Friday, January 20, 2012

Preparing Hearts for His Glory - Martin

It was just yesterday that Martin was a baby. Well, maybe not yesterday ... but sometimes it seems that way!
Now, Martin is almost half way through the 4th grade. I haven't taken many pictures this year of school projects, but I did want to take a few minutes to share about our school year. I am using Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory guide with Martin. It is a guide written for 8-10 year old children with extensions written for 11-12 year old children. The history spine for this guide is World History. Martin and I are both thoroughly enjoying reading the fabulous books that are walking us through chronologically. Our studies began with Biblical History and has woven in the great Ancient civilizations chronologically with what is going on in Biblical History. We have been able to enjoy historical documentaries that coincide with our history studies. Right now we are watching a series of documentaries on Ancient Greece.
The read a-louds that we are using this year all correspond with the History readings and they have been fantastic. Martin loves to read and has for quite some time - however - I am convinced that if he didn't love to read ... that he would by the time he was done with this school year! The books are interesting and captivating!
Once per week he does Geography, Vocabulary, Research, and Timeline. Each of those activities correspond with his History readings for that week. He especially enjoys studying the modern day globe and comparing it to the maps of the Ancient World on his geography day.
Martin is studying several of the Psalms this year in the Bible Study portion of the plans. He is learning how to have his own quiet time, and learning how to study the Bible.
Science is mostly independent this year. He is working on a Science notebook, while reading through about 8 different Science books.
He has truly excelled in oral narration and while he still orally narrates several things to me each week, he has made an excellent transition to written narration. Bigger Hearts for His Glory really prepared Martin well to make that transition. As we travel up through the HOD guides, I am seeing how each guide prepares him for the next guide. The skills that he acquired from going through BHFHG has made him more than adequately prepared for Preparing Hearts for His Glory.
Martin is starting Singapore Mathematics 4B next week. He has been doing all sorts of fun things in math this year with protractors and set squares. He has LOVED it.
Martin enjoys Rod and Staff English grade 4. He is quite good at English, enjoys it, and can do some pretty mean sentence diagramming! He does studied dictation for his spelling curriculum.
We are using Drawn into the Heart of Reading for our reading curriculum. I teach a lesson to both Martin and Aaron at the same time and their assignment is tailored to their specific levels. We read lots of wonderful books using this curriculum. It takes us through the many genre's of literature, and we do several assignments that help the children become independent thinkers.
He is studying the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, and has started doing some creative writing along with the study of Stevenson's poetry. He doesn't like it. He will read just about any book you put in his hand, but has little interest in any sort of creative writing.
And if that isn't enough ... I went ahead and bought all of the self-study extension readers for older students. Martin loves to read so much and they all looked so interesting to me, that I went ahead and bought them. They also correspond with the units of History. He has thoroughly enjoyed reading those books as well.
Martin's school day usually takes about 4 hours to complete from start to finish as long as he doesn't get distracted. He tries to get all of his written work done before lunch and he does a lot of his independent reading after lunch. We still read all of the history books together. (I read them aloud to him and I also read most of his read aloud books as well)
This curriculum is amazing. It is rich, thorough, fascinating, and complete. I am already excited about what next year may hold. It keeps getting better each year!
I am so thankful that Martin and I are in this thing together. I wouldn't trade all of the precious bonding moments over reading books, math problems, science experiments, and narrations for anything in the world!


  1. Sounds like he is going great and that you have selected the perfect curriculum for him!

  2. Sounds absolutely wonderful!! You're getting me excited for when we will reach Preparing in a couple of years!