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The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal (Review)

The Homeschooling Active Boys Do-It-Yourself Journal is geared toward ages 7-14 and works best for those reading at a 2nd grade level.
Active Boys Journal Review by Homeschooling6
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
This one is completely different from all the other journals. This is one of the first journals that Sarah had Tolik Trishkin an artist friend help her with.

Some differences are:

  • The illustrations for Nature Pages, Spelling Time pages, and Creative Writing are different.
  • The selected books that your child chooses are not used daily
  • There are no "set" pages where your child works from one date page to the next.
  • Creative Writing pages are a two page spread. One side is an illustration that can be colored the opposite page has lines for your child to write his creative story.

The Active Boys journal will last 60 days if you have your child use 5-6 pages which would give your little guy around two hours of delight directed learning - or it can last a year if you have him complete one page a day.

Here is what the first days would look like using The Active Boys Journal.
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
As with all the journals there is a space for your children to write what they are interested in. What I love about these pages is you get to know your child more. Yes, I'm home with my children every, single, day and know them very well but when I sat down with my younger boys and went over this page with them, I learned a few things about my kiddos.

Day 1
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
One of the differences between this journal and many of the others is it doesn't have a Circle Today's Date Page (the Autumn journal doesn't have this page as well).
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
The Screen Time is called "Watch an Educational Video" page in The Active Boys Journal. Instead of your child writing: Title - Subject - Location - Message, your child will answer two questions: What was your favorite part or scene? and Would you change anything about this film?

A little mommy brag, Annette suggested "rate the soundtrack" and the 2nd question. I thought it was very kind of Sarah to add that to the Educational Video page.
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
If using five pages a day the Creative Writing would end the day. Notice that on day one no library books were used. This is also one of the differences. Many of the previous journals has the child using their selected books daily.

Day 2
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
Your child will complete how they are feeling and do some creative writing. My boys sometimes have a hard time with creative writing so I'll let them use this page for copywork.
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal

The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
 I would stop our Active Boys Journal day with the Object Lesson making this day a total of 6 pages. Again notice the books are not needed for these pages. This is not a bad thing. I'm pointing this out so you know before purchasing if this journal will work for you or not.

Your child's mind is being active with the Object Lesson, Letter Doodling, and so forth in a fun way that doesn't seem schoolish.

Day 3
If using the pages in order day three will have a bit more writing from the two previous days.
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
Your son will read about a current event and write about it. The next page is copywork thus using their books now! Yay!
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
 Below your child will use their chosen books to fill out the Reading Time and Spelling Time pages.
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal

Day 4
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
The Animal Quiz pages are a wonderful way for your son to learn how to research. You can also find a video about the animal and use it for the Educational Video page too!
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal

The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
Day 5

The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal

The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal

That is what a week would look like if using 5-6 pages a day. Below are a few other pages that your child will encounter as well.
Draw a Meal Pland and Book Time. Remember the Draw a Meal Plan can be used to draw a meal of one of the characters in the book that your child is reading. You can also have your son draw his dream day meals. If he could have anything he wants for each meal what would it be? That would be interesting

Older children can write about a meal. For example how did the character make the meal? What did it take to get the meal to the table (did they have to kill the chicken, milk the cow, or grow the corn)?
The Thinking Tree Active Boys Spring Journal
The Open Dyslexic Font is used throughout as will all The Thinking Tree journals. 

Because this journal doesn't require using library books daily I would have my little guy use one of the Spelling Journals, Reading Time journal, and/or Make Your Own Timeline of the World which would add a few more hours and round out their Thinking Tree learning. You don't have to use them all in one day of course. 

Or you can use the Active Boys Journal for creative learning time and continue to use your current program.

We will most likely use a few pages a day with this one. Right now Lance is working through the Asperger's journal and the Do-it-Yourself Homeschool Journal Vol. 4. He is alternating between journals.

Ethan is using the Boys Library Based journal. Just a few pages a day and uses many of the supplemental journals like Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal, Reading Time journal, Dyslexia Games, etc.

And as always you determine the amount of pages your child completes each day. You can even let him choose which ones he wants to do. This is where I'd love for The Thinking Tree to add page numbers to the journals. This way the child can write down the numbers (or vise versa) for mom to check later.

Please visit my Thinking Tree page to see all the journals available and this post has a lot of helpful links!

The Thinking Tree Thursday Link-UP (Helpful Links)

I have been really enjoying hosting The Thinking Tree Thursday Link-Up! This week I thought I'd share great places to learn more about The Thinking Tree Journals and Dyslexia Games.
Helpful Thinking Tree Links
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
Here on my blog I have a page where you can find most of The Thinking Tree Journals. I put it together because I got tired with having to search for a specific journal. I had to keep clicking through Amazon to find them. Now I've memorized most of them but it's still a lot quicker for me to use the page I made of all the journals.

I also have a pinterest board where I pin my Thinking Tree post. There are some blog post that I still need to find and add to my Thinking Tree board. It's a work in progress.
(Make sure you hit The Thinking Tree to get to that specific board. If you hit Homeschooling6 Hearts you'll go to my main Pinterest page.)

                              Follow Homeschooling6's board The Thinking Tree on Pinterest.
If you are interested in the Mommy Journals or Handbooks then please read my blog post: Choosing a Mommy Journal. I'll be writing about the newest Mom's Fun-Schooling Handbook soon as well.
Choosing a Mommy Journal
The Thinking Tree has a fun way to teach kids how to read, write, spell, and draw. You can read about the different spelling books. I haven't written a review about Bible Time Vocabulary but will soon.

The Thinking Tree has some Super Cute Journals for your little ones as well. They are so adorable.
Recently Sarah created a 10 Subject Portfolio and 12 Subject Portfolio.
DIY books are great for all ages. Your child can make their very own book.
The Thinking Tree also has coloring books for adults, children, sibling, and friends.
You can also search this blog to find post about how we are using the Thinking Tree with Brent 8th, Ethan 7th, and Lance 5th grade.
Can you tell we LOVE The Thinking Tree journals =)

Sarah has lots of chances for you to win books. You can visit her Facebook page to enter giveaways!

To download samples and purchase some of the individual Dyslexia Games books in pdf format you an visit Teachers Pay Teachers. Not all Dyslexia Games books are available but it's a good place to get a feel for them and try them out before buying.

I found that CurrClick has Dyslexia Games Series A and Series B for a good price.

Teach Yourself to Draw in pdf format.

Some of the journals you can purchase directly from Dyslexia Games in Print at Home format. 

Get to know Sarah via her blog: Still Smiling.

If you are interested in chatting with others who are using The Thinking Tree you can join a Fun-Schooling with Thinking Tree  Facebook group for mamas only (no men or teens).

My friend Megan at My Full Heart has some pretty awesome reviews and post with how they use The Thinking Tree.

One Thinking Tree mama has a website where she post video reviews!

I also have a Thinking Tree Blog Roll.

And a Link-Up!

Do you have a Thinking Tree post? If so please grab my button, add it to your TTT post, come back and sign the linky below.

The Thinking Tree School

Last week with Lance I kept it super simple with Lance.
The Thinking Tree School
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
 I had him do copywork via 100 Easy Bible Verses, logic and language arts using Letter Challenge and 100 Word to Read, Write, Spell and Draw, and math using The Littlest Math book along with CTC Math.
100 Words to Read, Write, Spell, and Draw
 Last week he learned about the platypus. He drew its habitat.
The Littlest Math Book
From The Littlest Math Book. These pages were just plain fun. I know Lance can skip count but sometimes you just need fun in your day. I'm excited for him with using this book because it's so much more than what it appears to be because of logic, art, and fun. I wrote a bit about it HERE.

This week I'll add his Asperger's Journal back in. We just had a fun time last week. Lance even learned how to make a simple bread that you cook on the stove. I didn't even get pictures of him making it and how it came out =(

The Thinking Tree Link-Up

This weeks Link-Up post is a bit different. Sarah gave me permission to share her Mom Tips. She is the author of Life, Love, and Dyslexia and the creator of The Thinking Tree journals.  She's an amazing women. The Lord has blessed her with an amazing out-of-the box way of teaching which Sarah calls Fun-Schooling. Part of Fun-Schooling is allowing your child to be creative.

This weeks Mom Tip is one of my favorites. It's about spelling and writing. She has a fun and creative way to teach these two subjects. If you are a mom just starting out with homeschooling your little one then this is a must read.
The Thinking Tree Mom
The lovely Sarah Janisse Brown.
Seasoned homeschooling moms can learn from this weeks Mom Tip as well. With my 11, 13, 14, and 15 year old sons I have switched to Fun-Spelling. I have put our old spelling books away for now and am only using The Thinking Tree spelling journals right now.  

MOM TIP by Sarah Janisse Brown:
Don't worry about having children write before they are ready. The Thinking Tree spelling books are really good for children who are not ready for writing, they color the words and write the specific words and they also do a lot of drawing. As the books advance some of them give the child an opportunity to do creative writing. If your child is not ready for the writing the BEST BEST BEST thing to do is ask the child what YOU should write for him. When the child sees you writing it stirs something up in their minds and they begin to develop the ability and desire to write.
If I am writing a story for my child (think 3 sentences) and I arrive at a word that I know that they know, I would say "How do you spell cat?" they giggle and are happy to tell me how to spell. Next I will stop writing when I get to a word that they can write, and just say "Your turn!" and hand them the pencil so they can add a simple word. One nice thing about this method is that the child will try to mimic your letter size and style. Another fun way to get a child writing is to have the child DRAW a small picture of the nouns in the sentence.
If you do get to a place in any of the Thinking Tree Spelling books Or Dyslexia Games where the exercise is too advanced (For example the spaghetti lady causes dread) I would be an example and say "You don't want to do the spaghetti lady? That's GREAT because I WANTED to do that one! Can I PLEASE do your spaghetti lady?"
This advice may go against everything you have learned from being in school yourself: If your child complains that something is too hard or too boring - DARE to do it yourself. Say "Oh really? Can I give it a try? It looks interesting to me!" But if it is super boring, agree with the child and give it a try, have fun. It's okay to say "You are right this is SOOOO boring. Let's have a snack, and turn on some music! Don't you think that music will make this more fun?" NOW, if the schoolwork is totally irrelevant, and you are unwilling to do that kind of work yourself, maybe you should pitch it. I know we worry about the money we spent on nice curriculum - so put it on the shelf and tell your children they can use those books to "Play School" with their friends or stuffed animals. 
The Thinking  Tree Journals
When I was a kid in 1st to 5th grade I HATED spelling tests. I got Ds and Fs on my report card in Spelling, no one knew it was dyslexia. I could not memorize, but when I would take a spelling test I would forever remember the spelling that I came up with on the test - WRONG or RIGHT. I was so emotional while being tested that the negative feelings burned the misspelled word into my brain. I would have 45% correct on the test, and the teachers NEVER worked with me to correct the mistakes. That is why I now create spelling books that work for visual thinkers. I would advise you not to give spelling tests to a dyslexic child. Just look at their creative writing projects (when they are 11 years old - and take notes of all the words that they need to learn. If they write, color, trace and say the letters WITH the correct spelling SEVEN times they will remember the correct spelling... by the time they are 14 years old. Most spelling problems do self-correct by age 14 if the child does a lot of reading. That's why we have just a few spelling books that cover the words that are foundational to learning to spell - AND are commonly confused or misspelled.

Do you have a Thinking Tree post that you would like to share? If so please link up below. Don't forget to link back to this post. Thank you!

The Littlest Math Book Review

This weeks spotlight is an adorable book: The Littlest Math Book and true to it's name it IS the littlest math book we own =)
The Littlest Math Book a Homeschooling6 Review
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
What I really like about this math book is its small size. This is going to be fun for Lance who needs this kind of small writing therapy. I love all of Sarah's therapy ideas.

The Littlest Math Book is unique in that it helps link up right and left brain thinking. The child works with numbers using logic which gets the brain working in a new way. What a great way to learn those adding and subtracting math facts. The Thinking Tree has done it again with making learning more fun!
The Littlest Math Book Review by Homeschooling6
As you can see in the image above, it is adorably cute! Perfect to take along and get some learning in while waiting at the doctors office or wherever errands and appointments take you and your little one. Get two and keep one in your purse to always have on hand!

This little math book is not only for a child who is trying to memorize math facts but older kids too. If you have a child who memorized the math facts but doesn't understand the process this will help. The Littlest Math Book uses logic to help children understand how math works on a basic level.

So if you have a child who can add 4+7 but doesn't understand that 11-4= 7 then you just might want this book. I believe it will be a fun way to get your child understanding math and kids like it because of its fun size.
The Littlest Math Book Review by Homeschooling6
This is a great beginner math book for children who can count to 50 and know how to write numbers.
The Littlest Math Book Review by Homeschooling6
 Learning is a lot more fun when you have cute characters in your math book.
The Littlest Math Book Review by Homeschooling6
 The Littlest Math Book uses fact families and logic.
The Littlest Math Book Review by Homeschooling6
Because this book is so incredibly cute you might mistake the cuteness equals simple and easy, not so. The problems in The Littlest Math Book are actually working the brain because the child has to use logic to find the missing number.

If you will notice in the pictures that your child is not only completing 5+3 but also problems like 3+_= 8 or in one "family" 5+? = ?. Now that is a brain workout!
Your child will get a chance to make their own Math Mystery problems.  I love how The Thinking Tree uses the words "math mystery" instead of math problems. By changing the word "problem" to "mystery" it triggers the brain to think of math as a fun way to solve something instead of it being a "problem". 
 When children are having fun with learning - they are more apt to remember. This book is all about having fun while learning and practicing their adding and subtracting.

It's interactive too! Mom, dad, or older siblings can get involved but not in a boring - time consuming way. 
 If you are using a Thinking Tree journal have your child use the Math Time pages creating Math Mysteries or copying the math facts from this book.
In the back of the book there are Math Practice Pages. Your child can practice the troublesome math facts or create some for mom or an older sibling to complete. Once he is done making YOUR math facts and you've completed them, he can correct moms work. Kids learn by teaching mom!

If your little one enjoys using colored pencils or gel pens have him make each number and symbol using a different color. Oh, and your child can make patterns with the Math Practice Pages too using highlighters, markers, or colored pencils.
What do you think of the size of this math book? Sarah is considering making it available in a larger size for younger students. The thinking behind the size is it's good thing for children to learn to write tiny.
From the author of The Littlest Math Book:
"When the brain is engaging in a new activity, like writing tiny, new pathways are formed.  These pathways inner lock with more areas of the brain so that the child is able to remember and retrieve what they are learning in a more powerful way.  Anytime a new challenge is introduced that connects academics with fine motor skills, and creative thinking the brain wiring for powerful thinking is super charged.  That's why we are the Thinking Tree (Not the Memory Stone) all our materials are designed to help children develop the most powerful thinking skills so they can thrive, use logic and creativity in any situation they find them selves in.

Most teachers are content with memorization, but we want to empower the child's thinking abilities.  That tiny writing is hard at first, but possible if the child has the right tools, like a mechanical pencil or a .05 tip pen. The ability to do detail work at a young age also prepares children for future work, for example if they grow up to be a scientist that dissects things, an artist, or a surgeon they will WISH they had these skills.  It is in early childhood when these skill really have the greatest impact.  So don't be discouraged about the challenge of writing tiny, just give your child the best tools to do it - unless they have a vision problem.  Even dyslexics can do the tiny detail work."