity

Seeds Worship

LHFHG – History

Calendar Notebook

LHFHG – Rhyme

LHFHG – Alternating Activity

Snack

LHFHG – Motor Skills 

LHFHG – Math

LHFHG – Phonics

Extracurricular

LHFHG – Storytime at Lunch

After Lunch:

Amelia Read

Piano

Read Aloud

LHFHG curriculum is arranged in boxes on the page so you can really put it into practice in whatever order you want. I am a list maker and boxes don’t work for me so I created a daily schedule list so we can just work our way top to bottom and cross off as we go. If the task does not have LHFHG in front of it then those are the “add ins” I have put into our schedule to fit the needs/wants of our family.

Right now our weekly plan is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are school days at home. Tuesdays my oldest, who will turn 6 in October, will be in a homeschool enrichment day at a local school district. Thursdays every other week is our field trip day and we will go to either the zoo or museum. The Thursdays of the off week will be another regular school day at home. So we will have 3 or 4 days of LHFHG which is similar to last year and why we chose to complete the curriculum over 2 years. Side note: It was hard for my organizational brain to be okay with spreading the Unit plans over a couple of weeks. HOD is organized into 5 days per 1 Unit and now we are doing Days 1, 2 and 3 during one week and Days 4, 5 into a second week and then starting a new Unit in the middle of a week. I thought this would really bother me but it actually doesn’t!

Now for the extensive planning part:

Get some iced coffee and turn on some music (Family Life Radio is great!). Set up play doh, paints or beads for the kiddos! Prepare a few days in advance by purchasing printer ink, computer paper and any type of file folders, paper clips, etc. you may need for organizing. Mentally prepare yourself to let your house go for a few days. This took me a lot of time to think and print and organize but I know it will be worth it. For me the more organized and prepared I am then the more likely I am to follow through. Also take breaks if needed. If the kiddos are going insane because of all your attention to the computer then just take a break and go play for awhile. If you begin doubting everything you’re doing and feel like it’s not good enough or that it’s too much or that you just want to give up… then take a break! Get some fresh air, go to bed, watch a movie, anything… then start again the next day when you’re refreshed. Remember the Lord is the one directing you and He will provide.

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I use this file folder box ($3.47 at Wal Mart) and have folders for the months of the year as well as sections to put printed papers for Kids of Integrity, Seeds Family Worship, Seasonal and Holiday printable packs, etc. After we complete a week I put it into a folder with the Unit # and Name and file under the month we completed it.

1) I printed out a yearly calendar and mapped out how many days of school we’ll do as well as how many field trip days or seasonal/holiday learning weeks and how many homeschool enrichment days there will be.

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I made this on Microsoft Word. I like having 4 months to one sheet with room to take notes. I have 3 of these sheets to cover the whole school year.

2) I determined from there what to complete daily and what extracurricular subjects to include and on which days.

3) I laid out all of the homeschool supplies for the upcoming year that I have gathered and organized them into subjects and then decided what to use and what to leave out for another year/time. There are a lot of new things I want to buy for our curriculum but as finances are tight I knew the Lord would honor me digging things off our shelves that I spent money for in the past and never used!

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4) I printed out my LHFHG planning worksheet and began mapping out the weekly plan so I knew what projects/supplies to expect. I signed into my library account online and saved books I want to check out for each week under a “saved list” so I can just click and hold a few weeks before I need to pick them up. I printed the lists on the back of my planning worksheet to cross off as we read them and that way they are all right there on the same page.

This is another sheet I created on Microsoft Word as our Unit checklist.

5) I planned out our Kids of Integrity lessons. I determined how many bible stories for each virtue there are to see how many days we will study that virtue. Then I picked out crafts/activities from the lesson plan to complete each day as well as which bible verse to memorize for that virtue. I looked at the same library list maker and added books related to that virtue. I also consulted Right Now Media for any character building/virtue videos to watch on the tablet at the school table. I looked online for any coloring pages/scripture memory pages for the kiddos to color while I read the bible lesson to them.

6) I already had planned out Seeds Family Worship. It is pretty simple. We just picked which album to listen to and went to the BibleStoryPrintables website and matched up the album we picked out. I chose which handwriting worksheets and coloring pages I wanted and that’s that. So we listen to the song and color for a few minutes and practice reciting the verse.

7) BOB Books. This is what we are currently using for Phonics. I have been up and down and not sure what to do for phonics. Amelia is not really enjoying any of the programs we’ve tried (100 Easy Lessons) and she doesn’t necessarily enjoy the BOB books but we’re having more success with them than anything else. I really would like an official Phonics program and am looking into The Logic of English but will need to save up some money for that purchase. In the meantime I am continuing with the BOB books and adding in some fun activities and printables from these websites.

10) Extracurricular – US States Geography and Window on the World. We love our small geography time. We listen to the States CD. We pick an area (Easter border, Western border, etc.) and start coloring in the state on a blank US map. We color in the state for that area along with the song and then we look at our Atlas and our flashcard and just read for a few minutes about that state. That’s it! We are going to start a little into countries by working our way through the Window on the World book. We will look at the country and find it on a map and read about it in our Atlas and then pray according to the Window on the World book.

11) I then planned our field trips to the zoo and museum. I decided which exhibit to look at and looked online for printable packs, crafts, etc.  I also made library book lists online for books related to the subject. The weeks that we will go on a field trip I will substitute the printable pack papers into the motor skills, math and phonics sections of our daily plan instead of using the books that LHFHG calls for. Other than that change our week of learning will look the same but we will not cover any of the unit of the LHFHG manual.

12) I planned our seasonal/holiday learning weeks. This looks basically the same as the zoo and museum trips. I looked for printable packs online and crafts and library book lists. And again our week will look similar with substituting in the printable pack papers and not covering a unit of the LHFHG manual.

Here are some pictures of our room and our homeschooling day!

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Here is the view of our room from the kitchen. It is supposed to be a family/dining room but it is our multipurpose (school/play/office/dining room). We are so blessed to have this room! We do school at the dinner table in here.

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Here is a different view of our family room/dining room converted to a school/play/office/dining room!

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Here is the view of our “supply” room. We don’t do school at the little table but sometimes my 2 year old will sit there and play! And there’s my desk where all the planning occurs. The cubeicals to the R and L contain supplies, books and toy bins and our school box is on top of the cubeical to the L. I also have a small bulletin board with a blue and pink folder that I slip the completed work for the day into (1 for Josh and 1 for Amelia) and a small string with clothespins for any extra special papers to display. At the end of the week is when I collect the papers and file them away.

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And sometimes the baby sits and watches too!

Halfway Review of Little Hearts for His Glory

This review is a little less than halfway but I am at a point of re-planning and adding in some different things so I thought it would be a good time to organize and process through my thoughts and share them here.

You can look back at my first post here if you’re interested in more info on the Kindergarten set up of LHFHG.

Here are some things I really like about LHFHG (also keep in mind my kiddos are 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 and both started right before their 5 and 3 year old birthdays).

  • I love the bible verse memorization and found a lot of great printables here. I love printing the verse on cardstock and putting it in our photo book for easy review.
  • I love the Hide ‘Em in Your Heart CD to coincide with the memory verses.
  • I love the assigned storytime. My kiddos absolutely love reading through Thornton Burgess’s stories and it’s one of our favorite times of school (we usually do it after we’ve eaten our lunch and wrap up our day with this).
  • I enjoy the Art, Science, Thinking and Dramatic Play activities… these are things I usually don’t enjoy doing with the kiddos because I don’t think I’m very creative but they force me to go outside of my comfort zone and the kiddos LOVE doing these activities.

Here are some things I’m a little disappointed with about LHFHG. Now my disappointment does not mean I wouldn’t recommend it, it just means I have found some ways to supplement because of it. I also think it can be different for each family so you have to go by what works for you and your kiddos. For my kiddos these are some things I was hoping to have more of and it might be their age and interest calls for it.

  • I am actually a little disappointed in the Bible Study section. I was hoping to go through more of the Devotions book each week but it only shows up once or twice every couple of weeks. Aside from listening to the memory verse and practicing saying it and a short Bible story each day that is it for Bible Study. I think my kiddos have gotten familiar enough with the bible stories that they need something a little extra. I went back to Big Truths for Little Kids and have been reading a section from that each day they do not have a Devotions reading. I also will throw in their Awana story for the week on one of those days.
  • I’m also a little disappointed in the Science aspect of the guide. I am not very good at science and don’t really know how to teach it and maybe that’s why they don’t lean very heavily on science in this guide is because of the age for Kindergarten. Maybe what they have is just what they need. I think I had hoped someone would push me to add something in and LHFHG definitely doesn’t do that but that might be okay. To satisfy my guilty mom feelings we are utilizing our museum membership. We go to the museum every other week and pick one exhibit to focus on (i.e. dinosaurs, mummies, gems & minerals, etc.). We read books about that exhibit the week before we go and I usually can find some cute printables and coloring sheets for the kids to work on during the “fine motor skills” section of the manual. This has been great and I feel like we get a good portion of science in.
  • We dropped the 100 Easy Lessons for our phonics as it was just not vibing with Amelia. We went on to the Bob books and she has really liked those but it was still a struggle to get her excited about doing phonics. I started wondering about the early readers books and we picked some up at the library and now do that for phonics. She gets to pick any fun book she wants (usually frozen or some disney princess) and we read 1 or 2 pages each day. I just have her sound out each letter and put it together slowly then faster and faster until she’s sounded out the word. This is what I am thankful for about the 100 Easy Lessons because it taught me as the teacher a good method for teaching reading. Now she really looks forward to phonics and has been practicing sounding out words and word recognition everywhere we go!
  • As far as the Handwriting book and the Rod & Staff books I would say you could easily find the equivalent online. A lot of it she has already been familiar with and while it is easy and nice just to go page to page through the workbook I feel like you could find some critical thinking papers that maybe catch your child’s interests better through the internet. I also am not too impressed with the Handwriting book. Amelia had a lot of practice doing the copywork pages for the Seeds Family Worship songs and I don’t think this book teaches anything real different. I am almost tempted to have her do copywork of bible verses for the weekly memory verse and maybe will switch to that here soon.

So here is a review of our daily schedule: (We do school at home right now 3 days a week and we do 1 day a homeschool enrichment school day away and 1 day a field trip day to the zoo or museum)

  • Bible and Devotions/Big Truths for Little Kids
  • Scripture Memory and Music
  • Calendar Notebook (see post here)
  • Rhyme
  • Alternating Activity
  • Snack
  • Motor Skills
  • Math
  • Phonics
  • Chapter Book (we read through Amelia Bedelia or some other big chapter book)
  • Spanish (just learning flashcards and numbers, etc.)
  • Geography (see post here)
  • Storytime at Lunch (this is the Thornton Burgess books)
  • Piano after Rest Time (we just started working through this book)
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We made this school book box out of a diaper box. I hot glued scrapbook paper to the sides. I love using it because it is nice and strong and holds a lot and even has handles on the side!

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Here is the front/side of the box. I also wanted a way to display the current bible verses we were learning and I really don’t have much wall space and thought of doing this! So there’s each of their Awana verses for the week and the LHFHG verse for the week. You can see I cut down part of the front of the box to make for a little easier access to the books. We’ve been using it now for 8 months and it’s still standing strong!

Kindergarten: Little Hearts for His Glory

I am so excited! Tomorrow we are starting our first day of Kindergarten for Amelia and first day of Tot School for Joshua! After my friend introduced me to Heart of Dakota almost 1 year ago I fell in love with it and decided shortly after that it was the route for us. I am not sure that we will stick with it for the remainder of our years as I really like My Father’s World in the older years but for Kindergarten it is exactly what I was looking for!

Now I also have to add in that we have been so blessed to receive all of our curriculum for free this year. How? Through our Credit Card : ) I know everyone has their own financial system but ours is to put all of our charges on our credit card while following our budget and paying the balance at the end of each month. This accrues fabulous points (about $20-25/month) and our credit card merged with Amazon so we are able to buy anything we want off Amazon with our credit card points. I started buying back in April or so and have got a few books at a time and now have everything set and ready… for free!

We will be doing Little Hearts for His Glory and I will be following a rough 2 year plan. We will be schooling 4 days a week + 1 co-op day. LHFHG is set up as a 5 day per unit curriculum so our unit weeks will just flow along merrily but not be week to week. I also like to do something different for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the season changes so once you count all of those in we will complete a little more than half the manual in 1 year. Here are the books included in LHFHG that we will be using this year:

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  • History: History for Little Pilgrims and History Stories for Children
  • Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Manuscript A
  • Basic Skills: Going on Eagerly and Just Thinking and Choosing
  • Calendar: I picked and chose from these various websites for her calendar notebook this year. We did a notebook last year so I didn’t want it to be exactly the same which is why I searched so many different options: Mama’s Learning Corner , Our Aussie Homeschool , Mama Jenn , Motherhood on a Dime  and 1 + 1 + 1 = 1
  • Science: The World God Made
  • Geography: I am adding this in after seeing my kiddos interest in the States & Capitals songs and always asking where a state is. This will be a quick and easy add on. So I will have them listen to the songs from this cd and then color one state each day from this website and color in on the US map where that state is. While they’re doing all the coloring I will read to them a little about that state from our Children’s Atlas of the United States.
  • Math: Singapore Math Essential Math – Kindergarten A & B (I’m not sure that we will stick with this. I may switch her to 1st grade Singapore Math or we may just move through these books quickly for reinforcement first. The concepts in Kindergarten A are ones she already knows but they are presented a little more challenging which may be enough to stump her up a little. We’ll just see how it goes!)
  • Phonics: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (We will try this for a second go around. We tried a bit last year and she just wasn’t quite ready. I’m not sure if it was age or the presentation of the content so we’ll try again this year and if she likes it we’ll go with it but if not then I’ll continue researching other options.)
  • Bible:
    • We will either read through The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Children’s Illustrated Bible (I prefer the later but it’s a little more advanced and is not Amelia’s favorite at this point. I want her to enjoy her bible reading so we may stick with the former until she’s ready to move on.)
    • Devotions for the Children’s Hour
    • Hide ‘Em in Your Heart CD
    • Memory Verses – LHFHG has a memory verse for each week and I found some great printables here to cut out and post on our wall display as well as to cut out and put in a 4 x 6 photo album so we have a memory verse book to refer to throughout the year
    • RightNow Media – Our church has a membership to the website RightNow Media where I can access some great bible shows. Since LHFHG teaches hard the stories from the bible I am going to reinforce them probably while preparing lunch or during their snack time and have them watch a 20 min. video every few days from one of the great options on this website
  • Read Alouds: Thornton Burgess Animal Stories and Peter Rabbit

As you can see if you are familiar with LHFHG that we have a mixture of Kindergarten and 1st grade books. We’ll see what needs to be adjusted this year and next. HOD is so wonderful because they have the lesson plans for each day planned out for you so you just go to that day and they tell you what to read from each book. They have a memory verse and bible story and devotional reading that all match a specific theme for each unit. It is so wonderful to not have to plan all of this together.

But, if you’re a planner like I am then you still do a little more planning : ) So here is my planning sheet since I also like to check things off and to see things in a list format. I made it simply in Microsoft Word. As I review each unit before we start I write down the basic activities we’re doing so I can review quick and know if there’s anything I need to plan out. I also put here the RightNow Media video we will watch. We are going to do school from 9:30-11:30 in the morning (is my rough plan) and the Bible/Devotional reading I plan to do after we eat breakfast and the finishing Storytime I plan to do after we eat lunch. There is quite a bit of this curriculum that I can involve Josh in which I’m very excited for and there are a few possible independent sections I’m hoping Amelia can do so I can teach Josh his Tot School.

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For Josh’s Tot School I am following my basic structure we did with Amelia that you can read all about here. It is a letter, animal that starts with that letter, color, # and shape each week with a craft relating to the animal.

 

Here is our Calendar and Display area. We have a very small homeschool/playroom that also houses a small closet for our cat’s litter box. We have that door permanently open with a curtain covering the door entrance so we can’t see the litter box so I used the door as our display board. At the top are our all about me sheets I created and will fill out and put their picture on. There is a small section to display their hard work each day on clothespins and then our calendar section with Amelia’s princess calendar where she puts a sticker on each day that passes and we review the day of the week and the month.

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And here is a picture of the blue and white display that I will put up our bible verse for each week and our new laminated map so we can look at it and learn about the world!

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I have this file folder box divided into months, seasons and holidays. Within each month I have started copying off the consumable pages from her handwriting, math and basic skills books and put them in a folder for each unit and placed it in the tentative month we will be completing that unit. I also reviewed each unit and put in any craft materials we may need for that week.

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