Our Curriculum

Preschool Curriculum - Little Hands to Heaven from Heart of Dakota
Our main curriculum is a preschool program called Little Hands to Heaven by Heart of Dakota. The creator of Heart of Dakota has experience as both a classroom and homeschool teacher. She has created a very Bible-based program. Where some Christian curriculums simply add in a verse here and there to make it "Biblical", the Bible is truly woven through the entirety of this curriculum. Scriptural themes and truth form the basis of all the lessons in every subject. While you could drop the Bible from some Biblical curriculums to make it secular, it would be impossible to do so with this one as then you would have nothing left. Little Hands to Heaven is a complete preschool program with many multi-sensory activities that I know JayBird will love and JellyBean will enjoy trying to do with us. Learning activities include: 

* letter recognition
* letter formation
* letter sounds
* early math skills
* Bible activities
* Scripture memorization
* devotional topics
* art projects
* dramatization
* active exploration
* finger plays
* music

I am confident that Heart of Dakota's Little Hands to Heaven will help us instill godly wisdom and knowledge into our children's hearts.

Additional Bible Acivities - 1001 Ways to Introduce Your Child to the Bible
1001 Ways to Introduce Your Child to the Bible is a wonderful companion to our Heart of Dakota Curriculum. It is full of songs, activities, and art projects to introduce your child to the Bible. It is unique in that it has activities for every book in the Bible. No book is overlooked. Each activity states exactly what materials are needed, how long it will take to do, and what ages it is appropriate for. Children as young as age one and up to age twelve can participate in many of the activities in a variety of age appropriate ways. I fell in love with this book when my son was just a year old. Before I started using it, I misplaced it. I wanted so much to use it that we replaced it. I am glad to now be putting it into full use!

JayBird loves to write. Almost a year ago at just three years old, he began copying letters and words, very legibly so. Now at four he can write words on his own just by us spelling them out for him. Although his handwriting is still very legible, it has gotten sloppier over the past year. And oddly, he has begun reversing his 'J'. This is a common occurrence with young children learning to write and I am not worried in the least about it. I am more intrigued by it though since he once wrote it correctly and it just so happens to be the first letter of his name. To help with this and because he loves to write, we will be using Handwriting Without Tears to begin forming proper handwriting habits. JayBird is the type that the way he learns or does it the first time is how it becomes ingrained into his mind and how he wants to do it forever more. Because bad habits die hard, we must form better habits early on. With this hadwriting program, skills are taught through writing practice, tuning fine motor skills through playdough and play and other hands-on activities, and through the use of educational songs and music (which JayBird will love!) 

We are using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons to learn phonics and reading. This book is made up of 100 lessons that each take approximately 15 minutes to complete, but could take as long as 20 minutes or as little as 10 minutes. Each lesson is broken into 6-8 tasks. Examples of the various tasks we have encountered so far are learning new sounds, saying things fast and slow, and rhyming. The last task involves writing the letters, but since we have our own writing program, we do not do this task.

There will be other things we throw in here and there through our journey of learning and seeking out godly wisdom and truth. I will share other activities, projects, and field trips we do. JayBird is also very involved in children's church and AWANA so he learns a great deal of godly wisdom, truth, and Scripture memory there. I will also highlight some of the activities that Jelly Bean does as we expose her to age appropriate early learning activities. She of course will also being joining as where she can with our other activities and learning.

Please feel free to share any great ideas you have as well or share your blog with me. I love reading what others are doing to instill a love of learning and godly wisdom into their children's hearts and gathering more ideas and resources that may work for our family. May God bless you on your journeys with your children!