From Our House to Yours
Customize Your Children’s Reading with Heart of Dakota
I have three sons I’ve taught to read using Heart of Dakota’s guides. Though they have all progressed through the guides in order, I’ve always loved I can customize their reading. This has been wonderful! I have been able to choose the reading and the pacing of that reading to fit each child best. So, while they each progressed through phonics, the Emerging Reader’s Set, and Drawn into the Heart of Reading, their reading was customized to fit them each the best. Because reading instruction is not tied to a guide’s daily plans, unit themes, or months/seasons/holidays, it can easily be customized without getting your child off-track in your main Heart of Dakota guide! Let’s see how!
Customize Your Children’s Phonics
With Heart of Dakota, phonics is not tied to any other subject area. The Reading Lesson (TRL), Reading Made Easy (RME), and Sound Bytes are all phonics programs Heart of Dakota recommends. However, any phonics can be used with Heart of Dakota. Phonics is recommended to be done during Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG) and/or Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory (Beyond). So, you can customize by choosing which phonics program to use, by choosing when to begin, as well as by choosing how many years to do phonics. You can even further customize your children’s phonics by choosing to use the download or not with TRL. Likewise, you can customize by choosing to use the workbooks or not with RME. So, lots of ways to customize your children’s phonics!
Customize Your Children’s Emerging Reader Set
The Emerging Reader’s Set (ERS) is the next step up in reading after phonics. The ERS provides a carefully planned out list of interesting, well-loved books that gradually increase in difficulty. A schedule for reading these books and engaging questions written specifically for each book is included in both Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory (Beyond) and Bigger Hearts for His Glory (BHFHG). This 14-book set begins with one of two children’s Bibles. The Early Reader’s Bible is the easier reading level, and The Beginner’s Bible is the harder reading level. Supplement titles of books are also listed for each unit to match the ERS progression. So, customize your ERS by choosing to use it with Beyond or BHFHG, by choosing which level of Bible to use, and by choosing whether to use the supplemental titles or not!
Customize Your Children’s Independent Reading
Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) is the next step in reading after the ERS. DITHOR is a reading option in Beyond Little Hearts through Missions to Modern Marvels (MTMM). So, you can customize when your children begin DITHOR. There are three different DITHOR Student Book levels: 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7/8. So, you can customize your children’s level of instruction and amount of written work. There are multiple levels of book packs, including Levels 2, 3, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, and 7/8. So, you can customize your children’s level of reading. There are also girl and boy interest book packs for levels 4/5, 5/6, and 7/8. So, you can further customize your children’s reading by interest.
There is also a Sample Book Ideas list. As any book can be used with DITHOR, this list gives a dozen or so choices per level per genre. You can customize the books your children read using this suggested list. Or, you can choose ANY book, using what you have on hand or using your library! Just make sure the book you choose matches the genre you are teaching. If you choose your own books, you can also customize the reading pace. Choose either to read one, two, or three books to read over the 15 days of reading each genre. Now, that’s a LOT of awesome ways to customize your child’s reading!