Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 4 in Review

Friday, September 14, 2012

This week we studied more about the life of John Smith. We learned about the settlement of Jamestown, and how John Smith was very fortunate to make the acquaintance of a young Native American girl named Pocahontas. She saved the colony from starvation, and it was even said of her that she saved John Smith's life. The latter may have been a falsehood that Smith wrote. It's hard to believe whether he was always honest in his journals. He tended to like to tell tall tales. From all accounts that we read Pocahontas was quite a lady. Over the last few weeks Aedan read Pocahontas and the Strangers. I've loved that the extension readings this week helped fill in more details about Smith and Pocohontas. I think reading biographies have been great for my guy's imagination.

One of our history activities was to learn about how the Native Americans bartered with the Englishmen. They started out with 5 pieces of candy, and were able to trade until each got what they wanted. They both felt happy with their exchanges, and said that "bartering tastes good!"

 The boys learned the words idle, wigwams and colony in vocabulary. I guess idle to my boys means eating lots of potato chips while parked in front of the TV.

For art we made Indian Blankets. We learned that blankets were sometimes used in bartering.

 Our poem was The Arrow. The boys said this was their favorite poem we have studied so far. They drew little pictures to illustrate what the poem meant to them.

 These are their timeline entries for this week. We learned that Pocahontas died of small pox.

 I'm attaching this picture with my head held in shame. We were supposed to make the 7 continents with graham crackers. This was a royal failure. All we did was make a ton of crumbs, and ended up having way too may broken graham crackers to consume. Had I been smart, I would have skipped the graham crackers and opted to have them tear pieces of paper. Maybe you can learn from my lesson :)

 We started Typing Instructor this week. I heard about it on The Well Trained Mind forum. We had tried the free BBC typing program, but it was so distracting my boys couldn't get past all the voices. This program is more subdued. It has its quirks, but I think it will work out well. There are 160 short lessons. At the end of each lesson they get to play a typing game. So far they look forward to it.

Nature Study with The Nature Connection   

We are trying to do nature study once a week. We chose the section in our book that suggested that we study local grasses. Our nature sanctuary has beautiful undisturbed prairie land full of many kinds of grasses. It was the perfect place to go to get a look at the way a prairie looked before man started building. We are in the process of moving, and my husband packed away our nature study supplies. No nature journalling today, but we had fun all the same.

There were many varieties of grass to see. We learned that corn is also a grass. I guess I never thought about it, but it is.

Of course there were many wildflowers and other little creatures to study as well.

 I love Queen Anne's Lace. I think they are my favorite wildflower. I think that if ever a flower had a fitting name, this one would be it. It is just as delicate like the lace of a queen should be.

Elemental Science at the Monarch Room

 This week we studied the properties of water in Physics.

We learned that things that normally sink in fresh water will float when salt is added.

In Elemental Science Earth/Space we learned the cause of earthquakes. We did a demonstration showing the damage of a minor vs. a major earthquake. 

Our first soccer game of the year was this week. It's been nice for my guys to connect with some of their school friends. 

Well, that about covers it! How was your week?


  1. What a great week, your boys are adorable.

  2. Lovely! I was so excited to see the vocabulary sheets...I made those!!!! I'm glad someone else is finding them useful :) My girl really like vocabulary using those!

    Your boys are so cute!

  3. Thank you both for the sweet compliments about my boys :)

    Vintage Mom,

    Thank you so, so much for your vocabulary sheets, and for letting me know you are the one that made them! I was just getting ready to make some myself when I found yours. They are perfect! I couldn't have come up with a more perfect solution for vocabulary. My boys love being able to draw the picture to go along with the word. I really love having the sheets in our binder rather than using the file boxes (which we were going to use previously.)

  4. I can't imagine anyone succeeding at making continents from crackers! Hey you gave it a shot...I enjoyed reading about your week.

  5. What fun your week looks like. I miss have little kids! I love the cracker continents, even if not perfect!

    My 17 yo and I were just studying about John Smith this week!

  6. Looks like a great week! It is nice to see you combining yours. I am combining my girls as well. When we start Bigger they will be 7 and 9, so close to your ages. It is exciting to see what we have to look forward too!

  7. Looks like an awesome week!

    Those vocab sheets do look pretty great!

  8. Hi! Just wondering if you could give an update on how using "Typing Instructor" went. Did you stick with it throughout the year, and would you recommend it, or did you abandon it and go w/ something else? I'm looking for a very beginner typing skills for a young 8 year old (just turned), and wondering if this would be a good fit.


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