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Thinking Tree Thursday Link-Up

It's been a busy week, month, year! Crazy busy but good. I'm so thankful to be using The Thinking Tree this year because of the business I haven't had a "regular" school year. Meaning what I had planned to use curriculum wise didn't happen. So finding The Thinking Tree has been just wonderful!

Make Your Own Timeline of World History is one of the Thinking Tree books we are using. 
In our history studies we read about the creation of the world and used our timeline to record it. I have boys who are not into a lot of coloring and have pencil phobia so I was so happy when I saw the above timeline entry from Ethan.

This week Ethan has also used Fun-Schooling Spelling, Dyslexia Games Series C (he finished series B last week!), Do-it-Yourself Multiplication Games, and completed a few days from his journal.

Do you have a Thinking Tree post? If so I'd love for you to join our Thinking Tree Thursday link-up


Language Smarts by The Critical Thinking Co. (Review)

Last week from the Critical Thinking Co. I posted a review for Language Smarts D. This week I'm excited to review Language Smarts E! Ethan is currently working is way through this book.
Language Smarts E is recommended for 4th grade and teaches reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and thinking skills. It can be used as a complete language arts curriculum or supplement your current program. Right now Ethan is using it as a stand alone language arts program but because he's older I'll add something to supplement. Right now I am focusing on reading so this is a great addition to our homeschooling days even if it's a few grades below. Some of it is review for him but parts like:
  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Reading & Writing
  3. Use the Correct Words
will really help him because these are areas that we haven't covered in depths. Ethan has struggled with reading so I held off with some aspects of Language Arts but now we are ready to dive in (his reading has improved a lot)!

Language Smarts is a full color 400 page book! What your child will cover:
  • Syllables
  • Word Parts - Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots
  • Word Relationships - Synonyms, Antonyms, Analogies, Anagrams, Palindromes
  • Spelling - over 20 pages!
  • Reference Materials - Using a Dictionary, Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, Online Encyclopedia, and Internet Search
  • Parts of Speech- from Nouns to Interjections
  • Sentences - compound/predicate, Fragments, Run-On, Rambling Sentences, Agreement of Subject & Verb, Complex/Simple
  • Punctuation - commas, quotation marks, colons, semi-colons
  • Using Words Correctly - Homophones, Frequently Misused Word, Use Correct Words, Homographs
  • Reading & Writing - context clues, similes, metaphors, idioms, proverbs, genres of literature, story map, point of views, theme, predicting, and much more! Over 90 pages pertaining to reading and writing.
  • Writing - Author's Purpose, Writing Process, Pre-Writing, Drafting, Editing, Publishing, over 60 pages!!!
Throughout the book your child will complete Editor and Chief pages as well as Writing Detective. In the back of the book there is an answer key.

Some fun pages that make this book fun are the Jumble exercises. Below is the Capitalization Jumble.
My favorite part of the book is the reading and writing pages. This is where my son needs the most help so I'm excited about these pages!
What I like about these pages is how the writing process is broken down and explained in a step-by-step process. The child uses graphic organizers or story maps.
Another favorite is the Reading Comprehension. Sometimes the child will be asked to write a summary of the passage which should include the main idea + key details or ideas to support the main idea.
The Reading & Writing really gets the child thinking by asking questions like:
  • Which passage is a firsthand account? Why?
  • Which passage is a secondhand account? Why?
  • What are some similarities between the two accounts?
  • What are the differences between the two accounts?
I like how the child has to answer why which is supporting their answer.

Using Language Smarts: right now Ethan is completing two pages a day.Right now it's is only Language Arts program but very soon he will start a more formal writing program. Ethan is above the grade level. I am using it as review and to close in on some 'gaps' regarding Language Arts. I'm really pleased with this program.

#MomSchool Week 3 Completed

I'm on week 4 of my 6 Week Teach by Example Challenge and I have to say I'm enjoying my mom schooling. It's been fun. I am using the Winter Girls Journal from the Thinking Tree.

This week I'm changing things up a bit because I finished reading The Wise Woman and I started From Adam to Us with the kids.

Since I'm going to use From Adam to Us right along with the kids I thought I'd do the "schoolwork" part in my journal.

These are week 3 pages that I completed.
I don't know why I always have a hard time with My Thinking Page. When it shows up two days in a row, for me, it's too much. Once a week is good for me, lol. I know there is so much to be thankful for and we should set daily goals (as well as weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.) so maybe in the end this is a good thing for me. I did change the idea section to prayer.
Because I'm mom I printed a recipe, cut, and taped it, hehe. I do a lot of writing using my Winter Girls journal. I also have two other journals: Quieting Your Heart a prayer one and my The Book of Acts journal.
I am working my way through Math Genius. If you haven't looked at the funnest math book on the planet the please click the link to find out more about it =)

Since I'm reading through the book of Acts and it's a TRUE story, I thought I'd write and draw about it. I mean it did REALLY happen. And you all know I can't draw so I did a Grapevine and drew stick figures, heehee.
Reading Time pages from my studies of Acts, read aloud The Escape, and history study with the kids -From Adam to Us which left one box blank. Again, with a prayer and Bible study journal, I think I can call it good ;)
Another area of teaching by example that I am working on is less computer time. Here is what I wrote on March 7th:

"Another reason is I feel like I need to be an example to my kids. Especially my three youngest boys. I'm constantly saying, "Turn off the computer, schoolwork first" or to one of the kids, "No, you can't play a game on the computer because your schoolwork is not done or did you practice your AWANA verses" and I'm saying this as I'm on the computer doing nothing."

So imagine my surprise when The Thinking Tree came out with How to Escape the Digital World and Enjoy Reality! How cool is that! I'll take it as God trying to tell me something, ouch!
I might make this a 12 week plan instead of day because I have a lot on my #MomSchooling plate right now.

And that my dear friends is another day of Mom School.

Fun-Schooling for Boys: Winter Homeschooling Journal (Review)

Fun-Schooling for Boys - Winter Homeschooling Journal Delight Directed Learning Handbook is yet another, shall I say, "delightful" journal by The Thinking Tree!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
You can read about the Autumn, Winter Girls, and Spring Boys journals, all part of the Fun-Schooling seasonal series. There is also a Summer and Spring Girls journals as well and hopefully soon 

Winter Boys Journal is for ages 9-17 and works best if your son can read at a 3rd grade level. This is a secular journal. You can have your son use a Bible as part of the his daily reading if you like. My boys are in AWANA so they do their Bible separately.

It's suggested that your child complete around five pages a day - 20 pages a month. If using the journal daily it will last for 60 days of delight directed (with a little bit of structure) learning. Your son can check out books that he is interested in from the library to complete the pages in the Winter Boys Journal. This journal gives about 2 hours worth of schooling!

Why such a broad age range for this journal? Your child will check out books according to his reading and comprehension level making it at his grade level. If your child is older, require more from him: complete sentences, neater work, and more details.

Let me take you on a walk of what your son will do this week (if using the Winter Boys journal):

Day 1
I love the journals that have the Circle Today's Date because it helps guide my kiddos where to start and when to stop. Some journals like the Active Boys Journal don't have these pages. This is to give you more freedom. Some moms and kids might prefer to pick and choose their pages out of order or just want to use a few pages a day. Other mamas like me LOVE the structure of "date" pages. And they are always fun to write other things like what is the weather like or a verse/quote.

Some boys enjoy coloring (unfortunately mine don't). Coloring is very relaxing but if you kiddo doesn't like to color, encourage him to write a verse that he's memorizing or a quote. This is what I plan to do with my boys when they get to this journal.
 The Nature Study page gives your little or big guy a chance to go outside and get some fresh air. If it's too hot or cold have then use their books. Find something in nature like the rings in a tree or draw different leaves, birds, mammals, etc. Are you studying the trees that grow in your area? Then have him draw and label one in his journal. Get creative!

Same with the Draw a Meal Plan. It doesn't have to be your meal plan. It can be Benjamin Franklin's or the Vikings meal plan.

Have your son draw his favorite meal plan. If he was in charge of the meals for a day what would you all eat?
Reading Time has your child pick four books from his stack. Set the time for 15 minutes, read, then write or draw what he read. If your child is older you can have him summarize what he read in one to two complete sentences or have him write as much detail as he could fit in the box. A younger child can draw or write a sentence or two. He can also write word that he thinks were key (key words).

Learning a Skill, how fun! Write your goals, notes, and what your son is learning: woodworking, gardening, fixing a car, etc.
 The last page for Day 1 is a coloring page. He can even write about the picture.

Day 2
 An Illustrated To-Do List. If he doesn't like drawing have him write what he needs to get done today or for the week. Put a little box so he can check-mark it when he's done.

Spelling Time page, one of my favorites (yes, I've done this page myself!). Your son can find words using his books or if he needs to get up and move, he can look around the house too!
Film Study is always a favorite. It can be a documentary, tutorial, video on animals, or whatever you all are learning about. How fun and a great way to take a break from the schoolbooks!

Copywork page, I love having my kids do copywork.
 Having your son write and draw something that really happened is always fun. It's like getting a peek inside their world. The next page you can have them circle which dessert they like best and throw some words on there as to why or just let them be creative. It doesn't have to be a coloring page.

Day 3
My Thinking Page is a good way to get your son to write down his goals. My hubby and I think having goals is so important! And being thankful too, having a checklist of what needs to be done is a good ideas as well, and ideas, have your child write their ideas down.
 Reading Time ends the pages for Day 3!
 Day 4

 Day 5

 The owl page is also in the Winter Girls Journal that I am using for my Mom School. Here is how I completed the page (I still have to color it).
Below are some random pages from the Winter Boys Journal.

Also included are a few (literally a handful) recipe pages where you child can copy a favorite recipe of theirs or copy a recipe from an old cookbook (what did Laura Ingalls cook and eat). And Listening Time pages, again just a handful. These are pages where your child can listen to an audio book or classical music while writing, drawing, or doodling on the next page which is blank.

Disclaimer: Just a review because I love The Thinking Tree books. I purchased this one myself for my boys to use in the future!

From Adam to Us

This week we started From Adam to Us a one year history program from Notgrass. I'm liking it already. I love when a history program is Christ centered. Many of the text I read aloud today came from the Word.
From Adam to Us
Their assignment for today was to write a paragraph of who God is. Totally love that! I can't wait to read what the boys wrote too.

Or read aloud right now is a book I picked up at the convention from the Veritas Press booth: The Escape by A. Jagt.

Other than history, not much is getting done, not even my #momschool but because I'm having so much fun momschooling I think I'll get a few pages done later today. The reason why not much schooling is happening is we had a dentist appointment this morning. We didn't get out until past 11:00 A.M. we then had lunch, um, at McDonalds. When we got I home I was tuckered, so Annette and I watched a Murder She Wrote.

After watching our mother/daughter show I brewed myself a cup of coffee, read The Escape, then a lesson from Adam to Us and here I am now, typing on the computer writing about our day. Speaking of the computer, part of my Teach by Example Challenge was to also have less computer time. I'm so thankful to the Lord that I've been doing just that! My kids are much more important than Facebook, reviewing, and blogging. I love reviewing and blogging but not at the expense of my kiddos.

And speaking of tired. I really need to order my aff Desiccated Liver pills. They really help keep my energy levels up.

Right now I need to clear the table off and get some of my #MomSchool done. I think I'll use from Adam to Us to complete some of my Winter Girls Journal pages.

Oh, and I almost forgot to write that two of my kids had a cavity, yikes! We were doing so well too. And I always took pride in that my kids didn't have cavities. Oh well, it could have been worse.

As my kids will say, "That is all", funny little blessings!

The Hyper-Active Homeschooling Journal for Kids with ADHD (Review)

The Hyper-Active Homeschooling Journal for Kids with ADHD is another fun-schooling journal from The Thinking Tree.
This book is recommended for ages 9-14. You determine the reading level by the books you have your child choose. If you have a 9yr. old and a 14yr. old using this journal, they simply read books at their grade level.

This is a six week journal, meaning if you have your child do the suggested amount of pages (from date to date pages) which is between 8-10 pages a day, the book will last a full six weeks - providing roughly four hours of delight-directed learning or structured learning if you use it with your regular "boxed" curriculum (like I do at times).

This one is unique in the sense that it has your child studying jobs and people via the Would YOU like this Job? page. This journal is similar to the Asperger's journal. The main difference between these two is the Asperger's journal has:
  • Math Practice pages - like the ones found in Are You a Math Genius?
  • Object Lesson (the Hyper Active has Job pages)
  • Eye Contact Therapy Pages 
Let me give you a three day walk through of this wonderful journal.

Day 1
 As with all the journals, have your child choose between 6-9 books to use with the Hyper-Active journal. Each day (if using from date-to-date pages) your child will Circle Today's Date.
 Your child will circle yes - no- maybe about a job. He then will give four reasons why he we would or wouldn't like having that job. What a fun way to get to know your child more.

The opposite page is How are you feeling today? Another great way to bond with your child. Ask him or her why he/she is feeling that way. Mom can use a different color gel pen or colored pencil to show what mood she's in as well.
Next is the Reading Time pages. Your child will choose a book from his stack, read for 15 minutes, then draw or write about what he read in one of the boxes. Then repeat three more times. Your child doesn't have to do this page in one sitting. Have him do one page then complete another page or take a break and come back.

If you have an older child, require complete sentences but the purpose is to keep it fun! Sometimes I have my child read through a lesson (when we are using our boxed curriculum) and use all four boxes to fill in what he read. If it was history I'll sometimes have him use one box for each of the w's: who, what, where, when. We are always changing things so do what's best for your child and be creative.

The Spelling Time pages are always fun. You will have your child use his books to find words. In the page above your child will find 20 words with 4 letters. They can also run around the house and find words on cereal boxes, magazines, etc.
 Screen Time is another fun page. I usually have my children do this page after lunch when more of their school has been done. The next page is for math. Your child can watch a tutorial or use math problems from their math book or draw something.
 World News Today page, you and your child can read a newspaper article or online to fill out this page. Sometimes I change things up and have my kids put what World News was happening in the time period they are studying.

If you have a younger child, mom can write while your little one dictates to you or have him draw something, cut out a picture from a magazine or newspaper, again, get creative and have fun!

Copywork, I love my child doing copywork. This is one of the reasons I love this books is it includes copywork daily.

The last page your child will do in day 1 is Thinking Time. A fun way to get some logic in your child's day. These pages are taken from the Dyslexia Games series.
 Day 2! Starts with Circle Today's Date. I am working through the Winter journal for girls and I love to add what the weather is like or something special. One time my son brought me home a Flat White from Starbucks so I wrote that on my date page.
 The next page for Day 2 is Start Your Day. Your child will write or draw what they want to do, make a prayer list, and a to-do list. Other than the prayer list there is no religious content. I personally love having the Prayer List. If you'd rather not have that you can change it. Have your child write three or four words that they need to practice or how they are feeling instead.

Letter Doodles give your child a chance to de-stress by tracing and coloring.

 The Nature Study page gives your child a chance to go outside and draw something like a tree, rock, bird, bug, or anything in nature that his heart desires to draw. Another idea would be to have your child draw something from one of his books that pertain to nature.

 The Draw a Meal Plan is a really fun page. You can have your child draw what they eat throughout the day, draw a meal of what grandma ate, or draw their dream meal. If your child can eat anything they wanted to for a day what would it be? Another great way to get to know your child, ask why they picked those foods. You can make a special day late by having a "Ethan" meal day.

Another way to use this page is have your child draw what a person in their books would eat or the era of what they are reading. What did people in South America eat a 100 years ago. An older child can write how food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, was prepared back in the days of Laura Ingalls, or the great depression. Get creative and have fun with this page!
Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree
 Day 3
Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree

Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree

Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree

Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree

Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree

Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree
The Fun Writing Practice gives your child a chance to practice letters and/or creating his own font. Your child can practice writing in print, cursive, or a fancy font.
Hyper Active Journal by The Thinking Tree
And that is a three "day" walk through. 

Others way to use the Hyper-Active journal:
  • Fun Friday - make Friday a fun schooling day using the journal and games!
  • Rainy day journal - use it for just that! On a rainy day. Make it special and do some pages together.
  • Need a break? Pull out the journal and have your child use it on his own while you do something for yourself like read a book, spend time in the Word, or do the dishes and sweep the floor.
  • Every 4th week use your journal. Five days of fun-schooling with The Thinking Tree
  • Moving, having a baby, etc. use the journal during that time to give your child some independent work while you rest or get things ready for a move. 
These journals are so flexible. If 10 pages is too much - complete a few a day. Use the date-to-date pages to gauge a weeks worth of work by having your child work a few pages a day.

As with all The Thinking Tree Journals the Hper-Active Journal uses the Open Dyslexic Font. The Thinking Tree journals are designed to help children with Dyslexia, Asperger's, ADD/ADHD, and other learning challenges but of course can be used by any child (or grown-up).