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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
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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!


  1. I like the different look to this journal. My ten year old may enjoy this.

  2. You always do such a complete job at explaining!! This is what my son Fox is using.

    1. Thank you! I love the cover on this one. Reminds me of our firefly bug catching days. The boys use to always bring me bugs :)