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The Thinking Tree Thursday (Timeline of World History and Picturing the Past)

This week I thought I'd feature two of The Thinking Tree journals: Make Your Own Timeline of World History and Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Study of Art and History: Picturing the Past.
The Thinking Tree Thursday Spotlight Review
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Picturing the Past has 180 days worth of picture studies. The journal includes 90 notable painting dated from 1700-1930 and is recommended for ages 7-17.

This is a full color journal! The paintings and art are just beautiful. Before studying the artist there is a page that gives an introduction.
The Thinking Tree - Picturing the Past journal
Each lesson is a two page spread. On the left is the gorgeous - full color painting.
The Thinking Tree - Picturing the Past journal

The Thinking Tree - Picturing the Past journal
On the right there's four boxes, three boxes have a question and one box is for the child to write a short story about the picture.
The Thinking Tree - Picturing the Past journal
The instructions have the child filling out two of the boxes per artist page but of course you can have your child complete as many of the boxes a day as you like. Just remember to keep it fun for your child. And of course you can always do this orally or have the child dictate their answers to you as you write them down.

I plan for my boys to answer one box a day and study the painting all week.

Here's how I plan to use this with my children. We'll study the picture together. I'll ask a few questions. We will pick one of the boxes that day to answer or write about. The next day again study the picture and pick another box. I'll have the boys continue until all four boxes are complete.
The Thinking Tree - Picturing the Past journal
Ideally I'd love for us to complete one picture a week using the book four days a week but knowing me we'll probably use it 2-3 times.

I don't plan for us to write in the journal because it's just too pretty. The back of the Picture Study Notes page is the next artist picture. I don't want it to get 'ruined' with bumps from my kids writing on the previous page.

I might have the boys write in a composition book or I may make a copy of the Picture Study Page. We start school in a few weeks so I need to figure out which way to go!

The next journal in this review is Make Your Own Timeline of World History. This hefty book is over 350 pages!!!

The Thinking Tree - Timeline journal
The pages are the same throughout the book. I love that there is space for the time period, for the child to write and draw.
The Thinking Tree - Timeline journal
I will admit that at first I wasn't sure if I liked this book because there were no dates pre printed on the pages. Not having the dates stressed me out a little but then I started thinking how our timeline doesn't have to be in chronological order. I can have the kids fill in pages as we go through our studies.

Here's how we'll be using this Timeline book. First I am going to have it spiral/coil bound. I don't plan to have the boys put every event in chronological order either (although you can do that).

One of the reasons why I'm not going to have the boys put the dates in chronological order - it would stress me out which will in turn stress my poor kiddos out. I know because it's happened in the past. When mama stresses over having to complete an assignment a certain or "correct" way and it doesn't turn out "right", let me just say, it definitely is not fun-schooling when we all walk away upset. Nope, not fun at all.

Now that I freed myself from being afraid of goofing up the timeline by accidentally putting a date on the wrong page I and the kids can and will enjoy using it.
The Thinking Tree - Timeline journal

When we read about someone or an event that happened we will fill out a timeline page. I'll have the boys write the time period, draw or print out a picture of the person or event, and give a summary at the bottom of the page.

If they print a picture it will probably be a wallet size. We can add things from science, history, read aloud books, etc. The more I thought about it the more I became excited and can't wait to start using this timeline book with the kiddos.

For science I can have the boys draw and/or copy things like bacteria from their science text or picture book and write things like when they were discovered, who discovered, etc.
With our read aloud I can have them add information about the character and add pictures. By the end of the year we'll have a great memory of our year!

The possibilities are endless! Another idea is use dividers for the time period you'll be studying. For example if you are studying Genesis label a divider, count how many pages you want to use, then put a divider for the next time period (American History, Ancients, etc.).

Both the Timeline of World History and Picture the Past can supplement your current curricula or you can pair these books with one of The Thinking Tree journals.
The Thinking Tree journals

Take a peek inside the Make Your Own Timeline of History in the video below.

To read more of my Thinking Tree Thursday Spotlight Reviews click HERE, thank you for stopping by!

Combining The Thinking Tree with our Curricula

What I love about The Thinking Tree journals is they are so flexible. You can use them for a little structured unschooling or if you need some direction with delight directed schooling, if you don't homeschool you can use them for after-schooling and/or during the summer.
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Another way to use them is WITH your kiddos and WITH a curriculum program. See how wonderful these journals are. Now I will say, Sarah Janisse Brown, the creator of The Thinking Tree is a more delight directed/unschooler/major FUN-SCHOOLING mom.

Here at Homeschooling6 we'll be using our journals along with this years curricula (a mix of this and that)

How are we going to use our regular scheduled program along with The Thinking Tree (and you can join me)?

First, pick a journal for each of your children. If you are on a budget you can pick one, cut the binding, and make copies as needed (you are allowed to copy within your OWN family ONLY).

Next, decide from your curricula what books you want to cover for the week. Put them in a basket or on the bookshelf so you aren't hunting for them at the last minute.
Now you're ready to get started. Most of the journals have the same "main" pages like Reading Time, Spelling Time, Nature page, etc. so those are the pages that can be done together.

What I plan to do:
Reading Time page: 1 square to draw something from science and another to add a few sentences about what they learned in science. The next two squares will be for history. Draw and write or copy a picture and copy a sentence.

Also with the Reading Time page, I might have them draw or write about a current read aloud.

Spelling Time page: Some days I'll have Ethan and Lance hunt for their own words but other days we'll do it together, mama too! For instance let's say we are hunting for 20 seven letter words. We can make a game of it. See who finds a word first. The person who finds the first word will read it then spell it out loud so the other person can write it in his journal.

Sketch a Picture page: I'll have them find something in their books or practice a picture from The Thinking Tree's Teach Yourself to Draw Series. My boys will start with Teach Yourself to Draw Pets.

Creative Writing pages: I plan to use Story Starters with the boys this year a few times a week whether the Creative Writing pages come up or not. When they do we'll use Story Starters with the writing pages.

The boys will be using more than one journal at a time. For instance Lance may use the Asperger's journal a few times a week and another few days he might use the Autumn journal.
We'll also be using the Fun-Schooling Spelling journal, Kids Quiet Time, Make Your Own Timeline, and some of the math journals as well. We won't use all the journals every day. If the boys complete a Spelling Time page from their daily journal then they will skip the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal that day.
So I think it will be a fun and interesting year as we try out our journals with what I had originally planned.

And that is how I plan to use The Thinking Tree journals with our current curricula.

Will you be using The Thinking Tree curriculum this year? 

Thursday Spotlight (The World's Most Beautiful Horse Akhal-Teke)

This weeks Thursday Spotlight review is a book written by Sarah Janisse Brown's seven year old daughter Laura Elisabeth Brown: aff The World's Most Beautiful Horse Akhal-Teke.
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Who doesn't like horses? I have always been fascinated with them. They are so beautiful. Laura made this little gem of a book for her grandmother Kathy Brown. What a sweet granddaughter!
The Thinking Tree
The book shows 21 gorgeous full color photos of these beautiful horses. Each page spread has a picture on one side and a little about the Akhal-Teke breed on the other. What makes this book unique is there is space to practice drawing the horses.
The Thinking Tree
I love how Laura left plenty of space for drawing. It's rare to find a book that one is encouraged to draw, write, and doodle in, especially a book as beautiful as this one.
The Thinking Tree
I'm going to have my kiddos use this book along with their journals after our CHRISTmas break. I think it's beautiful book.

You can even pair this book with Learn How to Draw Realistic Horses.
The Thinking Tree
A little bit about the author.
Laura is the 7th child of ten, born in Indiana.  She loves horses, dogs, animal documentaries, art, traveling, and playing. Laura is currently being unschooled, like all her brothers and sisters who unschool until age 9.  Most of all Laura loves to ride and draw horses. She is learning to read, and is always asking to see photos and read books about akhal-teke horses. She has always been interested in creating and publishing books and recently asked if she could publish her own book about her favorite type of horse.  So with the help of mom, shutterstock, and Wikipedia she published her first book.
I encourage you all to hop on over to Amazon and support this young entrepreneur.

More books from The Thinking Tree that you may be interested in.

(Sarah's latest journals for boys!)
Sarah and her mother teamed up and created some beautiful Bible study journals. Every Bible Time book purchased will help support Sarah's parents who are missionaries in the Ukraine.

(Reviews coming soon!)

Do you have a Thinking Tree post? Please share in the comments below, thank you!

Doodling =)

Just doodling in my Coffee Time Journal.
The Thinking Tree
I had originally doodled the hearts and names on a napkin while Annette and I were having a cup of java at our little country coffee store.
And texted it to my Sweets. He texted back saying all it needs now is some color so I thought, hey, I'll redo this in my mama journal for a forever memory! That's what I did.

I might still add more to it. Maybe some scripture verses or I might color in the hearts or just add other words to it, reasons why I love my hubby so much or great character traits of his.

Coil Bound My Books

Well I finally took some of our Thinking Tree journals to be spiral bound and I think they came out really well.
It took me a while to do this because I like taking pictures of them and they don't come out as nice when spiral bound. I guess the ease of use is more important than a good shot, right?
I also had the front covers laminated because I know how rough kids can be on their books!
Now their books will lay flat making it easier to write when they get close to the spine or middle of the book.
I thought about 3-hole punching the book so the pages can be placed in a binder but you know what, I don't like binders. I use them a lot but much prefer to keep the pages attached together. It's really strange but binders don't work for us. If the binder falls the pages scatter or somehow the pages get out of order. Don't ask me how that happens but it does.

Bottom line, my brain is just wired weird and putting the books in binders just doesn't work for me. Now, that's not to say I won't 3-hole punch and put the pages in a binder sometime in the future because I'd like to try that out for you all and post some pictures but for now we'll use these wonderful journals spiral bound or is the correct word coil bound? Hmm, not sure. When I took the books to FedEx Office they wrote coil but I've always called it spiral.

The Thinking Tree Thursday Spotlight Review (Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal)

This weeks spotlight is the Fun Schooling Spelling Journal. If you have a child that struggles with reading, is a poor speller, has ADHD, and/or Dyslexia, then you might be interested in trying this Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal with your child.

I've been on pins and needles with wanting to share this one with you all! It's so pretty and fun looking. It's one of The Thinking Tree's newer journals. I know I write that a lot (newer journals) but Sarah the author of these amazing books has been cranking these out so fast I can't keep up. I still want to spotlight her winter, spring, autumn, and summer journals but haven't yet (so stay tuned, they are fun and gorgeous!).
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Two of my boys will use next year (which is only week away). They probably won't start this journal until March. They are still using Dyslexia Games so I think I'll wait a little longer with having them use this one (it will be hard though).

I love the uniqueness of this spelling journal. It's so different from what we've used in the past. The way children are taught to spell using this fun journal is great for visual learners and especially wonderful for children with Dyslexia, ADHD, and/or with Asperger's.  

The first five lessons have you read a fun poem to your child. You then have your little one repeat the poem until he can read or recite it all by himself!  
Depending on the age of your child these pages can be completed in one sitting or take a few days. Have fun going over the poem, coloring, adding some doodling, and filling in the blanks.

The way I plan to use this with Lance is to say, "Cook, c-o-o-k, cook" and/or, "What do you notice about cook, look, and book?"

The next few pages are Bake & Spell, totally cute! What child doesn't like sweet things to eat like cupcakes, actually my Lance doesn't like cake! Can you believe that? I think it's more the frosting than the cake though.

The first page has a fun poem for you to read to your child. Like before read it and have your little one repeat the words.

 The next Bake & Spell page (shown below) has words to be colored and more fun cupcakes.
Eventually the child will fill in the blanks to the Bake & Spell poem.

The next 30+ pages has your child draw and search around the house for words.
Sometimes your child will be asked to find words with 3, 5, 7, or even 10 words! Once your child finds and writes the words have him/her read them to you. If the child copied down a word wrong, don't cross it out or put an X on it. Simply say, "This word is spelled _____" then praise your child with how well he did. 

If you prefer to have your child read the word she found before writing it in her Fun-Spelling Journal you can do that too, as long as you are keeping it fun. You want your child to be in a stress free environment when using the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal.
The next pages brings some of your child's creativity out with words they pick to describe a picture.

I plan to sit with my boys or be near and help them spell words if needed. One thing that author encourages us mamas is to NOT make marks and corrections in THEIR spelling journal. 

I think these pages are going to be interesting. I can't wait to see what words my kids use to describe the pictures!

With all the fun spelling practice your child's next fun-spelling stop will be to make some comic of their own. I can already see lots of LEGOS and Batman comics going on here at Homeschooling6.
There are 20+ pages for your child to be creative with making their own comics. If your child grows tired  with the comic pages have him alternate with the alphabet pages.  

One day complete a comic page the next day an alphabet page. I might have my boys copy a favorite comic from a library book or magazine. 
Your child will go through the alphabet making words. Once your child completes these pages, they'll have written words from a-z.

The next set of pages are a bit more challenging because they will use EVERY letter in the alphabet to make ten words, wow! I can see little thinking gears turning with using these pages all ready.
Once they've completed all those fun spelling pages they'll be ready to write some fun stories.
As your child writes stories remember NOT to mark his book. Instead as you find words through his writing that he's having trouble with, use the My Fun Pages to help with words he misspells.
Have your child practice writing the words using different color pens or colored pencils. You can have him write it in puffy letters and color them in. Be creative and keep it fun. 

The Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal is recommended for ages 5 and up. I will be using this my 11 and 13 year old boys who struggle with spelling. I think it's going to be a fun way for them to learn how to spell.

If you have a Thinking Tree or Dyslexia Games post feel free to leave a link in the comments. I'll be starting a Thinking Tree Thursday link-up in January but for now please leave a link in the comments.