Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Beautiful Heart of Dakota Catalog

I received the newest catalog from Heart of Dakota today and I just had to show you what a wonderful catalog they publish. It's a quarter inch thick and 80...YES 80 pages.  They also have new book substitution policies and reduced and free shipping options.

The Cover...

Like I said it's about a quarter of an inch think

Full Color 2 Page Spreads showing everything from subject areas, sample layouts of each guide to detailed book descriptions.

The last page of the catalog gives you a nice sampling of their Notebooking pages...

Request your own copy of the catalog HERE. If you would like extras to share with friends just note how many you need in the comment box and they will be happy to include as many as you need.

The HOD catalog is prized in our house.  I'm going to order several more to give away too.  I'll hand one to anyone that will take one LOL.

Heart of Dakota Box Day!

Well admittedly our box day was a few weeks ago but I never managed to get the pictures up for it.  I was going back over pictures for our week in review and found the box day pictures and I just had to post those too!  Heart of Dakota is such a blessing to us and the rich literature is just outstanding.

Here is what I saw when I opened my box and pulled out the packing paper:  Beautifully packed!

Here are the History books that are the spine of our History studies using Preparing Hearts for His Glory.

Here are the Science books for Preparing Hearts:

Preparing Hearts includes an independent history study.  These are the books used for the independent history study:

We are already enjoying Preparing and I hope you enjoyed a quick peak into the rich literature of Heart of Dakota.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'll be Reviewing The Final Summit

My first review for Book Sneeze will be The Final Summit by Andy Andrews.  Check back on April 11 for this review.

I'll Be Reviewing Books for Book Sneeze and Tyndale Blog Network

As you can see in my about me section I love to read!  I applied to be a book reviewer for both Book Sneeze and the Tyndale Blog Network and was approved for both!  I'm very excited.

Stay tuned for my first book review coming very soon!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review of Time4Learing

I'm excited to do this review of Time4Learning.  Let me say that we had done Time4Learning previously with Joshua a few years ago so I was familiar with the basic idea of Time4Learning.  For this review I enrolled Jacob who is 4 years old.  He's about to turn 5 in April so I chose the Preschool level for him knowing that if we decided to keep with it I could move him to the Kindergarten level if the Preschool level was a bit too easy for him.

Time4Learning Preschool is divided into 2 levels.  Jacob completed approximately half of level 1 and maybe 1/3 of level 2.  To say he likes Time4Learning is an understatement!! He's really enjoyed the activities in the Preschool level and I have no doubt he'll enjoy the K level.  Here are the things I liked about the Preschool level.   There is a great deal of reading to the child and much of it contains rhyming which is a critical skill for little ones just starting to learn to read.  They also allow the child to "write" their own books by having them pick a subject and then asking them questions about it.  Their answers are then made into an online book about the subject that they read to the child immediately.  There are several activities with sequencing and patterns.  Both necessary skills for little ones.  There are activities where the child colors an online picture.  These are Jacobs most favorite things to play on Time4Learning.  Letters, shapes, vocabulary, numbers, patterns and more are all covered within the activities. Be sure to check out the lesson plans here to see what each activity includes and covers.

If there were any complaints from me I would say that I wouldn't mind having worksheet options at the preschool level.  We don't want to do many worksheets but having the option would be wonderful.  If worksheets are never added we would still enjoy Time4Learning.  Note: Starting in K through 8th grade there are worksheets.

To drive home how much Jacob has enjoyed Time4Learning he's sitting on the couch next to me while I write this asking me can he play yet. Can I play momma?  Can I play?  He's seen the Time4Learning character on the screen and is chomping at the bit to play.

To summarize my feelings:  I feel like Time4Learning is a cost effective online curriculum that is worth the money and does teach critical skills at each level while making it fun for the child.  With all the options out there for computer or online programs Time4Learning seems to be a great value considering that it includes all subjects for a low monthly price.

So after discussing it Adam and I have decided to continue our membership with Time4Learning.  We feel that it's a good investment since Jacob enjoys it so much and will also be learning while using it.  As Jacob starts Kindergarten in the fall we feel it will be a great reinforcement to our core curriculum to play on Time4Learning.

I hope this review has been helpful. As we continue with Time4Learning I'll also keep updating on the different levels we are doing.  In full disclosure I want to say that what I've written here is my own opinion entirely and was not written by Time4Learning.  I was given a free month in which to evaluate Time4Learning.  That is the only compensation I received.

We are enjoying Time4Learning. Check it out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

21 Days of Prayer for Sons

I stumbled onto this website tonight and I'm thrilled with everything I'm reading right now.  Being the Mom of boys can be so harrowing sometimes.  I pray constantly for my boys but lately I've been feeling the need to pray more specifically about the needs of my boys.  Enter 21 Days of Prayer for Sons.

Are you the mother of boys?  Would you make the commitment to pray for your boy/boys several times a day for 21 days during April?  If so sign up by clicking the button just above.

I'm looking forward to reaping the Lord's harvest by praying for my boys during the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All About Reading is Available!!

I'm a bit late in announcing this but I did want to let you all know that All About Reading Level Pre-1 from the awesome All About Spelling is now available.

The new All About Reading program is unique because it begins with Level Pre-1 for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and it focuses on what we call the Big Five Skills. These five fundamental pre-reading skills include letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, listening comprehension, and motivation to read. It is this specific set of skills that helps pre-readers understand the basics of language and how it works, preparing them to learn to read. 

With All About Reading Level Pre-1, your child will play special games, enjoy little crafts, and engage in charming storytime activities--all the while absorbing these all-important Big Five Skills.

Be sure and check out the samples at the links above.  I trust you will be very impressed.  I sure am.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miraculous Change After Only 2 Days

Yesterday was our first day back with HOD as our core curriculum.  It was a long day.  But it was a good day.  Joshua spent a lot of time saying he hated it but he was the happiest hater I've ever seen LOL.  It was our first day and I knew it was going to take a while for us to get into the grove of doing things in this new way.  I also knew we were going to have some heart issues to deal with but that is another post entirely.

I was still exhausted from the MidSouth Convention and ended up sleeping until 9:30 this morning.  Jacob also slept in and woke a few minutes after me actually.  Anyway while I was sleeping this morning Joshua worked on his independent work. We are still doing Reading through the BJU Distance Learning (I can not wait to start HOD Drawn Into the Heart of Reading this fall though) so he did that lesson and also did his Saxon math.  He also voluntarily completed his Independent History and Independent Science from the HOD Preparing manual.  This was approximately 3 hours of work without a prompt from me.

Now I need you to understand that this child has been one that could not follow a schedule or do any work without a constant push to do so.  He would rather be doing ANYTHING than school. ANYTHING!  Physical labor would probably get done without whining before school.  I hope you are understanding the depth of change that took place yesterday for him to do this this morning.  It truly was the first miracle of the day.

So I got up and got Jacob and I some breakfast and did some necessary catch up from waking late while Joshua took a break. Have I mentioned that Joshua is writing phobic?  Seriously.  Getting a sentence out of him has been like pulling my teeth out without a shot for the pain.............  So while on his break he decides he's going to WRITE A BOOK!!!!  And write he has done today.  I had to pull him away from writing after lunch to finish school.  Miracle #2 today!!

We are reading Grandpa's Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption for History right now and we read Ch. 2 today.  Joshua loves this book already.  After reading Ch. 2 our Preparing manual had read most of Romans 5 today and do the discussion questions listed in the manual.  Those discussion questions led into an hour long talk about the law, Jesus' gift, and whether or not we could keep the law.  It enabled me to share more intimately with Joshua why I follow Jesus and my relationship with him.  I explained to him that I don't love Jesus because I'm afraid of going to hell or anything like that.  I love Jesus because the law has shown me just how black my heart is and how much I deserve death yet God loves me anyway.  I love Him because He first loved me and continues to love me even when I sin.  I attempt to not sin because I love Him and I know it breaks his heart when I do sin. I love Him so I don't want to hurt him. Every motivation is based in love.

There were tears from both of us and Joshua made a confession to me about some sin in his life.  When I didn't directly address the sin he asked my why.  I told him that the Lord was convicting him and I didn't need to punish him any further.  I realized that he thought I didn't love him because I wasn't angry about the sin he confessed to me.  We had the sweetest time together talking about how, like Jesus, there was nothing he could ever do that would take my love away from him.  NOTHING! No matter what he does he's my son and I will love him forever.  I also told him that as much as I love him God loved him even more than me.

I am simply amazed at the miraculous change that has come after only 1 day with Heart of Dakota. I fully credit HOD with the new found creativity that Joshua is experiencing and for guiding us in a truly Jesus centered day that brought my son and I to a most wonderful place with Jesus. If you are feeling unsettled with your current curriculum or are missing out on time with your children having truly deep conversations about the heart of God then may I humbly suggest you take a look at Heart of Dakota.  I think you will be blessed if you do so.

Praising Jesus for the presence of His Holy Spirit today and for finding Heart of Dakota!

Monday, March 7, 2011

MidSouth Homeschool Convention Highlights

I attended the MidSouth Homeschool Convention this past weekend in Memphis and there were some great highlights for me.  The first and foremost was getting to meet Carrie Austin, the author of the Heart of Dakota curriculum.  It was such an honor to meet her and her sister Julie.  They have been an inspiration to me and it was my privilege to spend time with them.

I spent a great deal of time at their booth and to top it off they were next to Rainbow Resource's booth!  What a win win situation for me LOL.  I mentioned in my last post that I was leaning towards Saxon for Joshua's grammar.  After spending so much time at HOD's booth I got to looking at Rod & Staff for grammar.  One thing I've learned about Carrie Austin is that she picks what she recommends within her curriculum for a reason.  I've also learned that it's usually best to trust her and go with her recommendations first. Then if it doesn't work look elsewhere.  So I went with Rod & Staff English for Joshua.  After really looking it over I feel very good about it. It is scheduled within the Preparing manual so I don't have to think very hard about scheduling it either.

I also decided to put Jacob in Little Hands to Heaven right now. I hadn't been doing anything structured with him at all and I knew this would be a great start to "school" for him.  Today was our first day of LHTH and he had so much fun!!

I attended 2 workshops while I was there also.  I heard Ken Ham speak and it was excellent as usual.  I ordered his workshop on CD in fact.  I also went to Art Reed's workshop.  Listening to him confirmed my decision to use Saxon for Joshua. I highly recommend Mr. Reed's book and if you get a chance to hear him speak about Saxon math you should.  I'm still strongly considering using Saxon for Jacob too.  I'm still weighing things. Carrie recommends Singapore math. I'm seriously considering each of these and I'm grateful that I've got some more time.

One other change that is happening is in regards to Joshua's phonics work.  We have been using Saxon's Phonics Intervention. It's strongly focused on learning to read but does include spelling along with a great deal of other skills.  Joshua is reading well and his reading level has jumped several grade levels in the last several months.  He still struggles with his spelling though.  After praying about this I've decided to go back to All About Spelling with him.  The approach of AAS lends itself well to helping Joshua with any phonics holes he may have.  It will better address his spelling struggles also.  We will also be using the dictation in Preparing which also includes some spelling words.

Well those are the highlights and changes I made after attending Convention.  We are set to go now and I am really looking forward to our Journey using HOD as our core curriculum.  Our first week of Saxon math also went well.  Joshua says he doesn't like it but I know that's only because he's truly having to work at it LOL.



Related Posts with Thumbnails