A little bit of playtime can go a long way!
A little bit of playtime can go a long way!

If you have little ones, here's a tip you can put into practice during summer break! This summer, train your little ones to have a 20-30 min. playtime alone in a designated safe area at least once daily. For really young ones, the playpen or the crib can serve as the designated area.  For kiddos aged 3 or older, a gated play area can work well. For kiddos closer to school-age, playtime in their bedroom can be an option. 

What can the kiddos do during this designated playtime?

During playtime in the designated area, we had certain toys for the child to play with during that time. When the kids were younger, we kept those toys/books in 5 lidded storage tubs numbered days 1-5. Each day, we just pulled out the next numbered tub. We stored the tubs under our bed. When the kiddos got older, we listed safe toys from our playroom on index cards numbered 1-5 instead. We placed the index cards on a ring on our fridge. We flipped to a new card each day to know which toys to set out for playtime for that day. 

Focus on getting your young ones to have some playtime alone in a safe space.

There are many different variations you could use to accomplish this goal. The focus needs to be on the little one having a bit of playtime alone in a safe environment. This is so helpful during the school year and makes for a happy little one and a happy mama! Don't despair if the training takes some time. Just remember you are training for the future. 
Heart of Dakota Graduate Spotlight
Hello to all our Heart of Dakota families!

Our oldest son, Wyatt, has just graduated having used Heart of Dakota exclusively from preschool through 12th grade. It has been an incredible blessing! The past years have been filled with amazing books, memorable discussions, fun experiments and activities, and best of all – time spent together in God’s Word! I like that Wyatt has needed his Bible for each and every day of homeschooling. He has always scored in the 98th or 99th percentile on his standardized testing required by our state, but more importantly in my opinion, he has a strong unwavering faith in God. The Charlotte Mason style of learning has really been an incredible way for him to learn! He still loves to read anytime he gets the chance and can often be found with a book in hand. Math has always been a strong suit of his, which is why he has chosen to pursue a business degree online through Liberty University. He is still choosing which cognate he’d like to pursue, but thanks to Heart of Dakota’s personal finance course by Dave Ramsey (which he loved), he’s leaning toward Finance. In the fall, he’ll begin taking CLEP tests through Lumerit, as he is good at testing and this saves time and money. Then, he’ll finish his degree through Liberty University online. He likes this option because it is a Christian university, he can keep his job that he already loves, and he can graduate college debt free (Dave Ramsey would be proud!). We like it because Wyatt can still be the amazing son and brother he always has been in our family home for just a little longer! He can also continue to hunt, fish, and play basketball - which are all activities he enjoys. This homeschool journey has flown by, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We praise God for His guidance these many years, and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for Wyatt in the future!

Thank you Heart of Dakota!
Julie G.
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!
New Blog Series - "Pondering Placement"!
We are excited to continue our series called "Pondering Placement". Every 3rd Wednesday of the month we will post a placement question that we have received.

We hope that you will find it helpful!
Check out the latest posts from our Heart of Dakota Blog!
From Our House to Yours
A Typical Day Running 3 Heart of Dakota Guides
Dear Carrie
Struggling with Sounding Out Words Phonetically in Reading
Pondering Placement
Should I combine my daughter and son in Beyond Little Hearts?
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!

Heart of Dakota is now on Instagram!

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Thank you!
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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