Heart of Dakota BHFHG - Week 25 in Review

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We had another great week with Heart of Dakota! It always feels like it's a Monday and then all of a sudden it's Friday. The weeks fly by. I love how homeschool gives our day structure. I remember days before homeschool dragging by, but our days feel more purposeful and fun now than those days. This week we studied The Gold Rush to California. We learned about Dame Shirley's journey around Cape Horn, and Marian Sloan's trek across the country in a prairie schooner. Both routes sounded incredibly difficult, and took more adventure and bravery than I could probably muster up. We also read about Kit Carson who was also very brave. We read our first passage about Abraham Lincoln. We will spend all of next week learning about Lincoln and the Civil War.

This week's art project centered on Kit Carson's encounter with a few hungry bears. We learned about how he saved himself by climbing a tree, and whacking those hungry bears in the nose. These were supposed to be bear masks, but I thought they looked cuter this way. I love these simple little projects. They help us to remember what we've learned.

In our geography lesson we added to our pile of state cards. We underlined the states that belonged to the union.

Our history notebooking page activity was to show the different routes people took to get to California.

We love our new read-aloud for Storytime. By The Great Horn Spoon is the perfect book to read during this unit. It is about a boy who runs away with his butler to California to find gold to help his beloved aunt who is about to lose her home. The take the route around Cape Horn. I love how HOD is so thoughtful in their book choices. These books really give such a great picture of the time period we are studying.

I visited a friend and saw how she hung up her maps (Hi Sara!) I had attached mine before to the wall with adhesive squares that destroy the wall, and make for a really wonky map. This little solution worked perfectly!

 Our timelines are filling in! I can't believe our year is almost over.

I have loved re-learning American history with my boys. Timelines really help give a great picture of history as a whole. I love learning about what people were contemporaries of one another. It is so much easier to understand when you can visually see it.

Our character trait this week was Hopefulness. I have loved the Godly character trait study. If my kids struggle, I usually have them go over and read on of the character trait cards and scripture verse. It helps me to be more patient. Rather than getting frustrated myself, sending them over to read it gives us both a break and attitude adjustment. I love learning these verses and virtues alongside them. I know I have so much to learn myself!

 We loved our poem this week. "The Railroad Cars are Coming" is such a fun poem to read out loud. The kids also have fun reading poems at the end of each week.

Our vocabulary words of the week.

We read about how pioneers and American Indians caught fish with their hands. This lesson taught us why it would be difficult to catch a fish even when you can see them in the water.

Our experiment page for the above lesson.

 We also learned about why fish can hear so well under water. The closer we hung the bag to our ear, the louder the sound.

Elemental Science at The Monarch Room

 We spend this week learning about the planet Jupiter. Our experiment taught us about the great red spot on Jupiter, and how it is constantly in motion like a vortex. Did you know the great red spot is a storm that has been raging for over 300 years? I'm having so much fun learning these things again :)

We added the monster planet Jupiter to our sky map. Did you know that a thousand earths can fit into Jupiter, and that the great red spot is as big as 3 earths? All of that blows my mind. God's creation is so fantastic!
Aedan is studying Balance in ES Physics. His brother enjoyed learning with him. We found lots of things to balance around the house.

We made a snake to balance on this pencil. It spun without falling.

 We made tightrope walkers to balance on our little tightrope.


 So much fun! The boys love these experiments :)

Sometimes I forget how much wonder there is to be had in the world :)

Last summer we went to Silver Dollar City, and saw The Flying Wallendas' high wire act. I was seriously scared the whole time that they were going to fall. This was a great memory of what balance really means :)

Our ongoing activity in ES Physics this unit is to build a gumdrop castle. This is Aedan's initial design. We will make several versions over the next few weeks.

  We started an artist study in our little co-op. We will be studying 6 artists over the next 6 weeks. This week we focused on Leonardo Da Vinci. Can you see our little cultural divide between girls and boys? We're working on that :)

I caught Aedan with a nature book trying to identify the woodpecker that has been visiting us a lot lately. I love seeing the fruit of homeschool that happens naturally sometimes. I am so thankful for the privilege to teach and learn with my boys :) See you next week!


  1. Wow, you had an incredible week. We loved "By the Great Horn Spoon." Praiseworthy was an awesome fella!

  2. I love Praiseworthy too! What a sweet humble man :)

  3. I really enjoy reading about your week. I am starting BHFHG with one of my daughters in the fall. We are getting so excited. Thanks.

  4. Looks like a super fun week. I must admit you are tempting me to look at ES more closely. :)

  5. ES is super easy to do :) I've read lately that some people love it for his simplicity, and some don't like it for that very reason. It's been the perfect amount for us to add to HOD. Next year they will both do Chemistry together instead of doing 2 different ones. Aedan will do life science in CtC, but has never done Chemistry or I would do ES Biology next year with him.

  6. Wow, you're awesome! The history looks great--I'm thinking about changing ours up a little next year, so thank you for sharing your work. :)

  7. I smiled all the way through this post. Ending my weekend anxious to wake up tomorrow morning & learn new & wonderful things with my kids!


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