Summer Break Is Training Time!
How can you use your break time to train your children?

Are you taking some sort extended break? If so, it is a good idea to think of this time as a training period for your children. You can use your time to train your children in habits that will help them have a better school year. Over the summer, I'll share some possible training and scheduling tips to work on during this less scheduled season. These tips are designed to help your school year run more smoothly. 

How can you use your summer to train your little ones?

My first tip is to spend time thinking of any little ones you may have in your home. Begin pondering ways that they can be directed during the day, so they are not continually underfoot! When our boys were younger, we had our older boys take a turn playing with our two younger ones. This equated to my oldest son having a 30 min. playtime with each of his two youngest siblings separately during the day. My second oldest son also had individual 30 min. playtimes with each of his two younger siblings each day. 

What are the benefits of summer playtimes?

We kept the playtime routine in the summer too, and fine-tuned it so my boys knew what was allowed. This routine made the transition to "school" playtimes very easy! It also helped my older sons to be less self-centered with their time during the summer! Plus, it only took an hour out of each of my older sons' days. My little ones really looked forward to their playtimes with the big boys. 

How do "playtimes" transition to more mature "together time?"

As our sons have gotten older, our third son now has a playtime daily with his younger brother. Our older sons still do "playtimes" with their younger brothers, but the "playtimes" have matured. For "playtimes" now, the boys play basketball at the park, shoot nerf-guns outside, and play catch in the backyard. They go on bike rides, play X-Wing at the coffee shop, and paint models while listening to audio books. The boys draw and create together, swim, and film their own movies. These days the "playtimes" rotate to accommodate our older sons' busy schedules. Try establishing a playtime routine with your little ones, and see what you think! We've seen the relationships they build last into adulthood.
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Brand New!
Bigger Hearts for His Glory Notebooking Pages!
A brand new edition of Bigger Hearts for His Glory now includes notebook pages!
We are excited to be able to offer beautiful full-colored notebook pages for Bigger Hearts for His Glory!
Congratulations to 2018 HOD Graduates Isaac and Eva!
Isaac & Eva
Dear Heart of Dakota,

Isaac and Eva have used HOD exclusively from third grade through graduation. To say it has been a blessing is an understatement! It's hard to put in a few words what HOD has meant to our family over all these years.  HOD has absolutely prepared them for whatever they may choose to pursue after high school. Isaac received the top academic scholarship at a private Christian college and Eva is going to continue to work in management for Chick Fil A for now while she waits to see what other direction God has for her.  The academic side of HOD is far superior to any thing else I have come across.  Our older daughter who attended a Christian university last year told us that she was far more prepared and had a far more well-rounded education than any of the other other students in her program.  But, far more important to us than grades or test scores, has been the constant exposure to God's Word and to a Christian worldview through each year that we completed.  Without HOD, I know we would not have taken the time we needed outside of our school day to read all the books and have all the discussions that are what really prepared Isaac and Eva for life after high school.  There is nothing that can substitute for a solid foundation in the Word and knowing why you believe what you believe before heading out of the home into whatever place God calls you.  We have no regrets as we send them out as young adults. We owe so much to Carrie and Julie and Mike and all of the HOD family for providing our children with the best education we can imagine.    

Thank you!

Tiffini H
Prepare to be entertained!

Get a glimpse of a Heart of Dakota day with this comic video by HOD homeschool graduate Isaac H (featured above).
Check out the latest posts from our Heart of Dakota Blog!
From Our House to Yours
Encouraging Students to Make Oral Narrations Their Own
Dear Carrie
How do I give up writing weekly homeschool lesson plans?
Library Builder for June
Use Coupon Code LB-BYG for 10% off the Girl Deluxe Package Read Alouds from Beyond
We are excited to share our new Heart of Dakota Blog with you!
From the Heart of Dakota E-Mailbag:

“I LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOUR CURRICULUM!!!” is the only appropriate way to begin this letter.  My sincere gratitude to Carrie Austin for creating such a thing. This is our 4th year using your curriculum for our family and what a blessing it has been!! My favorite part of each year, being the rich Biblical spine that holds the entire curriculum together."

-- Erin B.

"Hi Julie, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me last week about placement for my son. He decided that it would be best for him to start RtR (Resurrection to Reformation) this semester, so I ordered it… and because HOD’s shipping is so quick, we started yesterday. We are only 2 days in, but both days have been great! My son is getting all his work done in between his morning and afternoon gymastics practices and he is loving the resources so far! I am so pleased!"

 -- Katie F

". . . I want to say THANK YOU it has been an incredible journey to go through this curriculum with my daughter...I do believe Got brought this curriculum to me and the timing of the lessons has been unbelievable. Why...last year we were studying pioneers and right as lesson ended we had Prairie School reenactment of actually pioneers and actors retelling stories of the trails. Today we had just finished lesson of the Dead Sea Scrolls...well I just found out our nature & science museum in Denver will actually have these scrolls on exhibit in 2 weeks. Like I said, this curriculum is unbelievably a gift from God because timing of everything can't be set up like this at all. Thank You so much for making this curriculum!"

-- Kimberly A

Eight-time PHS Winner!
Thank you for voting for Heart of Dakota in the Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards this year!

We are pleased that we received awards in eight different categories! That is the most ever for us! To see the complete list of our PHS awards just visit our awards page !

Thanks again!

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Look what people are saying on Facebook about Heart of Dakota!

. . . this year we used HOD. They loved it . All of the art, projects for science, history. They are thrilled. 
Lou A -
5 Star Review on Facebook - May 2018

This is our 6th year using Heart of Dakota with a now 11th grader and 3rd grader.  We all love the suggested living books and through these very manageable reading plans have grown children with a love for the Bible, history and great literature - what more could you want from a curriculum?  All this and we're finished with time to spare in the afternoons to pursue personal interests, be involved in missions and ministry opportunities, and grow our family relationships.  I take any chance to share our love of Heart of Dakota with other homeschooling families we know (also - I've had the pleasure of meeting the Austins and Julie in person at our state conventions over the years; they truly care about each family and offer suggestions that fit your family in whatever season you are in).  
Stephanie C -
5 Star Review on Facebook - May 2018

HOD is one of the best! Nothing compares! A blessing to our family!
Sandra H -
5 Star Review on Facebook - May 2018
Check out Heart of Dakota's Complete Line of Award-winning Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School!
Preschool (Ages 2-5)
Little Hands to Heaven
(Ages 2-5)
* Easy to Use!
* Simple daily plans!
* Quick and easy activities!
* Flexible!
* Bible-based!
Elementary Programs
Little Hearts for His Glory
(Ages 5-7)
Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory
(Ages 6-8)
Bigger Hearts for His Glory
(Ages 7-9 with extensions for ages 10-11)
Preparing Hearts for His Glory
(Ages 8-10 with extensions for ages 11-12)
Middle School Programs
Hearts for Him Through Time:
Creation to Christ
(Ages 9-11 with extensions for ages 12-13)
Hearts for Him Through Time:
Resurrection to Reformation
(Ages 10-12 with extensions for ages 13-14)
Hearts for Him Through Time:
Revival to Revolution
(Ages 11-13 with extensions for ages 14-15)
Hearts for Him Through Time:
Missions to Modern Marvels
(Ages 12-14 with extensions for ages 15-16)
High School Programs
Hearts for Him Through High School:
World Geography
(Ages 13-15 extending to grades 10-12)
Hearts for Him Through High School:
World History
(Ages 14-16 extending to grades 11-12)
Hearts for Him Through High School:
U.S. History I
(Ages 15-17 extending to grade 12)
Hearts for Him Through High School:
U.S. History II
(Ages 16-18)
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