Thursday, September 4, 2014

Our Homeschool Curriculum :: Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory

(this was from the first day of school 5 weeks ago--in the bottom right you can see ALL the books that came with our curriculum)!

I've been meaning to write up a post about the homeschool curriculum we use now for about 5 weeks!  But as you can imagine, we've been quite busy around here with the routine of starting school back among other things that we are involved in.   Tonight, I wanted to stop and take the time to talk a little about it because, well, I just love it so much!

We have chosen to use Heart of Dakota homeschool curriculum.  I literally cannot express to you in words how much we are loving our choice!  We used this same curriculum last year for Kindergarten--the guide was called Little Hearts for His Glory.    Here's a picture of the Kindergarten curriculum from last year...I never got around to writing up a post last time.

Now, on to the first grade choice.  Heart of Dakota has different guides that you can purchase.  After looking at their website many, many, many times, I just knew that this was the right choice for our family.  The guides are divided by age groups and you can customize them according to your child's grade level. Each subject area can be customized by ordering the different grade level options.  The guides are already so well laid out and the plans are so detailed that I literally don't have to do anything except open my lesson guide each morning and get started.  There is absolutely no prep work on my part, which is very important to me.  With three little ones running around, I just don't have time to spend hours lesson planning.  

We chose Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory for our first grade guide.

(these are only the books being used for the current unit, you can see a picture of all of the included books at the top of this post)

However, my very favorite thing about this curriculum is how Biblically based it is.  Every single day we have a Bible memory verse, a song that reviews that verse, we have devotions, and many times our history and science revolves around that too.  I absolutely could not have found anything that fit our family desire more than this curriculum.  I love teaching my daughter Jesus-centered curriculum and being free to talk about God when teaching about the pilgrims, creation, etc.   In fact, as planned in our lesson guide, our first grade reader for the first 9 weeks of school is this Beginner's Bible.  I can't explain to you the excitement of seeing your six year old read her Bible for the first time.  I literally teared up just hearing her.  And she loves it too.  She's so proud to be able to read her own Bible!  

The Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory Lesson Guide can be used for 1st or 2nd grade depending on what grade level options you choose.  We are using first grade options.  The guide consists of history, science, poems & rhymes, Bible time, music, Spelling, copywork, math, reading and storytime.   We also add in calendar time where we do the days of the week, months of the year, practice writing the date and telling time on the clock as well as the pledge of allegiance and prayer.  ALL of this takes us around 90-120 minutes a day.   I also love that the guide integrates movement.  They get to stand up and make up movements to the poems and Bible verses.  We play games while learning.  All of this helps them not to get tired of sitting for long periods of time.  

The storytime book for the first unit of the guide is a biography.  They give us a list of recommended books to choose from.  We chose Hellen Keller.  My daughters as well as myself are enjoying learning about her life.  We will learn several different genres of literature and read numerous books in each one throughout the year.

One other thing about this curriculum is that you can customize it to fit your family's needs.  You can use your own reading and math programs or you can use what they recommend.  I have been using their recommendations for now and have been more than pleased.  

I obviously love this curriculum very much!  I get excited just thinking about each new year!  If you have any questions about it please feel free to ask and I'll be sure to get back with you as soon as I can!

As mentioned above we also used the same curriculum for Kindergarten, Heart of Dakota Little Hearts for His Glory.  For pre-k I used a different curriculum that we also loved, however, for my next two up and coming pre-kers I will probably go with Heart of Dakota Little Hands to Heaven.  

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.  


  1. We are also using HOD BLHFHG. For biography, we did a book about Squanto first but finished it quickly. We finished the Hellen Keller book today, which we all loved! I looked up videos online & found several clips from movies made about Hellen Keller but also found interviews and documentaries with her in them. Our kids LOVED this! My daughter has already asked if we can watch them again tomorrow. I think it really brought it to life for them seeing how Anne Sullivan did the signs in her hand on the videos.

  2. Thank you for your comment! I love your idea of looking up movies and videos! I can already tell we will be finishing this one up early too, so now I'll have an idea of how to supplement it! Thank you for the great ideas!

  3. Hi! I am looking into HOD for my 1st and 2nd graders this coming year. Which selection did you use for reading? The reading program we used this past year did not work well for us. My exiting 1st grader can read some, can sound out really well, but has trouble putting it all together overall. So, for second grade I want her to have more phonics instruction but not feel like she is being babied too much, do you know what I mean? We are doing phonics reviews daily this summer so I may feel differently come August.