Organization for Heart of Dakota - Missions to Modern Marvels

Friday, April 1, 2016

Welcome to my organization post for Heart of Dakota Missions to Modern Marvels! This is how I personally set up this guide, but it most certainly isn't the only way. I will make note of the times when I organized things differently than is necessary. My set up may take more time initially, but I have found that getting things ready for the whole year makes the day to day run smoothly. There's no searching for CDs and printing off maps. It's already just done! You more spontaneous folks can use HOD in a very open and go way. You totally can do that if that is your personality! If you like setting up throughout the year rather than getting it all ready up front then you can just open your guide and go. This is what works for me, but I know we are all so different. I hope that you can find a few ideas that help you. Take and leave what works for you!

Here are the elements that will make up a big portion of our year.

 Heart of Dakota guides come in a high quality binding. There's no need to mess with it, but I have always removed the spine and put the guide in a binder. This is an unnecessary step. I like to be able to keep our guides in great condition since we will use them more than once. I use a 1 1/2 inch Better Binder.

I take out about a quarter's worth of the year and place it in a smaller binder. At the end of the quarter I replace the old pages with the new ones. This is a 1 inch Better Binder.

I put the pages I have removed in page protectors. It makes the binder less bulky and protects the pages from art, cooking and history projects (and mom's coffee!)

This is our school binder. I add all of our subjects to this one binder. Each week I take out all the pages we will need for that week and put them on our clipboard (see below.) After we are finished with the week we replace last week's pages with the new week's pages and so on. The binder is too bulky to work from. The pages also stay much nicer and the holes are less likely to rip on a clipboard. I use a 1 1/2 inch Better Binder. It is snug, but all of it fit in here.

I use Better Dividers from Staples to divide each section of the binder. Here are the sections I have in our binder:
  • History Notebook
  • President Study
  • Map Trek
  • Science Notebook
  • The World of Chemistry
  • The Elements
  • Evolution Study
  • Science Lab Sheets
  • Worthy Words
  • Storytime Bookmarks
For those using extensions:
  • Carbon Chemistry
  • Chemistry 101 
 Our first section is the history notebook. We will keep our Heart of Dakota History Notebook pages in here.

 The first section of the notebook has Economic Principle. Aedan will write down what he has learned from our Economics study each week.

 The rest includes our weekly history notebook assignments. As always these pages never disappoint. They really make a beautiful record of all we have learned.

 Next we have our President Notebook. Aedan will study one or two presidents a week.

 There is a section for each U.S. President.

Missions to Modern Marvels uses Map Trek Modern World for Geography.

Someone on the HOD MtMM made a list of what maps needed printing. I put the student maps in this section.

 The teacher answer maps are viewable on the computer or you can print them. I went ahead and printed them this year. 

I had bought the Map Trek hardcover book, but the map pages don't always line up with the HOD plans. It's pretty easy to figure out, so if you want to save a step you can instead purchase the hardback for RtR through MtMM. You could instead simply pull them up on the computer. I will use this guide again, so it was worth the step to go ahead and print them for when my youngest comes through this guide.

 The science this year uses various resources. I made science notebook pages for the biography portion of the plans.

 There are pages for Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, Bruno Pontecorvo and Albert Einstein. This first page is for the portion of the plans that has them make a list of characteristics for each scientist.

The plans also include either discussing the questions in the Curie and Einstein books or writing down the answers. I added all the questions to several sheets for Curie and Einstein. I also added a written narration page for each of the days those will be required for each book. These are simple lined sheets. You could use a composition book instead of printing any of these out. None of them are required. If they would be useful to you you can download them HERE.

One of the books used is Exploring the World of Chemistry. They are required to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. I copied those pages and added them to our binder. You could otherwise just use lined paper.

 One of our books is The Elements. There are pages that need to be copied for some of the projects assigned. All that would fit in the binder I added here.

 The book has a CD with the whole course on it. I printed the student portion and bound it as there are pages they write in. You could have them write the answers in a notebook to save this step or write in the book.

The next section is for Evolution: The Grand Experiment.

This is a book and DVD course. Part of the plans includes them answering questions from the Student Book.

I copied those pages and added them here. We will be reusing this book. I'd prefer to not have writing in it, so we can re-use it down the road.

The last portion of the science section has the lab sheets. These can be found in the back of the HOD guide. I printed 35, one for each weekly experiment.

 Each week we will study a famous speech or source text. One of the wonderful HOD moms made this file and shared it on the HOD MtMM Page. I added a cover and headings, but you can find the original file in the group.

This year's storytime books have an assignment that they will add to a bookmark each week. There is a printable one in the back of the HOD guide. A mom shared this printable file in the MtMM group. I printed it front and back. I'm so thankful for all the work everyone shares to make our planning easier!

You will need enough to cover the whole year. I cut it out and folded it like this.

The next few sections are for those doing MtMM for High School Credit. These are not a part of the regular plans. We will be adding Carbon Chemistry as part of our science to make the course credit worthy.

 I purchased the PDF version of the book and bound the teacher and student portions separately.

 The other thing we are adding are the Chemistry 101 DVDs. These are not required as part of the MtMM plans, and are only necessary if you are going for high school credit.
The DVDs have the reading and tests for the course. It is a full course on its own if you do all the research that is written in. We won't be doing that part of the course's plans.

This year art and nature study are combined. I usually copy the poetry out of the back of the guide to make it more easily transportable when he goes out and does his nature drawing. This is definitely not required. You can just use the guide instead. I've shared the cover HERE.

We will continue to use the Common Place Book that we started back in CtC. This is the same one that Silas will also use. I purchased it at Target. It has held up nicely. We will also need a composition book for Dictation and English Assignments. I usually divide it with tabs, and there's always plenty of room to get through the whole year. I also got a new clipboard.

Instead of working in the binder we take out all of the history, science, president and etc. that is in the binder and add it all here. It makes a nice portable writing surface. The boys like to migrate around the house and do school in different rooms. This keeps all their work for the week in one place.

This will be Aedan's Nature Drawing and Journaling Art course for the year. I purchased this sketch book at Target for around 10 bucks. I'm going to get new Prismacolors and a few other supplies before the year starts. I'll share those when I get them here.

There are a lot of little printables, DVDs and other misc. that I will store in this Sterilite box I found at Target. It's nice having everything in one place.

 I added the DVDs, CDs and printables here.

 The back of the guide has a prayer guide. I bound it into this little book. We are doing a different Bible study than the one that is planned. I've heard some folks say they don't always love how scripted Bible quiet time is in HOD. I actually appreciate it. I wasn't always a Christian and I remember being paralyzed being at a ladies' bible study where I was once asked to pray out loud. I truly had no idea what to do. Sometimes things have to be modeled until you learn to make them your own. I'm not afraid to pray at Bible study tables, but it took me reading many books and developing my own way to pray before I felt comfortable. I think sometimes we forget what it is like to be a new Christian. Our kids are just that really. They are still learning too.

I made these timeline figures to go on our wall timeline. These are just something extra I like to do. They aren't required. Each week they add to their timeline in their notebook. You can find this file HERE.

The Elments and Carbon Chemistry have various games and activities that you print. I printed all of those out ahead of time and put them in our handy little box of doo-dahs.

Each year I make a weekly schedule. Many folks use their HOD guide as their schedule. You can write in it and date it. If you make a teacher schedule I have shared the cover HERE.

I am so exciting about our upcoming year in this guide! Please let me know if you have any organization tips that have helped your year go smoothly. I would love to hear about them!


  1. Tara,

    I wanted to let you know how much you are blessing people. My older daughter is a year behind your older son in HOD...and I'm so happy about it. :-) You're blazing the trail for me and giving me the much needed visual to see how it all goes together!! I just wanted to let you know that I truly appreciate all the hard work you put in to documenting how you set up for HOD and the files are awesome. You have been a tremendous help and blessing to me!

    Thank you!!

    1. Jeanne - I'm so happy to know seeing things helps you as much as they help me :) It means a lot to me that this helps. The guides get better and better! I think you'll enjoy your coming year in Rev to Rev. It's been a great guide!

  2. How exciting! You have everything so organized and ready to go!! MtMM looks like a lot of fun. I'm sure yall will have a wonderful year!

    1. I really think we will. It's so nice having all of it ready. I'm looking forward to a long summer rest :)

  3. Amazing organization! I haven't even started planning -- let alone finishing up this year.

    I look forward to your posts in the coming year :)

    1. It's probably not normal to be planning this time of year, but I'm thankful to be done with it. I'm looking forward to this guide especially!

  4. Looks awesome! I hope this means you will have a nice, relaxing summer off. :)

  5. It definitely means a nice, relaxing summer off! No-more-changing-my-mind allowed!

  6. First I cannot thank you enough for this amazing organization youve done for me! So helpful. You mention a MTMM group can you please send me a link?

  7. Amazing! Thanks for sharing. I see you posted information about making it High School credit worthy... DO you, by chance, have a sample transcript from using MtMM for 9the grade? I have been searching everywhere and can't seem to find a sample. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Becky (

    1. I decided against making the science credit worthy. I did change a few things, but that's all. There is a sample MtMM transcript in the MtMM FB group. I don't have the file, and I'm off of Facebook for a while right now. Sorry I can't be of more help!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing all of your hard work! You are a blessing and an inspiration! Thanks for helping to simplify my homeschool preparation!

    1. You are so welcome! I'm so happy to know it is helpful to other HOD families :)

  9. Soooo, any way we could twist your arm into updating the Master Schedule cover to say 2017-2018? I absolutely LOVED having this extra piece of planning at my fingertips last year and I used your cover for my schedule. Pretty pleeeeease? :)

    1. Sure! I'll update it without a date. If I don't do it in the next week please remind me by email, and I'll get er' done!

  10. This is such a blessing to me! I was feeling so LOST trying to organize everything and this helps tremendously--thank you! Also, may I share a resource I found to be handy as far as clip boards are concerned? Storage clip boards (such as Daxis). They are great for my kids who love to take their work with them and work on non-traditional surfaces, such as sitting on the couch or in the big chair or up in the tree house... Anyways, thank you again for sharing all of these resources and ideas!

    1. I'm so happy it helps you! That is the very reason we love the storage clipboards :) The boys move all over the house and outside with them. I wish I had found them sooner!

  11. I'm not on facebook, and can't access the facebook group printables. I am on the yahoo group for HOD, and I don't see anything listed under the files section for MTMM.....can you help me to get the printables?? Thanks so much for all you've shared are a BIG blessing! ;)

    1. Hi Lisa :) You are so welcome! I'm not on Facebook either, so I don't have access to the files either. Most of what I shared here are things I made and shared in a link above. Many of the other files are things that are included in the curriculum or in the appendix in the guide. What particular files are you looking for and I can see if I have them?

  12. I'm just seeing this now, please forgive me! ;) I'm getting my MTMM stuff ready for my dd, and am looking for a list of maps needed. It seems there's more listed on the cd than we'll actually need for the year(?). I'm also looking for the Worthy Words file. For some reason when I looked on the yahoo group, there was nothing listed under MTMM. I absolutely love your organization posts for HOD, as they are super helpful! And why did I never think to spiral bind the teacher maps for the mapping assignments. Great idea!! Thanks so much!! ;)

  13. I was able to get my maps printed and ready to go, but haven't located the Worthy Words document. It's fine though, as I've used MTMM before without it, and it worked out fine. I was thinking you were on facebook since it's listed in the sidebar of your blog. I appreciate your willingness to help, and your generosity in sharing your printable and how you get ready for the new school year. :) I wish you the best as you begin your HOD high school journey. We are getting ready to graduate our oldest this year, and it's been a huge blessing to use HOD through high school. Blessings! ;)

  14. Have you happened to post your high school course descriptions using MTMM for a high schooler? I'm a little lost and overwhelmed trying to get mine done for my 9th grader. Thanks!

    1. I never did do that because we used this out 8th grade year. I bet the ladies on the MtMM Facebook group have!

  15. This is fabulous! I messaged you before about how helpful your science pages are going to be for Creation to Christ. And now I think we're taking the plunge and doing MtMM for our oldest daughter. Thank you for your hard work putting all this together and sharing! -- Rachael

    PS: How did you end up liking your year with MtMM? And did you continue with HOD for high school?

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! It’s always nice to know that work I did in the past still helps someone now :) We actually did really love MtMM. I’d say it was one of our favorite guides. We did continue to use HOD for high school. We just finished WG. We did make some changes to it, but my son learned a lot. If I were to do it over again I’d make even more changes to it. Next year we are skipping WH and doing US 1 for 10th. I think you’ll really enjoy MtMM :)


Thank you so much for visiting :) I adore hearing from you!

CopyRight 2016 © | Monarch Room