Heart of Dakota Beyond - BLHFHG - Week 34 in Review

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Welcome to our HOD Beyond Unit 34 Week in Review! Here we are at the end of our school year, and I write with a bit of a lump in my throat. This morning I looked over some of my old Facebook albums and saw how much my boys have grown. I can't believe that Silas will be in 3rd grade next year! While I love that we are done and ready for summer break, I understand that means my boys are now one year older after our hard work. It has been a great year. I'm so glad I chose to do Beyond this year. It gave Silas the chance to still be a little boy. Tears.

In our final unit we studied the life of the great Abraham Lincoln. We learned about how he played a big part in the decision to build the Transcontinental Railroad. We  learned about how Chinese and Irish immigrants built the railroad from the Missouri River to San Francisco, CA and what hard and dangerous work it was to build. We will still have a few loose ends to tie next week, but this will be our final update for 2nd grade. Aedan has one more unit in CtC, so Silas will complete the rest of his other work during that time. I will be back to update you on our curriculum choices for next year, but for now I look forward to long, lazy summer days

We read Philippians 3:12-4:1 and were reminded that we should be prepared when Christ will return. For our art activity we painted clouds to remind us of our home that is waiting for us in heaven.

Instead of using regular paint we made paint by mixing evaporated milk and food coloring.

The boys love anything that involves coloring something with food dye. I think we finally have run out of our bottles that I've had since Silas was in Kindergarten!

Silas enjoyed mixing his colors.

You can't tell from the pictures, but the milk made beautiful iridescent paint. We almost used regular paint, but I'm glad we didn't. Last painting for my 2nd grader. More tears!

This was Silas's history notebooking page for the week.

In geography we learned about how far the Transcontinental Railroad stretched. We also learned about when different parts of the country were acquired.

  I love the d'Aulaire books, so we added this one to our history reading for the week.

We added our final timeline entry.

We finished our final storytime of the year. This was a great book. I'm sad to be selling it! I may have to re-buy it :)

In history we read about an Irish boy named Mike that was the water boy for the railway crews. The  drinking water was often warm.

We learned that the food coloring moved around and mixed more quickly in warm water. The boys thought this picture was really funny because their heads are so misshapen :)

This is Silas's science notebooking page for the above activity.

In history we read how the Chinese railway workers had to blast through the mountains to be able to build their railway. Our science activity was to make an edible model of the earth. This is NOT a nutritious snack, but my kids think eating their projects is the best part of homeschool! Silas crushed the upper crust of the earth (graham crackers.)

I didn't have pudding, but I did have marshmallows that I melted in a pan with butter to represent the hot core of the earth. Silas added chocolate chips to represent Earth's rocky layer.

The chocolate chips and marshmallows melted into a gooey s'mores in a cup. We topped the whole thing off with the our graham cracker crust. The kids thought this was terribly kind of me :) And the crowd goes wild!

We read about different kinds of rocks. Fortunately I have a rock collection in my homeschool science hoard I can whip out when needed.

We studied sedimentary rocks with our magnifying glass.

We did the same with our sedimentary rocks.

Lastly, we studied our igneous rocks.

This is Silas's science notebooking page for the above activity.
Our poem of the week was "Try Again." I thought this was an encouraging poem. Silas enjoyed it :) We turned it into a little song.

Our memory verse was Philippians 3:13-14. This was a great scripture to end our year.

Our seeds we planted for Elemental Science are coming up nicely. I hope they grow into beautiful plants we can enjoy this year :) Sadly I must bring our studies in Beyond to a close. Thank you all who have followed our studies this year, and have encouraged us along the way. We are so thankful, and humbled to be able to walk along side you on our journey.


  1. Big cheers for finishing Beyond!!! Happy Dancing with you and its been so much fun to take most of the journey following you.


    1. Thank you! I'm so thankful to have had you on my journey with me. I look forward to our travels again in ECC. I wonder what you'll do after that. Hmmm....

  2. Neat that HOD only has 34 weeks - like MFW - just so nice to finish a little early! :) Bitter sweet moment for you, I'm sure. I love how Beyond gave Silas just a little more time to be a little boy. My 3rd grader changed so much this year - he seems so much more grown up. :'-) Congratulations on finishing! And a job well done at that!

    1. 3rd grade seems to be the year that little boys turn into big boys. I am expecting that. He still seems little to me in so many ways, but he is definitely growing up. Thanks so much for your encouragement :) It does feel good to have gotten to the finish line!


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