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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? 


  1. I'm glad to see this is working for you. I'm praying over next week's curriculum plans for the 2nd semester of our school year.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you all too!!!! Next week we'll actually dive in. I'm being slow with getting back to school. A little too slow ;)

    2. Happy New Year to you all too!!!! Next week we'll actually dive in. I'm being slow with getting back to school. A little too slow ;)