Good Evening Everyone! I have been searching for weeks for a kindergarten curriculum that would be fun and exciting for an active little boy. I received a Heart of Dakota catalog in the mail and it looks like a good program with easy to follow plans. Has anyone tried it? What did you think? Do you have a different suggestion for me? Any input would be helpful!
I am in my fourth year using it. We love it! Feel free to ask me anything.
I have friends that looooove HOD! I used their Little Hands to Heaven with Bo, and loved it but he got bored of it. It’s very repetitive, but sweet and gentle. I didn’t like the role playing but loved the crafts and other activities. I just ordered Bigger Hearts for His Glory for my 8 year old for American History, I’m ready to settle down into a routine with a boxed curriculum before I start another literature based unit study curriculum when we are done.
If you are considering it, I’d spend some time on their forum or Facebook community - lots of helpful advice there. Just remember that it’s okay to tweak as needed for your situation. HOD is written with specific materials in mind (and they are scheduled in, so it is a little harder to tweak, but it can be done).
You’re so right! The beauty of HOD is that you can swap out something (like math or grammar) if you prefer a different resource. It’s all about working with your child’s needs. I would agree with dlhomeschool about the Yahoo and Facebook groups…all the mommas are awesome and we share a lot of very helpful information and printables
we have only used the “preschool” curriculum so far as my son is just about to turn 3. He loves it! We only do “school” 1-2 days a week since he’s still a little young, but he often asks me to have school on non-school days. Right now we’re going through in a simpler mode since I don’t feel he’s old enough yet for everything in it. So what I do is go through each unit (5 days) and pull out 1-2 activities from each day that I think he can do. Then we put all of those activities together into one day of “school”. It usually takes us about 30-45 minutes. Were going through the book once in this format and when we’re done, we’ll go through it again day by day. My son was already able to recognize all the capital letters before we started so we’re mainly focusing on letter sounds right now and the next time through I plan to focus on the lowercase letters. Anyway, I veered a little off topic, but all this to say, my son loves this curriculum, and I love it too. I really like that it allows you to pick and choose the subject curriculums that you want to use. The books have 1-2 options listed in the plans, but it would be so easy to switch it out for your own curriculum and plug in the lessons from there.
Thank you everyone for your thoughts! I really appreciate it!!!
Thank you for responding! Have you used the phonics/learning to read program from HOD, or do you recommend a different program?
I’m nervous about teaching my son to read. My other kids went to public school before we started homeschooling and they already knew how to read. My son has a short attention span, but he really wants to “do school” too and is always asking me, “What does this say?”
I discovered HOD this year and am loving it! I wish I had found it earlier as my oldest is already in the 4th grade. We use Math-u-see for math and Learning Language Arts through Literature for grammer/english/spelling/etc I used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to teach both my 4th grade and kindergartener to read. Then transitioned them into Learning Language Arts… I cannot recommend Heart of Dakota enough! It is fantastic! I plan to stick with it until they graduate from high school. The company is so helpful. You can call the 800 number and they made me feel like I was talking with a family member discussing the pros/cons of their curriculum for my family.
Thank you for sharing what you use! I’ve noticed a few people in different discussions saying that they have used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
When I started, I began with reading made easy. It was thorough, but my son was bored and not locking into it. So, we switched to all about reading and we love it. His reading ability soared. Now I use it with all my kids.
Think about what your goals are for the year. What do you want your child to learn and accomplish? From there, review what the program(s) your considering will cover. I’ve discovered it’s best to consider our family and then the curriculum, rather than considering curriculum and how my family can make it work for us. – I personally really like HOD. I also think the program you choose has a lot to do with your child and their interests/abilities. My oldest dd was advanced for K, so I had to get creative. As for my youngest (starting K this fall), I’m not sure if I will do Little Hands to Heaven or possibly another curriculum for a year. The Little Hearts for His Glory is done by many as a 1st grade curriculum.
As for reading instruction, check your local library. They will likely have a copy of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Phonics Pathways, and other popular books. You can really dig into it to determine if it will work for you and your child.
How is the math books they recommend using?? I’m totally torn between Math U See and HOD recommendation?? And with their reading from All About Reading!! It’s very pricey just to buy math & reading curriculum with the other two companies!! HOD, I’d be getting more for my money but need it to be GOOD for mY two kids learning style! Wiggley & Social
For those of you using HOD with older children, do you also use the workbox system? Does HOD work well with workboxes?
Heart of Dakota is great for workboxes in the morw independent guides, starting with Preparing. We love Heart of Dakota!!!
What grade would this be for?
Kinder & 5th grade but my 5th grader is behind in math…he’s more end of 3rd grade-beginning 4th grade level.
I’ve looked at the online samples loads of times and I have a question about the second grade book… I noticed that in the history reading and science sections, there are times when it says to have the student narrate or retell what they’ve read that day. Does that mean that for those subjects, the child is meant to complete the reading independently and then meet with the parent to explain what they read/learned?
All of the reading is done together with the exception of the emerging readers or Drawn Into The Heart of Reading, where the student reads aloud to you. When doing history, at least through Preparing Little Hearts for His Glory, Mom usually reads the lesson with student and then the student summarizes what they learned orally (there are tips in the back of the manual for this). It is a WONDERFUL curriculum. I can’t say enough good things about it. I am getting ready to head into 4th grade next year with my eldest and 2nd with my younger son. I’ve been doing this for 5 years with HOD and am happy to answer any questions.
For math, we’ve been using Singapore since K. My son, now in 3rd, really needed more intensive concentration on multiplication, so we did a Blue series ebook from Math Mammoth for a month. It helped. We are considering a switch to Math Mammoth for 4th. I like that the author, Maria, is very helpful and told me that she will even look over our placement tests personally and give her input. As for All About Reading, I love it. Buy it used We started with Reading Made Easy and it was okay. My son was just not engaging so in 1st grade I switched to level 1 of AAR and I am SOOOOO glad! I have heard really good things about Christian Light math and some love Rod and Staff. I think Math U See is a good choice, I just can’t afford it. I felt that I wanted to place my higher investment into reading. There are so many great online helps for math.