Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Unit 1 Week in Review

Friday, August 24, 2012

We started our first week here at the Monarch Room. This is our first year with both of the boys home. We chose Heart of Dakota Bigger Hearts for His Glory for the bulk of our materials. It was an awesome week! The first week was focused on Columbus's boyhood, and his persistence in accomplishing his dream of finding a new route to Asia. The boys enjoyed learning about his adventures. The week went way better than I could have hoped. Below are some of the highlights. It probably looks like all we did is science. Don't worry, we did plenty of math, grammar, writing and spelling. We started out this week with a lighter dose of math. I'll write more in the weeks to come about our different choices of curricula. The week in review is more of a journal of the things we enjoyed during our school week.

 Of course the first thing we did was take first day of school pictures (right after the chocolate chip pancakes of course :)

We started our first year of cursive with Cheerful Cursive. Silas is working in the workbook, and I am having Aedan follow a similar formula but on regular writing paper.

 In Elemental Science Physics, Aedan learned that hot air weighs less than cold air. You can see our science contraption we had hanging from the tree. The neighbors thought I was a bit strange hanging it up. They'll have to get used to us!

Once a week in HOD, the kids write 3 vocabulary words on index cards. They love that they get to draw a picture on the back.

 We have a pretty simple Health Curriculum. Rod and Staff has a very gentle 2nd grade intro to health. I'm happy with it so far. 

 I am combining the kids in Heart of Dakota. There is an extension package of readers for kids ages 10-11. So far Aedan is enjoying reading the extra books.

 Why do some things sink and others float?

 Silas trying to make the balloon sink.

 Heart of Dakota's science is very gentle, and a bit light for my 10 year old. I added Elemental Science Physics for Aedan, and Elemental Science Earth and Space for Silas. As much as I love HOD, I will probably always be a classical girl. I do love the Life, Earth/Space, Chemistry, Physics rotation, so we'll probably continue that way. We love science here. It's the boys favorite part of school, and I really wanted it to be fun this year. It's worth the extra effort. Even though we have other programs to work with, we are going ahead and doing HOD science as well. The experiments are fun, and easy to do, so why not?

 Once a week in HOD we study a well known poem. This week it was Four by the Clock by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I let my little artists illustrate what their minds imagined to poem to mean.

 Our geography activity was to label a balloon with the 7 continents and 5 oceans. They did a great job!

 This week's art project was to paint a picture with foreground, landscape and background. I'm not sure we followed the directions perfectly, but they enjoyed painting it all the same. 

 This week's history notebooking was to label a map with Columbus's route from Spain to the Indies.

 Last year we did Story of the World I. I found timeline figures for the the ancients last year. This year I made ones that correspond with the HOD units.

 For some reason my kids really loved doing the timeline. Aedan especially loved it, and said he wished we could do more than one a week.

 What makes waves? Wind of course! This was one of the science activities for HOD.

During Storytime we are reading a biography. We chose the Boy interest book pack for HOD. The boys are enjoying learning about George Rogers Clark. He was an interesting kid. For DITHOR (Drawn into the Heart of Reading) Silas is reading Squanto, and Aedan is reading Jed Smith.

 I hadn't decided whether Silas would be doing DITHOR because of his age. So far, he has no complaints about it. If it becomes difficult, I will drop it until next year. Aedan is enjoying it, and has no problems with it. He loved making the character collage of Jed Smith.

For our Matter Unit in Physics we are experimenting with making hovercrafts. This is our first model.

A friend called me while I was filming this video (Hi Ann Marie!) That's why there's 2 :)

These are the results of our experimentation.

 Our ongoing project for Elemental Earth Science was to make a paper mache globe. Silas was so excited to get his hands all gooey with our homemade glue. This was his favorite activity of the week.

 We're doing a very simple introduction to conversational Spanish. Aedan made these cards, and illustrated them.

In Earth Science we learned about how the earth's atmosphere keeps the temperature constant.

 In HOD Science we learned about high tide and low tide.


  1. Love that drawing is so integrated into everything that they do! Fantastic idea.


  2. Thank you :) Drawing is really important to both boys, especially my oldest. It really helped both of them be more engaged in our readings this week.

  3. I am on week 3 of Bigger. I just want to say I LOVE your blog. Thank you so much for all your pictures! Your children are adorable little guys! I leave out a few of the activities in Bigger (hymns mostly and emerging readers) and my children are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work. I am doing HOD with my 2nd grade boy and 3rd grade daughter. Yet you have all this extra stuff added to yours. Are your boys overwhelmed by the amount of work?

  4. So far my boys haven't been overwhelmed. The only extra we're really consistent about is Elemental Science. The experiments are my boys' favorite part of school besides our HOD activities. We've hit a nice routine, and our days are never too long :)


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