Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Fun Way to School: Thinking Tree's Fun-Schooling Journals

The Holidays have came and gone and it's now time to find a new rhythm and inspiration for the cold and sometimes dreary Winter months ahead. A couple motivating factors are lingering from the Christmas celebrating- A new electric pressure cooker (Christmas gift from the husband!) to inspire flavorful, yet much quicker dishes in the kitchen and a much deal of a boost, the news that our sweet baby #4 is on the way in early August! What a precious gift this revelation was to receive this Christmas; all of my boys are very excited for a new member of the family and the countdown to baby will definitely help pass the Winter months with anticipation. Though it also means that Mama's energy levels have plummeted pretty impressively during the tricky first trimester and things around our house have had to be slightly adjusted for the time being. The chores mostly get done, though not quite so efficiently. Meals are getting on the table one way or another, a big thanks to my generous husband who has been known to be bringing home a lot more take out after work. School is an important and fun part of our day that I really don't want to completely drop the ball on this front. I wanted lie to you, our full line up of school doesn't happen every day- I will add though that my "ideal" school schedule I set up in the fall is pretty ambitious so it takes a really good day to get to all of it! I am very ok with currently cutting back to the necessities and a few fun extras to keep school a joy and not a burden. We still fit in Morning time on the days that I'm feeling energetic and on the not quite days we aim for reading, handwriting, math and some supplemental fun activity. One of our favorite Fun Schooling resources has been the Thinking Tree Fun-Schooling Journals. There is such an impressive range of options offered- for all different ages, boys or girls, season specific and more. We own the Ages 3 to 7 Fun-Schooling Journal - Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling for Beginners: Homeschool Prep-Book For New Readers and Non-Readers!  and the Ages 6-9 Fun-Schooling Journal - Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling 1st - 3rd Grade: Learning Activities For New & Struggling Readers

My boys love having their own special books and I really like how open ended they are. Unlike usual school work books that are looking for specific answers, these books really are more like a personal learning journal that kids can really make their own. There are prompts and activities on each page such as a page for nature study documenting, plenty of coloring opportunities, pages for recording books read and copy work, and much more!
 Since my little boy using the Ages 3-7 book is on the younger side of the age range there is a decent amount of writing space that he will dictate for me or he'll grow into later, but there is still plenty of coloring and drawing activities to keep him busy!

We have slowly been working our way thru the Beautiful Feet books Early American History Primary Study and came up to an activity where we were to write out The Principle of Individuality and stamp the boys finger prints around the copy work. I felt this would be the perfect type of activity to archive in our school journals. My littler boy went crazy with finger print art all over the poem I wrote out for him. The artwork on the page we chose includes numerous cats hidden through out and he just loves cats, so I had him search for and circle all the cats he could find. 

My oldest kept things a bit tidier with a neat circle of finger prints surrounding the poem and then he played "look and find" with the music notes in the surrounding picture. 

He also had fun filling out one of the Thinking Time pages that asked him to complete lines of patterns- a great exercise in logic skills.

These books have been a life saver for this currently low energy Mama, providing me with a pretty much self directed learning resource that I can easily get away offering to my boys as "pure fun". I think it will also be a neat way to store,"notebooking" style, different school activities that don't naturally fit into another school book. I am excited for the many other options of Fun Schooling journals we will have to look forward to in the years to come!

Thank you to Thinking Tree Publishing LLC for providing these books for me review and share with my readers.

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