So grab a stack of horse books from the library and get started! It's that easy to use these books. The first pages of each journal help organize the child's thoughts by having them list topics that they want to learn about. The instructions tell them to go to the library or book store and bring home a certain amount of books related to the topics.
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For the All About Horses - Homeschooling Journal all the books that are chosen are related to horses. Thankfully I have a horse lover in my family and we already own quite an impressive collection of horse related books ranging from art and fun books to how to draw book to chapter books. So she can get started right away.
In this six week study the student completes 10-12 pages each day. The activities for each day are varied, so they don't do the same thing each day. Throughout the journal several academic skills are incorporated into the horse theme. There are several pages just for doodling and coloring as well. Here the student is instructed to watch a movie or documentary about horses and record any information they learn. They also have a chance to rate the video they viewed.
Reading time: choose 2 books and read for 30 minutes from each book. Copy important words or passages and draw pictures of what you read. These reading pages would be an excellent way to incorporate written narration into your day!
Spelling time: Each spelling time activity has the student find words with a certain amount of letters. At first glance, this may appear like a simple activity, but in reality the longer the words they have to find, the more challenging the activity. We have found that words with 7 letters are especially challenging to find. However, the activity really makes the kids focus on correctly spelling words as well as copying from a different model, which in itself is a challenging activity, especially if the child has dyslexia or other challenges!
Nature study: This page encourages the child to go outside and search for something to draw. I love the included aspect of nature study in an easily accessible way for children. I keep several nature books on hand for rainy or cold days, so they can sketch from those as well. Meal plan pages encourage the children to think of healthy alternatives instead of junk food. They can also record the menu for the day.
Creative writing pages are included throughout the book. The photo acts as a nice prompt for them to write about. I never correct my children's writing on the creative writing sections. For whatever reason, mine are somewhat allergic to writing, so I try to encourage that whenever possible. It's difficult for me as a teacher to ignore obvious misspelled words or horrible grammar and punctuation. But I do know that most of that will work itself out with time. I save the corrections for times that we are working on a polished piece in a more formal setting. This frees them up to just write for the fun of it.
Listening time pages are a favorite around here. I have been slowly collecting audio books and audio drama over time, and this is the perfect time to use those. I like that there is a blank page for them to doodle while listening.
Copywork is encouraged throughout the journal. It guides them to choose what they want to copy and to record the title of the book and the page number, which is a good practice to get into for when they are doing research later in life. My kids always want to know how much they have to copy. For these books I usually leave it up to them unless it appears that they are being lazy. Surprisingly, they usually choose to copy a longer passage than I would have required.
Teach Yourself to Draw - Horses, Ponies and Donkeys would be an excellent addition to this journal. I love Sarah's way of teaching kids to draw! It doesn't include any of the boxes and circles where you erase lines and then draw some more. Instead these books teach drawing by imitation. She teaches you observation skills and shows you how to use your pencil to shade the pictures so the finished picture looks amazing! Each Teach Yourself to Draw book includes 5 drawing and art lessons. I imagine if you completed one lesson per week it would last almost as long as the journal itself. Also available is a self-guided research guide to learn more about each animal that is drawn.
Do you have a horse loving child in your home who would adore this journal! All About Horses - Homeschooling Journal is on sale until March 1, 2016, but even not on sale it's still a very fun study.The Thinking Tree offers many different books, journals, and coloring books for all ages, and they are not just for kids either!
You can read more posts about our Thinking Tree adventures:
DIY Books for the Whole Family
Journals, Coloring Books, and More
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