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Heart of Dakota Publishing Reviews

“Christ-centered learning from our heart to yours.” Author
Carrie Austin has written all of the curricula listed at Heart of Dakota publishing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a middle school endorsement. She received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Carrie has eleven years of classroom teaching experience. Program Titles: Little Hands to Heaven, a preschool program for ages 2-5; Little Hearts for His Glory, an early learning program for ages 5-7; Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory, a program for ages 6-8; Bigger Hearts for His Glory a program for ages 7-9 with extensions for grades 4-5; Preparing Hearts for His Glory a program for ages 8-10 with extensions for grades 5-6; Hearts for Him Through Time: Creation to Christ, a program for ages 9-11 with extensions for grades 6-7; Resurrection to Reformation, a program for ages 10-12 with extensions for grades 7-8; and Drawn into the Heart of Reading, a literature program for ages 7-15.

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(4 Reviews)

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  1. Heart of Dakota Publishing Review by Stef
    Pros: Christian, Easy-to-Use, Great Literature Choices
    Cons: Language in older/classical Bible devotional didn't resonate well with my son

    Grades Used: 3rd

    I am now about mid-way through our first year using Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory with my son. I have tried sooo many curriculums and I have finally found the one that fits us perfectly! At first I was skeptical of how short and simple some of it seems but the results speak for themselves. My son has struggled with dyslexia and he was falling behind. That’s why I opted for the Beyond for 3rd grade rather than the next program up. I have been using another math along with the Singapore but think I would drop that now and just use the next level up in Singapore. I also changed out some of the Bible because I thought it was too simple in concept and too old fashioned in language. I’m going to give her next year’s Bible picks a try, however. The literature and reading choices are our favorite! My son is at or beyond reading level now and loves books so much that he is getting and reading them on his own now! Going through the Emerging Readers list she has in the back was all it took to improve his reading and make him fall in love with books. For an active boy who doesn’t like to sit still and for helping your student to love literature, this is a great curriculum!

  2. Heart of Dakota Publishing Review by Sarah
    Pros: Complete Christ centered curriculum. Easy to follow teachers guide. Rich content. Open and go; less preparation than other curricula.
    Cons: A teachers supply list would be helpful in the guide. Singapore math is simple and buildes gradually in the concepts and reviews concepts however additional math help would be useful.

    Grades Used: 1,2

    This curriculum is simple in format but very rich in the content. It’s literature based. I was able to combine my first and second grader because their ages and abilities were so close. My children have gained a much greater knowledge and understanding of scripture and loved the CD with scripture songs that accompanied the curriculum. I love that Carrie put so much work in organizing and preparing the curriculum so that we can literally just open and go. She uses every day household items for the science and math hands on activities. This curriculum gets the kids up and moving, exercising, acting, role playing and thinking in their own. This curriculum is fun and engaging. If you have kids who like hands on, art and reading they will like Heart of Dakota. Every subject ties in with the next. Christ is the primary focus of your school day. Cheaper than most curriculm when combining grade levels. Excellent program!

  3. Heart of Dakota Publishing Review by Heather Poole
    Pros: Charlotte Mason/Unit study combined approach that is Christ centered. We love the hands on projects, living books and that all subjects are tied in together. This curriculum works well with the workbox ideas if you want to combine them. I love that it is easy to substitute a subject for something else if needed and that my children are working on becoming more independent in their studies. It is very thorough and complete in covering all subjects and easy to document if needed for the state. There is a lot of online support if you have any questions and you can find many of the books for the reading portion at your local library to help save on cost.
    Cons: If you buy everything new it gets somewhat expensive in the upper grades but we use the library and buy used. I didn't care for the phonics that is suggested but it is very easy to use something else. II also use a different math program for some of my kids and that is easy to adapt also.

    Grades Used: I have used every level except the High School World Geography level. We have loved every level.

    I would make sure that families use the placement chart well and if you can combine kids it makes it easier for large famiies I think. I also downloaded some notebooks from the facebook group pages for the younger levels that were made to go along with each guide to help save time and make things easier on my part. I highly suggest joining the facebook groups for ideas. I have really enjoyed doing each level with my children and have fond memories of the projects and books that we have read. I have one child that really enjoyed all the acting out the history stories that she did. My oldest had enjoyed the cooking aspect that goes along. One of my middles enjoys the artwork. I enjoy that I can pass the books from one child to the next other than the student notebooks and math consumables. This has been one of the best finds for our family and has really helped us know our scriptures better also.

  4. Heart of Dakota Publishing Review by Nancy
    Pros: Christ centered; flexible lesson plans, small age target per book makes for easier to use lessons.
    Cons: can be pricey in the upper guides; not enough support for the math lessons

    Grades Used: K, 1st

    I really like how this program is put together, with Christ at the “heart”. The lessons are short, but VERY effective. If you buy an entire package you can be sure that your child(ren) is getting a complete education. Because of the brevity of the lessons it is also easy to add in things such as foreign language, nature walks or additional bible study. There are hands on activites that are actually easy to do and usually use household items.

    The lessons are scripted, but it is VERY easy to skim the script and teach the lesson in your own way.

    There are two downsides: 1) the math lessons are very light, and for many people you would need more support; 2) there is no supply list, and no scope and sequence for the math, art and geography lessons. I found that these things can be overcome by the parent spending some time going through the manual to figure what is being taught and when, and by either using the Home Instructor Guides for Singapore Math or using a different math progrm than the one recommended.

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