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How We Use The Thinking Tree Journals for 8th Grade

It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE the Thinking Tree journals and to tell you the truth I wasn't sure how to incorporate them in our homeschooling days this year. My son is a reluctant reader/learner and needs more structure.

I struggled a bit with how to mesh the journals with my son's school days because he does need more guidance. Thankfully I found a solution. It's not exactly how I pictured us using our Fun-Schooling journals but we are using them!!! Yay!

If you are more structured homeschooler and were wondering how to incorporate The Thinking Tree ~Fun-Schooling journals for creative & active kids into your homeschool. This might help. 
Using The Thinking Tree Journals
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Our first four weeks were me still trying to figure out what to use. My perfect plan would be to use the Thinking Tree journals and work our way around them. Check out history books and science books from the library and have fun with that. 

The Library Based Journal for Boys has some cool Travel Dreams pages so Ethan would even get some geography and research skills in BUT my only problem is my boys are not the type of kids to do this on their own. They won't dive into the subjects. Now if this was Annette, that would be a whole different story. I can see her really diving in and being creative. She did a skit once for AWANA. She didn't understand what a word meant. What was Jesus really trying to communicate. The next thing I know she's sitting on my bed with three different translations of the Bible along with a Bible dictionary, concordance, and a few other books, so you can see the difference between my boys and my daughter.

Okay back to the subject, so with all that said I was really sad that we wouldn't be using The Thinking Tree journals as much~other than Are You a Math Genius and Word Hunt, so I thought. . . 

I knew I really wanted him to use the How to Make Money journal so I added that to his schedule 2-3 times a week.  

Then as the weeks progressed and I was writing out schedules I slowly started adding in more. I started adding in Homeschooling Boys Library Based Journal. Ethan had started using this last year but because we were using multiple journals he never completed it. 
Using The Thinking Tree Journals
Instead of doing 5-6 pages a day I scheduled 1-2 pages a day. Monday he might do a Travel Dreams page, Tuesday a Spelling Time page, Wednesday ~copywork, Thursday ~Creative Writing page and Friday a coloring page. Each day he reads from Rush Revere and writes about it via the Reading Time page.

As I was planning out next week schedule I  added one day as Journal Day. Meaning he completes his math, grammar, writing, & history (depending on which subjects are scheduled that day), and then works in his journal as well (completing a whole days worth).  And still continues to use 1-2 pages four times a week.

As you can see the way we use the Library Based journal is a bit more structured than most but it's working for us.
Using The Thinking Tree Journals
Instead of Ethan picking 9 books he is only concentrating on one. He uses that book with his curriculum journal. The Library Based Journal for Boys is perfect as a part timer journal in my opinion because it's 5-6 pages a day and not all the pages need the library book. Some pages are Emotions & Moods, Creative Writing, Travel Dreams, etc. 

For week 5 I'm adding in the Timeline of World History. He will use The Mystery of History along with timeline book. But the timeline figures are going to be our main focus. We will use The Mystery of History like an encyclopedia per se.

What do you mean you might be wondering. Well, he will add a timeline figure or two to his journal than read about it in his Mystery of History reader. So he's not using the MOH in the traditional way. It's more like he's "researching" but it's all in one book. And he doesn't have to touch the computer. He won't be reading a whole chapter either of MOH which is a bit much for Ethan.

Along with his Thinking Tree journals he'll also use IEW for writing 3-4x a week), Queen Homeschool Supplies ~Let the Rocks Cry Out for science (5x a week), and Fix It Grammar (not shown) for grammar (4x a week).

That is how we are using the Thinking Tree journals right now. If you've read my blog over the past year you will see our Thinking Tree school days have changed. At times we have used them as our core curriculum and added math other times we've used mainly the supplemental journals. Do you use The Thinking Tree, if so how?

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