Heart of Dakota Beyond - BLHFHG - Week 1 in Review

Friday, August 23, 2013

Here we are at the end of the first week of school! I can't believe after all that planning and long summer break that we made it through our first week alive. I was really nervous, but it turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Silas is working through HOD Beyond this year, and after getting through week one I am so happy with his placement. It's the perfect guide for my little guy. I loved that I could work with him on all his Beyond activities while his big brother worked on his independent work in CtC. I found myself less frustrated than last year. We had so much fun last year, but there was much opportunity to get way too worked up and carried away. I loved being able to really focus on Silas and his work, and vice versa when he was finished.

We started the week learning about the Spanish explorers through the eyes of children that would have traveled to the new world. We learned about Columbus and the new settlement St. Augustine. I love the history book choices this year. They seem at just the right level for Silas. He had no trouble telling back what we just read, so I know he's comprehending everything. It's so nice seeing him have a little extra time to be a little boy, and to not have to compete with his big brother. They still enjoy one another's experiments together, so there's plenty of time for shared experiences.

Our art project was to make a shield based on Psalm 18:1-6. This is our shield of cute since it was so small :) We memorized Psalm 4:8 as well. I love the Hide Em' in Your Heart Cd. It's pretty sweet, and definitely helps us memorize the verse.

We made a big globe on the floor, and placed all the different continents where they belonged. We traveled from Spain to the new world just like the pioneers did.

I'm so thankful for this great timeline that my friend over at Whispered Abundance made. We chose to write them in. She has instructions on how to print the timeline figures I made, so that you can paste them in the boxes rather than writing them. It might be hard for the little ones who still write big. We added Columbus, and St. Augustine to our timeline.

We read about whales and sea animals that have blubber in science. We learned how those animals stay warm in the cold waters of the ocean.

We put shortening on one hand, and left the other bare to show how much warmer a whale would be in the water because of its layer of blubber. One thing I love about HOD is that the experiments are so simple to do, but so fun. I didn't anticipate just how much my kids would love this one. Silas said, "Can we do this after school again because it was just so fun!?" This experiment would be a nightmare for a sensory defensive person, but my kids are definitely sensory seekers. Silas said, "This feels GREAT!" So fun :)

I love seeing the kids' interpretations of their experiment on the science experiment pages. So cute!

We read about water currents, and how they move from place to place in the ocean. We used card stock, and propelled these boats with an ear syringe (that's all I had lol.) The boats didn't last long, and became mushy. The kids named the boat the S.S. Mush. Ha!

This one says, "It turned into mush. Mommy should have laminated it." Ah well!

I love that we study a poem each week. Our poem this week was "The Storm." It tied in perfectly with our history reading. We read about the Spanish settlers having to sail through a terrible storm. Last year I had Silas copy his poem on regular paper. He really needed extra work on his handwriting, so these poetry copywork pages are wonderful. The progress from one sentence a day, to a stanza a day by mid-year.

I was going to have Silas do his Bible memory verse copywork in cursive because we worked on it last year in Bigger. I decided he really needed more work on his manuscript. A sweet lady on the Facebook Beyond page made these for each memory verse. They're just perfect!

Our first Drawn into the Heart of Reading genre is Biography. Each genre has a kickoff activity. We chose #3 & #4.

Silas brought a few of his favorite things, and things that reminded him of things he loved. The sprinted up the stairs when I told them to gather their items. I love their innocence and excitement over such simple activities. My boys definitely err on the fun side of things :)

Our first biography was about the life of Loius Braille. What a determined young man! I really love that we are encouraged to read books like this one. We really enjoyed it learning about Braille.

Math is going really well in Christian Light math. It is looking like a great fit.

We added in English from the Roots Up. I was surprised at how well Silas was able to recall the definitions for all 3 roots we studied this week.

HOD does have a simple art project each week. Silas was a little jealous of his brother's watercolor projects in CtC, so I wanted him to have something he could also do. I chose I Can Do All Things art by Barry Stebbing. We do 3 pages of colored pencil or marker pages, and 1 paint project on Fridays.

These are simple to do, but are teaching really great concepts. I love his picture of his bedroom :)

Here is an example of one of the pages we did earlier in the week.

Elemental Science

I added in additional science this year. We did Elemental Science Earth/Space last year, and this year we are doing ES Biology. We will learn first about animal life, and then about the human body and plant life.

Our first experiment was about how animals use camouflage to protect themselves from predators.

I'd rather be the guy on the left. Wouldn't you?

I can't believe we did it! We're going to do nature study tomorrow. It's the only thing we failed to complete to do. See you next week!


  1. Love it! Looks like such a fun week. I really like the blubber picture with big brother making silly faces in the background. lol So fun!

  2. Do you have a link for the poetry copywork?

  3. Wow! Such a fun week :) I just love his cute little science drawings.

    ....soon to be following a bit in your footsteps!

  4. That is such a sweet, fun week for a little guy!

  5. Ooooh the illustrations on the Beyond science lab sheet... your son drew those??? Adorable! Him peeking over the side of the tub. :) all the draeings are great. We're in unit 1 of Beyond as well.


  6. Thank you! I think I his drawings are so stinking adorable too :) I hope you had a great first week!


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