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Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

Has anyone used Heart of Dakota for high school? I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

re: Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

Well, I think up through middle school is her best work. After that, it gets extremely choppy and less succinct. The directions are incredibly wordy and cumbersome to the point of frustration, since book names are mentioned in their entirety and notebook pages are mentioned several times in a paragraph and/or single sentence. They could be much more concise and direct!

All hs levels have a lot of information, great detail to be learned in the reading, and the books are good choices. We actually liked A Book of Discovery in WG. By WH, the flow reads okay, but it's a lot of starting and stopping of pages and books and it became an annoyance. In some levels, sometimes there are mid-chapter snippets - like a page and a half only for the reading to be continued in another box. The boxes in the Guide seem to be used for the sake of past format, unlike younger years where the boxes had a purpose (in history). The format doesn't seem to advance with the level, with a purpose, but more to just fit in more assignments. So mapping (for example) may be in several boxes.

Another quirk is that the assignments are still hand-fed. There's an assumption I assume, that kids can't read then "do," but it's still read a little, do a little, read a little, do a little. It was a great idea as kids learned to read and answer ?'s in the younger years, however, HOD high school has not moved on from that elementary mentality. US1 for example (and other levels & subjects) we have this "mess" of directions in Literature to read, then answer some of the page and some of the numerical questions. HOD does that so they can answer about what they "just" read, but at this level, kids should be able to read then answer or at least read and go see what is answerable. There seems to be no mental growth here, and makes for extremely messy and cumbersome directions.

Overall, the information is very good, but it's become less streamlined in its execution, flow, and "ease of directions". I think the format needs to move up to a more age appropriate method.

Also, there is a lot of books and a lot of "electives" so don't think you need to do it all. Some, IMO is overkill, so base what is enough on your state's credit hour. I found reading one book for quality beats reading 3 for quantity. I found the more books I see, the more directions that follow, and the more snippets I read, and the more pieced it becomes. I don't like another set of books simply for another snippet of information. It's just cumbersome. That doesn't mean the books aren't good, but there's a value in "flow."

There is also a value, IMO to read for enjoyment. Everything has an assignment attached to it.

Content is good. The execution of it overall, IMO, has failed at these levels.

re: Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

Thanks for the honest review! And oh man, that is what I am afraid of. I am really liking her choices, but I feel like flipping from book to book and snippets here and there will confuse my daughter and not feel cohesive enough. May I ask what you've moved on to using after HOD?

re: Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

We actually are going back to MTMM and redoing it at a high school level! The reading is more in bulk, the directions more cohesive. We also weren't able at that time to complete the whole program, so 1/2 of it will be new.

I'm ordering the AAH Activity book for essay ideas in their "Further Study" section and will add depth through essays in lieu of some narrations. We will do the LL US1 package which is almost exactly the same books as MTMM's extensions and I'm calling the Economics books "Econ" in MTMM and doing quality with them (over quantity).

I'm looking forward to it! I already have the guide so I was able to make sure of this route for us. For Literature, I'm using US2's Lit, but not repeating the repeating choices - making sure we do 4 choices! I'm also doing the Health program we skipped due to load, but using MFW's schedule with it, but I'll pick and choose with that as an elective, not as a full year course. I'm excited to go back to more bulk readings and concise directions and flow!!!!

The aim is to get 100% understanding with less, than 50% understanding with more.

This post was edited on Jan 04, 2018 09:33 AM

re: Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

Oh interesting! I was actually looking further at their catalog today and just thought tonight that maybe I would put my two at an even younger level than I was first looking at and then maybe use extensions for my older girl. So, possibly RestoRef with my girls who will be 11 and 13 in the fall.

re: Heart of Dakota High School Reviews?

We've been using HOD for 8 years now, and have enjoyed it quite a bit. My oldest is in 12th grade and is using the US2 guide. He's used HOD from Preparing Hearts through all the high school guides.

While I've noticed some of the same things Annaz mentioned, they have not been too difficult to tweak or adjust based on what we prefer. We only use the parts of each guide that work for what we desire for that particular year, and that particular student. ;) We have very different learners in our home, and its worked well for all of them with a little adjusting here and there, when needed. One reason information in the guide repeats I believe, is just to help make the instructions very clear for any type of learner. There's always going to be things one person prefers, that another finds as an annoyance or hindrance. I'm thankful there are so many choices for homeschooling our children. If your drawn to using Heart of Dakota, I'd encourage you to place your students in the guides they place in skill-wise. You can ask questions on their message board, or even call Heart of Dakota, as well. They will of course, give you advice on using the guides as written, but I'd encourage you to remember that curriculum is a tool we use in educating our children, and you need to use it on a way that will help you accomplish your goals.

I will also say it's been such a huge blessing for our family over the years using Heart of Dakota. Christ is at the center, with Scripture as it's foundation. They use absolutely wonderful book choices, and other audio/visual resources that work for many types of learners. Of course HOD isn't perfect, and may not be a great fit for everyone, but it's been very successful for our family, and we've seen the beauty of how well it can work. I wish you the best as you decide the best path for your family! ;)

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