Okay, I have a confession to make. Our last homeschooling school year (2016-2017) didn’t go exactly how I had hoped it would, or initially planned it to go.
I made some big changes from when I first started homeschooling my daughter five years ago. I was going for a design our own curriculum approach using lots of online printables and living books.
Our family life has changed so much since the beginning of my homeschooling journey five years ago. Our last school year consisted of managing a fifth grader, a first grader, two toddlers and a baby. Needless to say, things did not go quite according to plan.
Coming to the end of this school year I was at my wits end; my original homeschool plan was just not working and we were in survival mode.
Until one night, while I was having trouble sleeping and I was reading someone’s blog, I clicked an Amazon ad which led me to the discovery of Thinking Tree books. These were books originally created and designed by Sarah Janisse Brown.
I spent many hours that night searching for as many Thinking Tree books as I could find, acquainting myself with the full collection available at that time. I watched review videos on Amazon, read descriptions and reviews. I knew this curriculum sounded like my children’s personalities and mine too. This curriculum looked and sounded like the kind of school curriculum I always wanted for our homeschool.
So my first Thinking Tree Amazon order consisted of “Homeschooling Handbook for Moms: how to teach by example,” “Multiplication Games – 180 days of math, art and logic fun,” “Ages 6 to 9 Fun- Schooling Journal – do-it-yourself homeschooling 1st to 3rd Grade,” “3rd, 4th and 5th Grade – fun – Schooling Journal – for Christian families,” “Mom’s Fun-Schooling Handbook: Flip to Fun-Schooling – an idea book and coloring journal for homeschooling moms,” “Today I will Begin Again – 90 day pocket planner,” and “Windows to our world: Sarah’s Journal – Growing up, Crossing Oceans, Finding Love and Giving life to 10 children.”
My children really liked these journals, although the homeschooling challenges we were having remained the same. Our challenge wasn’t really the curriculum in the first place, it was managing our homeschool with 2 toddlers and a baby (still trying to figure that one out).
However, a month later I was able to obtain “Pignappped-from factory farm to family farm: Fun-schooling storybook and workbook,” 2 copies of “Tea Time – a prayer journal and devotional coloring book: experience God’s promise – Quiet Time handbook,” “Bible Time Kids – Quiet Time handbook for creative and active children: devotional journal and coloring book,” “365 day Thanksgiving Journal: I am thankful – a daily devotional guide to being thankful,” as well as “United States – geography, history and social studies handbook: do-it-yourself homeschooling.”
The following month I ordered a copy of “Mom Files – a Mother to Daughter Legacy: all my Mom’s Best Writings, Favorite Scriptures, Handy tips, Poems and Recipes! Sarah Jannise Brown from A to Z.”
This month, I was able to order “The Creative Childs Yum –Schooling Cookbook: 15 step-by-step recipes with coloring and activities,” and “A Proverbs-a-Day – devotional and doodles – 31 days: letters from Nora – therapeutic coloring book and devotional journal for Christian women,”
These books were not only created and designed by Sarah Janisse Brown, also by other artists and writers she works with as well, such as Mark Apple, Nora Apple, Anna Brown, Katya Brown and Ryan Conner.
I am looking forward to our next school year that will begin in September (after our summer fun), to really get a good homeschool groove going with these and more Thinking Tree journals I plan on using with my kids.
But we’ve had fun with our Thinking Tree journals so far, especially the Film Study. I have seen some creative artwork going into to these books. I am looking forward to seeing how it works out when school gets going again.
As for mom (me), I have really been enjoying using my fun-schooling school journals, making them my own. These journals have been inspiring me to want to learn along with my kids, to read more, to be creative and artistic, to search deep within my thoughts and focus my ideas.
So I truly look forward to continuing on this Fun-Schooling adventure with my children, with a better perspective on what I want my our homeschool to be like, what are our focus and goals are, and learning together as a family.