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Fun-Schooling with Thinking Tree: 2016-2017 School Year


I was so excited when my daughter Annette started using some Thinking Tree Journals! She uses the journals with her Heart of Dakota books. Annette is an avid reader.

These are just some of the books she used her Junior year of high school. She also picked a lot up at the library. She checked out books about leadership, entrepreneurship, health (particularly about cholesterol and cancer), low glycemic living, biographies, religions, and so much more. I meant to take pictures of them throughout the year and could kick myself for not doing so.
I did take a few but I have to find them in my computer files.

With Annette, it was so easy to let her loose with her books and fun-school with the Thinking Tree Journals. She is what I call a natural learner. It comes so naturally for her. She loves learning. I think it's part of that first born nature. She is our second child but the first born daughter (and only girl), a go-getter!

She used parts of the 10 Subject Portfolio. She loved the geography, history, literature, movie time, and vocabulary pages. We asked Sarah the creator of the Thinking Tree journals if she could make a History Handbook because Annette loved the history pages and wanted something like the Science Handbook. Sarah said she could but unfortunately for Annette, it won't be ready in time for her to use it. So, what my sweet daughter did was copy the history pages and put them in a 3-ring binder.

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by The Thinking Tree

 Below, shows how much she loves learning and how she learns. By writing things down and making timelines and such, it really helps her understand what she is learning.

Annette also used the Science Handbook. I'm really proud of her. She put a lot of effort into her journals.





The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree
Annette decided to write about the science tools she was using. This is one way that she makes the journals her own. She doesn't feel like she has to do exactly what it says like, Draw all of Your Science Tools, she is free to use the pages how she wants.
The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree

The Science Handbook by the Thinking Tree




Film Studies section of her Science Handbook! 

We watched Fat Head together.







Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
 Some days all Annette would work on his her illustrations.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
Another day she might work on filling in the timeline.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
Annette would get 'so into' her work that she could spend too much time hand drawing, illustrating and writing. At times she would type things out and print it to speed up her process =) 

Sometimes she would start a page and come back to it later.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree
 Below is one she started and will come back to work on it another day. She's just getting our 'outline' of how she wants to use the page for a future date.
Timeline Journal by Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree

10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree
 I remember seeing her work on these pages. She would draw an outline, add more, erase, add, and so forth. 
 Below is a literature page.
 She would do different things like a character comparison. She took what she learned from Heart of Dakota to fill out these pages.
10 Subject Portfolio by the Thinking Tree

If you are familiar with Heart of Dakota, you know that the program comes with a gorgeous notebook that the child completes that is in full color. My daughter really enjoyed working in the HOD notebooks BUT this year she put her HOD notebook aside and opted to use the Thinking Tree Journals. She absolutely loved filling in the journal pages.

She also noted that with the Thinking Tree Journals she feels she retained and understood history and science better because she was drawing the figures and people. She wrote about them and copied from her books. 

She really, really, enjoyed learning this way and I'm so proud of her. So that's what a natural fun-schooler looks like at our house.

Caleb didn't use the Thinking Tree journal as much as I would have liked. He did start using his Teen Journal when it came out and used the DIY Grammar and Biology. He also used the Spelling Time journal.
He will continue to use the High School Homeschooling Handbook for his Junior Year. He took this book to California (where he is at the time of this writing), so I don't have pictures yet but that's okay, he needs more encouraging with filling out the pages.

Brent is my next Thinking Tree student. He used Travel Dreams to travel around the world.

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams
He is not so natural of a learner as Annette but did enjoy using his Thinking Tree journal as his World Geography course. He mostly used the internet. I would have loved for him to check out books about each city but he mostly used the computer. 
Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams

Thinking Tree Journal Travel Dreams


Ethan used a variety of Thinking Tree Journals. He completed 8th grade using mainly the Fun-Schooling method.
Ethan is the type of student that needs a push now-and-then, okay, every, single, day. If it were up to him, he'd skip all schooling, even fun-schooling. I really need to check his work all the time otherwise he doesn't get it done.

For his main curriculum Journal, he used the Christian Learning Handbook about three times a week. The United States or the Timeline Journal about two-three times a week.




50 Creative Writing Prompts a few times a week as well to encourage some creativity. His first story was one sentence so you can see what I go through with him, haha. 

He also used Math Genius, How to Make Money (twice a week), and Word Hunt.

Here are a few pictures from Ethan's United States Journal.

United States Journal by the Thinking Tree

United States Journal by the Thinking Tree


Lance my 6th-grade student used a few Thinking Tree Journals as well. I really need to narrow a few down for him because I had too much, hehe.

 His main curriculum journals were the Asperger's and the Autumn ones. He used them several times a week.

The 180 Dinosaur Read, Write, Spell, and Draw is a newer one that just came out. He started it bu I think I'm going to put it aside to use along with the Dino Doodle Journal for next year, for 7th grade. I can't wait to show it to you all, it's really awesome!


For spelling, he went between the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal and the 100 Words

Lance mostly used books I picked out for him. I'd have loved for him to pick out tons of books on his own but like his brothers, he just doesn't. Not sure what is up with my guys, (smile). They do use their school books like Notgrass and A.C.E or whatever else we are using but my goal is to get them picking out what interests them and what they want to learn.


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