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Autumn Homeschooling Library Based Curriculum Journal Review at Homeschooling6

This weeks Spotlight Review is one of my favorites: Autumn Homeschooling Library Based Curriculum Journal - 60 Day Plan. This one is just gorgeous. It's a neutral book which means it can be used with girls and boys. There is not a strong only boy or only girl theme in this one.
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This is one of my favorite journals because it has a gentle feel to it. What I mean by that is although this book is over 300 pages it's not has thick and heavy as many as the other. I think for a younger child or a child who is just starting out with The Thinking Tree journals this one in my humble opinion seems more manageable.

In each "set" of pages there are between 17-20 pages. This doesn't mean your child has to complete them all in one day. In fact this journal is one of the very few that doesn't include Circle Today's Date pages.

Your child is encouraged to complete about 6 pages a day - providing 2 hours of delight-directed learning using real books. If you want your child to learn about a certain topic for science and/or history it's okay to choose a few and let your child choose some too or you can let your little one loose and have him choose all the books. The Thinking Tree journals are super flexible like that ;)
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
Here is what four days will look like using the Autumn Homeschooling Journal. The very first page  is where you'll sit with your child or he can do this on his own if he likes or is older - to write down what he or she is interested in. It's a great way to bond with your child and have fun. Show your interest in his new journal.
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
Then you'll want to take a trip to the library to pick 6-8 books or look around your own bookshelves or order some new books online.
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
As your child works through the journal he can always add new books. What I have found with my kids is choose the 8 books but during the week only use 4. My boys would get a bit overwhelmed with 8 books to choose from. So start with 8 and see how it goes. It's okay if you tweak or change things. We are homeschoolers after all ;) Make it work for your family.

Day 1
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
Here is the start of a "set" of pages. Your child can look through his books to find something that he would like to remember or use his AWANA book to write the scripture passage he is memorizing.

On this page he can write a short To-Do-List as well. The nature page is a fun space. Your child can go outside and observe nature. Sometimes my boys will look through books to find something in nature to draw like an animal, paw print, flower, weeds, or whatever they find. Ethan likes to practice his bird drawing on the Nature Study page.
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
Choose four books to read and write or draw about. Sometimes I have them use two books and write about it in one square and draw something in the next. For older kids I require complete sentences. I'll have them summarize what they read or write the main characters, setting, and such.

Copywork is a good thing to do daily. This is what I love about The The Thinking Tree journals. My kids were not doing copywork daily. I had good intentions to have copywork done daily but it would get pushed aside. Now it's done almost daily.
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
Here is a fun page: Emotions & Moods. Your child can complete this page on his own but it's always fun to do together and talk about their feelings too. Sometimes my boys do this on their own and other days we do it together.

The draw anything page is all their own. My boys have been drawing Minecraft stuff lately.

If you are completing 6 pages a day for about 2 hours of learning then your child will stop here.

Day 2
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
The Listening Time page is another page for your child to be creative. I count both pages as one because my boys don't usually color the Listening Time page. After writing what audio book they are listening too they go straight to the opposite page.

The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
 Oooh, you can really get creative with these pages. The Draw a Meal can be used as just that.

  • Have your child draw what they ate yesterday or today. 
  • Encourage them to draw a birthday meal or their dream meal (a day where they can pick to eat anything, even if it's chocolate cake for breakfast).
  • Are you reading about World War II? What did their meal for a day look like? 
  • What missionary are you studying, draw a meal of what they ate. What era are you currently studying? What kinds of foods did they have to eat.

Carry their learning to the Recipe Page.
  • What did Laura Ingalls eat? Dig through her books to find one of Ma's recipes.
  • Copy a favorite recipe 
  • Copy a recipe from Grandma's cookbook
  • Create a scripture recipe. I wrote one on Kindess in my Coffee Time - Mommy Journal.   

The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
 You can have Day 2 end on either page. If ending on the math page then the coloring would be the start of Day 2
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
  Day 3

 My kids love, love, the Film Study. You can watch a documentary, YouTube tutorial, movie, or even a cartoon!

The Spelling Time page has your child hunting through their books (or anything really) for words with a certain amount of letters, how creative! Much more fun then memorizing a list of words.
 You can count the Object Lesson pages as one (that's what I do) or two it's up to you (hey that rhymed!).
 These two pages above again I count as one.I have boys and they are not into a lot of coloring. I wish they were. So if they are not going to color then they can get creative and draw or write something on the left page.

Some days they do choose to color and other days they prefer to draw something.
 And once they complete these two pages they are done with Day 3.

Day 4 will have:

  • Reading Time page
  • Copywork page
  • Emotions & Moods
  • Draw Anything page
  • Listening Time
  • Draw a Meal Plan
At our house if the Draw Anything page and Listening Time pages are back-to-back the boys choose on or the other. For my boys two pages like that one after another is too much blank space. Our day 4 would include the Recipe page because of skipping the drawing pages.

Also sprinkled throughout this journal is Font Writing Practice.
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
 Sarah the author had a neat answer with how to use the Font Writing Practice Page:

"I enjoy seeing what each of my children do with this page. They all take a different approach and some of the children do something different each time they get to this page. My goal was to show the kids that there are many ways to write the same letter. For children with dyslexia this is very important, the first two rows are in the Open Dyslexic Font. The other letters look different, but have the same meaning and sound. In school and in normal school books the same font is always used. Kids need to know that they can be creative when they write and develop their own style. When kids are about 12 to 14 they want to invent their own style of writing, so my older girls use this page to try out different fonts." 
The Thinking Tree Autumn Homeschooling Journal
And on the 5th or 6th day your child will complete a World News Today page!

Both my 11 and 13 year old boys will eventually use these (hopefully this year).

I hope you all enjoyed my walk through the Autumn journal. Soon I'll write about the rest of the season themed journals soon so y'all can see what makes them different.

As with all the journals:
  • You choose the grade/age level based on the child's reading ability
  • Dyslexic Font is used throughout the book
  • Can be used with delight-directed, unschoolers, Charlotte Mason, eclectic, and even more traditional homeschooler (like me) can use these jouranls.
  • Are you moving, having a baby, or just need to change things up a little? The journals are great for rainy days, or have a Fun Friday school day using a journal. 
To see a list of The Thinking Tree journals click HERE. And watch my Video Review too!

And forgot to mention in my video that the Creative Girls Journal (cat cover) is the same as the Autumn one. When I wrote this review I didn't have the Creative Girls journal to mention that in this review.

These two are almost identical. See video below.


  1. I love the way you broke it down I to what each day would look like. I'm running out of journals to review, yikes!

    1. Hi, Megan, you can also link up your Jr. High Junction post that you mention The Thinking Tree in. It's okay if you don't have a full on TTT post.

      I'm experimenting with my link up. I think I might separate the Spotlight Reviews from the Link-up because my reviews are pretty long.

      I think for the link up I'll share some pages of what my kiddos did in their Thinking Tree journals. I'll have to see how it goes because that will mean I have to have two post a week ready. One review and one for the link up :)