Homeschooling · Reviews

Homeschool Review: The Thinking Tree Journals in Action

Yesterday concluded our first week of homeschooling for the 2017-2018 school year! Hurrah! It was crazy, fun, busy, new, surprising, and frustrating all at once! But we had some really great moments, especially thanks to The Thinking Tree journals we started using this year! I will eventually talk about all the journals, but today I want to tell you about the main journals!


If you are unfamiliar with The Thinking Tree, please see my previous review HERE!

I began our week by introducing them to their new journals! My oldest can technically do a high school journal but I felt there was plenty of time for that, so I chose the Eclectic Learning Handbook for ages 7-17:


He still can’t believe he can literally pick ANY topics he wants. He’s only chosen four so far: Making Money on YouTube, Parkour, Python (programming language), and the Paranormal. And though there was some pushback about how free form this format is, after talking with him I realized it was a matter of him not understanding my expectations. I am looking forward to hitting the library with this guy to dig in further.

My 11 year old has this minecraft journal:


He dove right in and chose to do ALL the paper airplane pages first. What’s great about this is that it helped his fine motor skills (I’ve been sneaking muscle strengthening activities for years) doing something HE chose and that HE loved! His topics of choice include: Building with Lego, Paper Airplanes, What Makes Things Fly, Foxes, and Cars. (I’m so bummed that I didn’t get any action pics of him!)

My daughter is an animal lover so I got her the All About Animals journal:


She wants to learn about Caterpillars, Gymnastics, How Baby Horses Learn How to Walk, and Why Cats Have Amazing Balance. She’s my artist, so she spent 99% of her time coloring. Which was totally cool by me because my youngest two take up 90% of my (patience) attention. Ha!

My youngest daughter has this beginner’s journal:


The beginner journal was fun because we had some time to read together (which my youngest loved to sit in on) and she loved illustrating the covers of the books that SHE chose. (She’s my child that won’t do things unless they are her idea!) She kept giggling and saying she couldn’t do it, but then I’d turn around to see she’d changed her mind and was doing work on the sly so that I couldn’t see. I’m totally counting that as a victory!

My very youngest didn’t have any journals until this one was published:


And I just knew I had to have it. HE ADORES IT. He was so excited for one-on-one time with mom and kept shouting out the colors, numbers, and animals we were coloring. He loves picking any page he wants and he loves giving ME the instructions. Plus, the illustrations are just so cute!

Please stay tuned for part 2 of this review! There were just so many good things to say that it wouldn’t fit in one post!

Happy Homeschooling!


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