Posts Tagged ‘Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory’

For about 2 years now, Little Miss had been working on the Keepers of the Faith program.  The program is based on Biblical principles.  The program is similar to scouting, but can be done as a family or as a club.  Unlike scouting, there are no dues to be paid other than your own personal expenses for materials or awards.  The cost is very minimal.

Little Miss started out in the young girls’ program, Little Keepers of the Home.  This year, Pookie has begun the young boys’ program, Little Contenders for the Faith.  At age 7, they advance to the older children’s programs of “Keepers of the Home” and “Contenders for the Faith.”

A fair portion of the program is based upon academic skills.  Young children who learn to recite, write, and the phonetics of their ABC’s can earn the “ABC’s” award.  Like in scouting, the kids earn these acheivement awards which come in the form of a pin or a charm.  I purchased fabric to make each of the children a banner on which to display their award pins.

I have always known that Little Miss loves earning the pins.  She gets so excited about it!  Her Daddy and I make a big deal out of any new awards she receives.  He gives the handing out of the award as much attention as though she were receiving an honors award.  He recognises the hard work done and praises the kids for their efforts.

Last week, I received a box from Keepers.  In it was Little Miss’ new manual.  She graduates up to the “big girls” program this year.  The box also contained a few awards that were earned over the past few months.  She was thrilled!  One special award though was a real treat to hand out.  Amazingly, Little Miss was more excited about this one than her own awards.  Pookie had completed a unit study with lapbook on the Creation story from the Bible.  Among the awards in the box was one called “Creation.”  This is Pookie’s first achievement award.  When he was handed his award, he carried it all around the room.  He kept turning it over and over as he studied it carefully.  Little Miss also got a Creation award for her unit study, but she seemed unfazed by that.  She was too busy smiling with pride at her brother.

Looking over the awards that Keepers makes available, there are many that both kids will be able to work towards over the next 8 years or so tha tthey are of age to be in that program.  The awards have suggested guidelines on what a child should do to receive it, but they are also open to your own customizing to fit your child’s ability levels.  This is what helps to make it possible for Pookie to also earn awards.

Seeing his complete enthrallment, as well as Little Miss’ joy, at receiving the awards makes it even more important to us.  Kids love working for them.  Though Pookie may not fully comprehend what the awards are all about, he sure was happy to get it.  We will be setting aside a special spot just for the displaying of their award banners.  By making them something that we hold as something to be proud of, they will continue to work towards earning them.  Not that simply getting an award should be the goal, but that they learn that we respect and take pride in the efforts that they make.

Each week, there is at least one activity in their workboxes that goes to an achievement they are working on.  By reading through the suggested activities for each award, I am able to match the requirements to whatever curriculum they are doing.  There are awards for each of the states in the USA, for example, which means that when she does a unit study on our home state she will earn that award.  She is currently learning how to crochet.  Once she makes a couple of  projects, she will earn that award.  Pookie will earn the ABC’s award as soon as he is able to write each letter.  Currently, I am teaching him the letters and their sounds.  As he is non-verbal, I am able to know if he understand phonics through use of a chart.  I say the sound and he points to the letter that makes that sound.

If you are looking for a special way to encourage and reward your children for their school efforts, take a look on the Keepers’ website.  They have a wide array of topics and skills to choose from.  Their service is fast and very courteous.  I have been pleased with each order I have received from them.  The true joy though is in seeing the pride that Little Miss has in her accomplishments and Pookie’s happiness.


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It has been a while since I posted about Little Miss’ homeschooling.  I wanted to share the way she uses workboxes with Heart of Dakota curriculum.  The inspiration behind it came from Natalie’s blog, Distractible Me.  I found my workbox tags at her blog.  (Thanks Natalie!)

Little Miss has her own visual schedule.  I have a small pocket chart that has a storage pocket along the bottom.  I place her workbox tags in the clear pockets and as she completes each assignment, she places the tag into the storage pocket.  I love this!

We have a timer set for about 35 minutes, based on the idea that public school has class periods of about 40 minutes.  This gives her ample time to complete the given assignment.  If she dawdles and time runs out, she sets aside the assignment to be completed later.  If she finished early, she is allowed to use the remaining time to play outdoors, watch a video or play a game on her tablet, or some other activity of her choice.  When the timer beeps, she restarts it and begins her next assignment.

I have an activity center set up that I change out twice during the school day.  One time the activities are science related, the next they may be geography, art, or file folder games.   She has 2 “center” tags in her visual schedule.  When she reaches one of these, she chooses one of the 2-3 activities at the center.  If she finishes early, she can choose another one to complete also.

She works through her schedule very well.  After completing the last assignment on her schedule, she finishes any work that was not completed in the allotted time.  This will encourage her to work more efficiently so that work is done on time.

She is enjoying this routine.  If she completes and assignment early, she is helping Pookie with his activities.  This has been a minor issue we have had.  She sees the activities he is doing and they always look more fun than her own work.  It is hard on a young child to understand sometimes that a younger sibling (especially one that has special needs issues) has to learn in a different way.  In Pookie’s case, he learns best through hands-on and visually.  His lessons are always through an interactive approach.  To a young child, that may look far more inviting than doing a worksheet or writing practice.  So, I allow her to help Pookie with his activities once her own is completed.  This is eliminating any jealousy that may come up.

At the end of the day, we are playing a board game together or doing something else that is our Momma/Daughter time.  I am finding that by doing this, along with allowing her to help with Pookie’s lessons, really is benefitting us all.  She is actively participating in her brother’s education as well as having the attention from Momma.  One issue that I always try to keep in mind is that I never make her feel like she is being left out.  When you have a special needs child who requires much more attention and aid, it is easy to overlook the amount of time spent with the other siblings.  I never want her to feel like my attention is always focused on her brother.  So, I make a point of including her as much as possible as well as having our private time each day.


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I am so excited!  Today, when we arrived home from taking Daddy back to his truck, the curriculum box was waiting for us at the door.  We placed the order to Heart of Dakota on Monday.  Here we are, 2 days later, with the materials ready to use.

Pookie is going to be taught from the “Little Hands to Heaven” program for 2-5 year olds.  The program is preschool to pre-K level, which will work great for him. Lots of interactive and hands-on activities to help him learn the lessons.  I will be taking them slowly to be certain he is learning the lessons.  Still, it is a much better fit for his learning style.  The materials cover a wide range of subjects including Bible, Fingerplay, Phonics, Math, Writing, Art, and Music.

Little Miss is going to be using the “Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory” program for 6-8 year olds.  When I went through the placement chart to see where she is at academically, she was able to skip the “Little Hearts For His Glory” program for 5-7 year olds.  I was very surprised and thrilled.

When she saw that the box was here, you would have thought Christmas had arrived early.  She was very excited and eager to see what the box contained.  As I unpacked the materials, she asked, “Is that all of it?”  She was uncertain when she realized that the program contains no workbooks, except for her Singapore Math.  I assured her that we have it all and she got very quiet.  Just as I began to wonder if she would miss doing so many worksheets, she let me know that she’s happy to not be doing so many.  LOL

I have been scanning through the materials and am amazed at how gentle of an approach the curriculum takes in teaching.   Subjects covered in her materials include: Bible, Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, Reading, History, Math, Geography, Science, Art, and Music.

I think that the best indicator for me of how this is going to work with the kids is that Little Miss was so excited and gave me a big hug when I explained the materials to her.   She said something that really shocked me.  When told that she would be studying history, she asked what kind of history.  I explained that she will learn about Colonial times and the early Pioneers.  She asked if she gets to learn about the Constitution this year.  Wow!  Guess she has been paying attention when Daddy & I were talking about the Constitution over the weekend.    🙂

In looking it all over, I am seeing that I will definitely be able to continue using workboxes with this curriculum.  I will post more on that as soon as I have it all set up.

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