New with questions

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KatieM
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:29 am

New with questions

Post by KatieM » Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:18 pm

Hi,
I am pouring over the info for this curriculum, and I have questions. I am thinking of using Bigger for my 7 yr. old and I wondered if I could add the extension pack and use it for my 10 yr. old too (he would have his own math and language arts). Would it be enough?

Next, I would like a better idea of what the hands-on history/science projects are like.

Finally, I'm not 100% sold on the main history spines used (from the samples and reviews I've read). What do you like or not like about these books?

I'd appreciate any input to help me get a better idea if this program would work for us.

Katie

blessedmomof4
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Re: New with questions

Post by blessedmomof4 » Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:32 pm

KatieM wrote:Hi,
I am pouring over the info for this curriculum, and I have questions. I am thinking of using Bigger for my 7 yr. old and I wondered if I could add the extension pack and use it for my 10 yr. old too (he would have his own math and language arts). Would it be enough?

Next, I would like a better idea of what the hands-on history/science projects are like.

Finally, I'm not 100% sold on the main history spines used (from the samples and reviews I've read). What do you like or not like about these books?

I'd appreciate any input to help me get a better idea if this program would work for us.

Katie
Hi there, and welcome!

We are only in week 11 :oops: , but what I can tell you is that a 10-year-old would definitely get plenty of history and science without the extension pack (for a student that is not a strong reader, like my soon-to-be- 10 yr old) or with the extension pack and his own language and math(for a strong reader who can read those books independently).

The hands-on activities can be art or geography related, like yesterday we made a paper/collage-type project of a cave with a wolf looking out and paw prints leading to the cave, which went with the story of a man named Putnam who had to hunt a wolf that was stealing sheep. On Tuesday, we located tropical, temperate, and polar regions on a globe, which went along with the history read-aloud. One day we made a model wampum belt from dyed rice, and another day we made a model landscape with clay and rocks and water to study bays, isthmuses, islands and peninsulas. The activities are varied and interesting, and not overwhelming in the area of preparation.

About the main books for history-I once used Stories of Great Americans with my son a long time ago, before I heard of HOD-but we went through it so fast, we didn't get much out of it. I really appreciate how Carrie has arranged the readings in bite-sized amounts and then reinforces them through the rest of the lessons and activities. My girls have been making really nice history notebooks and have retained a lot-they discuss the things they've learned when it isn't "school-time", and I can honestly say that's a first for me.

Of course, I'm sure Carrie or others will jump in here and remind you that if your kids are too far in abilities, you could use 2 different programs at the same time and they would work all right together-there are several moms on here doing that, so that's another consideration.

I hope my answers help-I like answering others' questions because it reaffirms everything I like so much about Heart of Dakota. :D
Lourdes
Wife to Danforth
2 grads 9/19/92,7/8/95
2 in charter school 1/31/98, 9/19/99
3 in Heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, 9/13/13
Future HODie is here! 9/14/12

Carrie
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Post by Carrie » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:37 pm

Katie,

I am so sorry your post got buried in the board and I missed it! Lourdes did such a great job of answering your questions, but hopefully a few more ladies will pop in here and encourage you as well.

First of all, welcome! I'm so glad you're here. As to your questions, you may want to look at the placement chart on the website which really helps in placing your child in one of our programs. You'd want to make sure that your 7 year old would be able to do the reading, writing, and grammar portions of "Bigger...". Here's the link to the chart: http://www.heartofdakota.com/placing-your-child.php

Also, if you do choose to use "Bigger..." your 10 year old could definitely use "Bigger..." too along with the extension pack and his own language arts and math.

As far as the history spines used, I can't give you an unbiased answer, but I can tell you the reasons why we chose to use them. Warning: Here comes the soapbox:

Eggleston's books qualify as living books in that they are written in short chapters, told in narrative form, include interesting anectdotes and stories about real people, are written by one author who was passionate about his subject matter (and consequently was a Methodist minister and later a journalist who actually interviewed family members to get the stories he wrote). They also lend themselves well to being narrated.

We found Eggleston's writing to be more memorable than any other American history text out there, yet it gives a great overview of the important men and women that our children should know from American history. Also, a biographical approach is much more personal than a study of events. I was fascinated with the reading and learned many things I had never heard before.

That being said, Eggleston is an acquired taste, whose style grows on you the more you read. His books are also not filled with beautiful pictures, so they require a more seasoned listener to appreciate the retellings. My boys are loving the books and learning so much. It was a tough decision to choose spine books for American history, yet surprisingly most texts we reviewed were easily set aside for one reason or another until we settled on Eggleston.

So, I'm off my soapbox now. You'll have to be the judge of what you think will work for your kiddos.

Hope that helps!

Blessings,
Carrie

Melanie
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Location: north Missouri

Post by Melanie » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:11 pm

Hi Katie,
Just wanted to let you know that you can read the Eggleston's books on-line (free) at The Baldwin Project. That would help you to see if would work for your kids. I've gone to the site and read a chapter or two, and I think they're wonderfully written and very engaging. I have two 7 yo's and I'm pretty sure they are not quite up for these books yet.

Mary offered some great advice on another recent thread about combining kids. She suggests always aiming for the lower level to match your youngest, and then beefing up for the older. So if you find that your 7 yo could do Bigger, then you'll be great with that choice.

The spines for Beyond are excellent books and I don't think I've ever read a bad review of those...just in case you wanted to check that program. If you're doing your own LA and math, that would work as another option.

HTH, Melanie
Using LHFHG with
ds - '00
dd - '00
dd - '02

water2wine
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Post by water2wine » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:19 pm

We just started BHFG but we had the Eggleston's books for a while actually before we even knew we would be doing HOD with our older kids. Just wanted to say that I love the Eggleston's books! And what is more important my kids love them. In fact I was excited there was an extension pack because my ten year old was already reading them quite a bit on her own before we decided on BHFG for my older kids and we had done some of the books already snuggling on the couch together. I am excited to be using them. They were actually part of what helped us decide to give the program a try.

Good luck deciding what is best for your family!
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

my3sons
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Post by my3sons » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:04 pm

We're doing Bigger... this year, and my son just turned 8 in Dec. He LOVES Eggleston! He always wants me to read more. I always say..."You'll have to wait until tomorrow!" How wonderful it is to have him excitedly looking forward to doing history the next day! I also appreciate how they are paced throughout the curriculum... in a way we can savor them! They are very "living". I understand at first glance you may be unsure, but let me reassure you, they are fantastic books! My son also enjoys the Journeys... book. I do think the extension pack would be a great way to extend it for your older kiddo, and then I think it would be enough, with your higher levels of math and LA.

The science books are also very living, and I like the balance of different types of books there. My son loved getting to know the biographical characters well, and he loves looking at his Audobon society bird books now that he "knows" Audubon so well! The Pioneer Sampler and Science in Colonial America are just neat books, a fantastic switch from dry textbooks if you've ever used those. One Small Square... well, they are just our very favorites! Beautiful pictures, living text, you can't go wrong with any of those, and they tie nicely to the history.

As far as the history and science projects go, they are notebooking type things that utilize the living books, globe and/or maps. They often connect with the Bible as well, and the result is a very beautiful science and history notebook to be proud of.

For the history notebooking, typically, my son writes 3-6 sentences, draws something while looking at the living book/globe/map for help, and colors it. Maps are neatly drawn and added to over time as well. Geography involves the resources I've already mentioned and includes the creation of a neat timeline. We have ours inside a file folder, so we can just open it up and see all of our timeline at a glance. My son enjoys this and understands the passage of time and events much better now.

For science, simple experiments are done, and notebooking involves a similar process as the history one I've described above, only using the science living books and often has some labeling as well. For experiments (which by the way are easily doable and involve materials you have in your home), a lab-type report is done. I really appreciate this because it really follows the scientific process. Each of these has a question that the child must make a "guess" about the answer. The question and guess are written at the top of a blank sheet of paper. I write my son's guess as he says it on a marker board. Then, he copies it under the question on the paper. For example, "What are the different ways birds fly?" could be the question. Then the child makes a guess at the answer and writes his guess. Next, comes the "Procedure" part. This is the fun part that the child looks forward to because he can't wait to see if his guess was right. It is also the experiment part. After this, the child draws a sketch of the procedure on his paper. Last, is the "conclusion", where the child writes what parts of his guess were wrong or right. We only write a sentence or 2 here, and usually I try to help him get the key idea here: like, "Birds fly in 5 different ways, which are...". I think this type of notebooking is going to be a wonderful way to prepare him for future labs in science when he's older, but it's done in such a fun, low-key way, that he enjoys it.

Hope that gives some insight into the program! We are loving it, and I'm sure you would too! If other questions come to mind, just put them on the board. These moms are great about encouraging and lending a hand to each other! It's so nice to meet you, Katie!
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
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Melanie
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Location: north Missouri

Post by Melanie » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Julie...that was an awesome description!! :D OK..now I really can't wait to get to Bigger!
Using LHFHG with
ds - '00
dd - '00
dd - '02

Carrie
Site Admin
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Post by Carrie » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:36 pm

Katie,

As Melanie said, you can actually read the Eggleston book's text by following the links off our website on this page:
http://www.heartofdakota.com/BHFHG-history.php

Hope that helps!

Blessings,
Carrie

my3sons
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Location: South Dakota

Post by my3sons » Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:53 pm

Thanks, Melanie! Glad you're excited - you'll love it!
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

KatieM
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:29 am

Post by KatieM » Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:55 am

Thanks for all the great info. The hands-on activities sound great. I will have to investigate the books a little more. Hopefully that will help me make a decision. Decisions, decisions!!!

Tansy
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Location: Texas

Post by Tansy » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:44 am

Katie,
i wanted to chime in on the Science books with Bigger. I went to a homeschool meeting where a Scientist was speaking on how to interest children in Science. Someone of course asked the poor man which program to use.. Him not being a homeschooler was at a loss. So he just started describing a good science book, what to look for.

Realistic illustrations. (not photos illustrations can show you details better)
Good content (not dumbed down).
material encourages the child to ask the "W's" (who what where why).
Does the book make them want to Explore?

So far the one small square books have fulfilled that criteria. We were able to use the illustrations to accurately identify seaweed and shells, and find ghost crabs on the beach at night.
My dd got really excited and asked questions like why do pelicins fly in a line? (grandma knew the answer to that one).
And my dd totally surprised me by identifying a "gastropod" to her grandfather (the superintendinte of schools who is positive his grandchildren are growing up not learning a thing). Lately all she wants to draw are jelly fish.

the science experiments are fun and easy to do. My kid always get's the point.
Hope that helps,
Tansy
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blessedmomof4
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Post by blessedmomof4 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:11 pm

Tansy, that is so awesome! We are so loving the science, too, especially my 4th grader, who is particularly skilled at drawing nature illustrations-her drawings are so much better than mine! :shock:

The books are such a delight for both my girls :D
Lourdes
Wife to Danforth
2 grads 9/19/92,7/8/95
2 in charter school 1/31/98, 9/19/99
3 in Heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, 9/13/13
Future HODie is here! 9/14/12

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