Thinking Tree Review Part 2: Colorful Fun-Schooling with Minecraft

Colorful Fun-Schooling Curriculum Homeschooling with Minecraft

Welcome to Part 2 of our series, Review of Thinking Tree Journals! If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series, please check it out HERE to learn a little more about Fun-schooling!

Part 2 of our series, Reviewing Thinking Tree, is a look at Colorful Fun-Schooling Curriculum, Homeschooling with Minecraft. I’m excited to share a peek inside of this beautiful journal and share with you how it can be used! =)

This CORE Journal is a level B2 & C1 which is ideal for ages 9-12, (3rd-6th grade). I want to mention that one thing that I love about Thinking Tree is that they do not put a grade level on their books. I love this because a child that might be behind, will not be upset using a journal that is a lower level because they are NOT labeled. These journals can also be used with a wider age/grade range, since your child will be choosing the learning resources to go along with their journal.

Its perfect for your Minecraft lover, tapping into their interests and covering all the basic subjects within the 295 colorful pages included in this journal, it is sure to engage your child, especially struggling and reluctant learners.

This plan is perfect for students with Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s. I LOVE that Thinking Tree included Art & Logic Games that help with dyslexia, reading confusion, and letter reversals. They also use the Dyslexie font for easier reading for Dyslexic students.

THIS is one of my favorite parts of these journals. Instructions are laid out clearly here in the beginning of the book. YOUR CHILD CHOOSES EIGHT THINGS THEY WANT TO LEARN ABOUT!!!! (How cool right!!!) I love how much I have gotten to know about my kids through JUST this process right here! Its so fun so see them really think about WHAT they want to learn about and then walk through the steps to help them do JUST THAT! Here either you or your child can write out the list, and then the boxes provide a unique opportunity (esp for struggling writers) to draw out each thing they want to learn about. As you can see, they have also listed recommended educational resources that you may or may not have considered, a list of school supplies needed (HINT: you probably already have these at home), and then mention some activities located in the back of the journal (see photo below).

Once your child has completed the list of topics they want to learn about, then you go to your bookshelf at home, to a library, or to the bookstore and bring home a stack of at least EIGHT interesting books that cover these topics! Then your child can copy the titles and authors of each book here or draw and color the covers. I love that they are allowing a child to use art and be as unique and creative as they want to be!!!!

Once they have their books written and/or drawn in… I like to grab a basket or bin of some sort and put all of the books and their Journal together creating a “career basket” or a “fun-school basket” that they can put all the things they need in and grab and go! It makes learning EASY for you MOMMA!!!! Especially on those HARD days when you need to tend to other things, have a toddler who has spilled a cup of milk or colored on the wall, or maybe we are getting burnt out and need a minute to refocus and kindle that fire of learning.

Each day, you can tell your child how many pages to complete, tab which pages you want them to do specifically, or just let them do what they feel like completing! Its really up to you and your child. The beautiful thing is that, since they chose the topics and resources, GETTING THEM TO COMPLETE IT, is not so difficult! Its also MINECRAFT THEME!!!!!! HOW FUN!

This spread makes my heart happy. First of all, I love that the months of the year is LISTED OUT for the child. It helps them to learn the concept of time and the correct order of the months – seeing this again and again, which is something that is difficult for someone with dyslexia. I like to also have my kids put a star next to their birthmonth so they can see WHEN their Birthday is. Something most kids are always asking WHEN! =) So many fun things that you can do with this small section! =) I love all the drawing that they are encouraged to do because someone still learning to read and write may not be as excited about school or maybe even fear the sometimes daunting task of writing about what they learned… but drawing is something that helps them to not only express what they are learning but helps to open the pathways of the brain. Drawing also helps to develop manipulative skills that assist children to write. These fine motor skills are more helpful than you may realize. PLAYING IS LEARNING!!!!!! I also love that Sarah touched on FEELINGS! Its good to touch on emotions and learn about how to deal with these emotions from an early stage! Feelings matter and its important for children to “check in” too!

If you have this journal, its probably because your child LOVES minecraft, and if you are like me, you know nothing about Minecraft! ha. So, I had to ask my son about this fun page. He explained that in the game, you can make different things that you need, like furniture or weapons, and that you need certain items to make them… this page, helps you to learn how to make different things {we have a super cool set of minecraft books to learn this kind of stuff!} This page has not only helped them in the game that they love but has also led us to watching shows like “How it was Made” too, bc you know sometimes its fun to chase the “learning” rabbit down that trail! =D The Brain Games is a snip of what Dyslexia Games are…. if you don’t know about Dyslexia Games, you can learn more on their website: HERE.

How neat is this, my kids LOVE these pages! I like the break that I get and this made me realize how much kids really can learn from LEGOS! I usualy have to set a timer for these pages because my kids will play with Legos for HOURS! lol…. The “finish the picture” pages are always fun too! <3 My kids have gotten really creative with these and always seem to impress me! Again, its amazing how much I have gotten to know them through these journals!

READING TIME! For this activity you could use audio books, do a read-aloud, or have your child read from their stack. I like to get the book and have them follow along with an audio book OR have them play quietly with legos (or draw on this page) while they listen to me read. Narration is actually more beneficial than testing because instead of looking at a few questions, they get to tell back to you the information that they learned. Turn it into a conversation. For younger kiddos, used the lined portion to write what they orally narrate to you and then have them draw. So many possibilities here! I LOVE IT! The Backyard Science Page is so exciting for ME because I love the Charlotte Mason Method and tend to lean that way in our homeschool….. THIS PAGE was a game changer…. My kids love video games and so this helped me to bring some of their gaming world into NATURE STUDY! Crazy, right? Well… bare with me here…. I like to have them create something from our nature walk in THEIR GAME! lol… It just adds a fun element for them! This page has led to us watching documentaries, checking out new library books, and even starting a wormery! DON’T HOLD BACK! When your child asks a question that you don’t know the answer to…. GO RESEARCHING TOGETHER! You will be amazed at how much you learn TOGETHER!

LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS ART WORK IS! =D I love that this helps a child and a parent connect. Normally, I’m not sure if I would have slowed down to listen to the details of minecraft, but its actually quite interesting!

SEE>>>> YOU DO NEED TO KNOW MATH! lol…. #momwin I love the colorful graphics here too! Such a neat way to practice Math!

Spelling Time, Word Hunt – Allows your child to choose a letter and then go on a word hunt to find words that start with that letter. This works on so many different skills. Its also great vision therapy as well as a child works on convergence. It introduces new words and helps them to grow their vocabulary along with SPELLING! =) I have chosen to use All About Learning Press for Reading and Spelling curriculum because I like to have the structure for myself and knowing exactly how to explain things but Sarah has information on how to use this method as a fully rounded spelling curriculum as well. We do still use these pages, sometimes we even re-purpose them (If there is interest, I’d be happy to share just how we do that). The next page helps with GEOGRAPHY without the boring map and book work that sometimes comes with the subject. Your child learns more about a topic of interest and therefore doesn’t view this as “learning” instead, they are just finding a CURE for their natural curiosity!

Movie Time allows for a nice break and gives an excuse to pull up a fun documentary! This space for Math Time can be used in a number of ways… ha. ha. see what I did there! Since we use Masterbooks for Math, I like to use these as copywork pages OR fun reviews!

This is just a small sample of the fun pages in this journal. There are a variety of ideas that will inspire learning but will keep school from being bland and “workbookish” feeling. My family LOVES Thinking Tree and my kids are always excited to work in their Journals! They get to let their personality shine and explore things that a typical curriculum might never let them dive deep into. This is a great way to help your child find their “MAJOR” and work towards it while still young! There is something so remarkably beautiful about letting your child embark on that journey NOW.

Below are a few amazon links to check out some other MINECRAFT themed Fun-Schooling Journals by Thinking Tree. You can also see their collection on their website: HERE.

If you have any questions or tips you would like to share, I would love to hear them in the comments below!

COMING SOON: Thinking Tree Review Part 3

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