Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home Education Plans for 2012-2013

We're so excited to begin a new school year!  As I've mentioned before, I had a really difficult time making decisions about this coming school year.  This has never happened to me before in almost ten years of homeschooling, and I wasn't sure what the trouble was.  But now I believe it was because the Lord had something different for us this year.  

I have this unshakable longing to pour myself out for my children.  To have their hearts, because they know that I love them and want to spend time with them.  To learn together, grow together, and just have fun together.  

First, I tried to put together my own curriculum.  Then, I thought I might try a certain curriculum, but it just didn't feel right.  Finally, I went to my husband, and together we discovered Heart of Dakota.  And as we looked at it together, we both just had peace and even excitement about using this for the coming school year.  We carefully chose the three plans that we thought would best fit our children.  And, yes, since I will be doing three plans, I am going to be very busy!  

Here's our overall plan:  

Our 6-year-old daughter (who will turn 7 in October), will be doing Little Hearts for His Glory.   
  • Reading:  I am very relaxed about teaching reading, and, even though I had every intention of teaching her to read last year, she just didn't seem ready.  But now she definitely is.  So, we'll be using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (just like I did with the older three, who all learned to read at age six).  After she is reading simple things, we go into the first three Pathway Readers (I only use the first three).
  • Math:  Rod & Staff  (for no other reason but that I already had a complete grade 1 math set sitting on my shelves, and it works fine for us at that level).  We'll also be using Inchimals for some hands-on fun.

Our 9-year-old son will be doing Bigger Hearts for His Glory.
  • Math:  Teaching Textbooks (we're already using this, and it was instant love--everyone loves it!)
  • English:  R&S Grade 2 (because Heart of Dakota recommends starting there, and I think it will be sufficient for him--and I also had this on my shelf already).

Our 11-year-old and 13-year-old daughters will be doing Creation to Christ.
  • Math:  Teaching Textbooks 
  • English:  11-year-old will be using R&S (recommended by HOD, and I already had it on my shelf!), and 13-year-old will be doing Abeka's 8th grade Grammar & Composition II (because she requested it--she's been using this for several years, and she likes it).
  • Art and Seasonal Projects for All Ages:  Art is very important to me.  I will continue to come up with my own plans for art and seasonal crafts, drawing from the ideas at Deep Space Sparkle (we used a few of these last year--like this one--, and they were wonderful), and The Crafty Crow (a wealth of ideas here).
  • Typing:  All the Right Type
  • History, Science, Writing, and so much more is covered in the HOD guides.
  • Music:  All four older children will be learning piano (taught at home), along with my older daughter's continuing guitar practice.
Our three-year-old will be joining in with some of the Little Hearts for His Glory activities, and we will also be using all the ideas in my keeping little ones busy post.    

I am so excited to begin!  As I mentioned above, we have already started math (and love it).  I have gone through each of the three HOD guides page by page, and I have made any necessary copies and filed them in a hanging file crate by week (not dated, each one simply says "week 1," "week 2," etc)..  I have almost all the necessary books and supplies (other than the books I plan to borrow from the library).  We ordered the basic sets from HOD, but we ordered some of the other books used, which saved a lot of money.  One of the books that retails for $29.00, we found used for $3.00 (including shipping).  I was pretty happy about that.

I made a new school year schedule, and there is a place and time for everything.  I'll wait to see if it really works before sharing it (things always look so good on paper, but they don't always work out that way in reality).  

Linking to:  The Modest Mom & "Not" Back to School Blog Hop


  1. I can't wait to hear how the year goes with using HofD I have looked into them and thought they looked really good. I am going to be finishing up with MFW with my son and I might use it next year as well. I'm not sure yet. :o)

    1. I'll be sure to give an update on HOD as I go along (or at least after we've used it awhile). We always thought MFW looked so good, too. :)

  2. It looks like a great plan! I was always so excited to get new books (I don't know if the kids were). I can't believe that we're nearing the end of our homeschool journey. One daughter has graduated from college, my next 2 kids are in College plus, and my baby is in 9th grade. I can't believe time has flown by so fast!

    1. Thank you, Patty! Time does go by fast, doesn't it? It used to be that I couldn't see this, but now I'm starting to get it. :)

  3. Hi Joy,
    I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying it very much this evening. It is so good to "meet" you.

    It's exciting getting all ready for another homeschool year isn't it? We love the big day when the new books arrive!

    1. Welcome, Mrs. Smith! I'm so glad you found your way here.

      Yes, getting the new books is one of my favorite things! Ours have been trickling in slowly over the past couple of weeks from a variety of sources, but I think we almost have them all now!

  4. Just found your blog via "A Wise Woman Builds Her Home" blog. We are a HOD family too! We have used every guide up to Preparing Hearts so far and each one keeps getting better and better! We will have three guides going this year as well with my 4 year old in Little Hands to Heaven(and my almost 2 year old tagging along), my 7 year old in Beyond Little Hearts, and my almost 10 year old in Creation to Christ. I am a little nervous about running 3 guides, but I hear it is very doable. I am looking forward to all the wonderful books we are using! You are going to have a fantastic year!

    1. Jenae,

      Thanks so much for commenting. It's so great to hear from other moms using HOD. I'm excited about all the books, too! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

  5. Thanks for mentioning Heart of Dakota and for showing the books that you plan to use. Have some neat sounding resources.
    Popped by from the “Not-Back-to-School” Blog Hop: Curriculum Week!
    Hope that you have a happy homeschool year! Happy planning for 2012-2013!
    Hope that you will pop by to say hello over at my blog and my Pinterest boards too!
    Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama
    Sunrise Learning Lab

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment!


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