Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Creation to Christ - curriculum choices for Martin - 5th grade

Martin is doing 5th grade this year. It is so hard to believe that I have a 5th grader on my hands! He will be doing Creation to Christ from Heart of Dakota. (HOD) The picture above is Martin's curriculum guide. I was very blessed to receive the curriculum including almost every single book that I needed for Martin's 5th grade year from my sister. (my sister used it with her daughter a few years ago and saved it for me) The curriculum guide was in very used condition ... and some of the pages were falling out, so I took the book completely apart, put each page in a plastic page protector, and put all of the pages in a large binder. I LOVE having the guide in this format. It's super big and bulky - but it is really nice having each page protected by plastic!
I also put dividers in the back to make it easy to flip back to the appendix where the poetry selections, math schedule, and dictation passages are located. Martin will be studying the poetry of Robert Frost this year. Along with learning the poetry of Frost, he will be learning the art of Watercolor painting. Each week he will draw a specific painting (related to the poem) using watercolors. He's already loving it!
Bible - is woven all throughout the curriculum in every subject. However, for a more intense study, we will be studying the book of Philippians this year and memorizing the 2nd chapter.
Music - Martin will be playing the trumpet this year with the local homeschool band organization. I'll post more about that later.
I made 3 main notebooks for Martin this year  - 2 for notebooking (science and history) and 1 for  his daily checklists, vocabulary, and English worksheets. HOD provides BEAUTIFUL history notebooking pages once you get to the CTC guide! They are on cardstock with very nice graphics. By the end of the year, Martin will have a wonderful keepsake of what he learned in History this year!
For English this year, Martin will be using Rod and Staff English 5 and Write with the Best, Vol. 1. I always order the English sets directly from Rod and Staff because I enjoy the worksheet and tests that are provided in the sets. The worksheets contain similar activities to what you would see in the textbook. I use the tests on the days that are scheduled for chapter review in the guide. 
This is my first year using Write with the Best, so I have no reviews for it yet. Rod and Staff does teach writing, so Martin has had some exposure to writing, but he's not had it in great detail as this curriculum will provide. Interestingly enough, even though Martin hasn't had much instruction in writing, he tested on an early 8th grade level for writing this past March. I am convinced that a steady flow of exposure to excellent literature as well as the practice of oral and written narration has helped his writing skills tremendously!
For History this year, Martin will be covering in great detail the time period between Creation through  the life of Christ. We will read The History of the Ancient World, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, A Child's Geography, and Genesis: Finding Our Roots. He will listen to the 6 CD set called What in the World, and he will use Draw And Write Through History for history notebooking. Martin loves history! We are really excited about diving deeper into this time period.
Martin also loves Science. He will be reading  Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day, Birds of the Air, Plant Life in Field and Garden, The History of Medicine, An Illustrated Adventure of Human Anatomy, and Galen and the Gateway to Medicine. I was able to download a set of fantastic Science notebooking pages from the HOD yahoo group! They have fun graphics on them and should make his notebooking assignments a little more exciting for him. 
We selected the History Read A-loud option for the story time portion of the curriculum. He will read  Dinosaurs of Eden, The Golden Bull, Boy of the Pyramids, Jashub's Journal, God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah, Archimedes and the Door of Science, Cleopatra, City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction, Traveling the Way, and The Accidental Voyage. 

Martin has been doing Singapore Math since 2nd grade. It is a good fit for him. He has established excellent mental math skills.  (however, sometimes he doesn't write problems down that he should and that can get him into trouble!) He is still finishing up 4B right now, but in a few weeks he'll be headed into Singapore Primary Mathematics 5A and 5B. 
We are using Drawn into the Heart of Reading for our reading/literature curriculum. The books above are the books that Martin will be reading. I am so thankful that both of my older boys love to read. Martin has always been a strong reader and enjoys it. He doesn't enjoy the analysis part. It has always made DITHOR frustrating for me and for him. Last year, I actually put the curriculum away mid-year and only had him do oral narration with his reading books.  I am so thankful and happy to report that we have really turned a corner this year with this program. I don't know if something developmental has occurred or if the years of oral and written narration are finally paying off, but I am thrilled that the literature analysis is going very well for him this year!
DITHOR provides pre-reading activities, vocabulary lessons, guided literature discussions as well as a focus the godly character traits of faith, fear of the Lord, responsibility, brotherly love, loyalty, virtue, obedience, joy, and integrity.

If you managed to get through this entire post, thanks for sticking with me! I use Heart of Dakota not only for the rigorous academic Charlotte Mason style curriculum that it is, but also because of how it so carefully weaves Christ through each and every aspect of study. It provides a means for intentional heart to heart conversations about important life situations in a way that isn't artificial! I will post about what I am using for Jonathan's Kindergarten next!  I am so excited about the 2012-2013 school year!


  1. So glad to see your excitement about using HOD CTC! We used it last year and had such an amazing year! You're going to love it!

    Just wanted to pop in and share what we did for our binders. I photocopied the covers at the copy store and slipped them into the binder covers (or you could just tape them on) and it made the binders really look exciting to the kids because it looked just like the guidebook they were using that year!

    Anyway, blessings as you begin your HOD year!

    1. Thanks for your reply, Lisa! I am using the cover for the notebooking pages. What did you photocopy for Science?

    2. Sorry, just seeing this now! :)

      I photocopied the cover of the CTC guide and used those as covers for the binders! Worked great and looked so nice. I then just made a label for the side of the binder with my computer, cut it out and slid that in the binding side of the binder. We store these on a bookshelf when not in use, and we have a few kids using binders for HOD, so it's nice to have the label to show who's is who's.

  2. Love it all, Larissa! Your 5th grader is going to have a great year!

  3. I'm jealous that you got everything for free. :P I think you're going to love HOD! Thanks for linkng up on the blogroll!