The Book of Trees ~ REVIEW

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Some one is a Happy Mama over here.....that would be me!  This next Review had my head not up in a cloud, but up in the Trees!  I have yet to use a product from Memoria Press that I didn't absolutely love and this next product is no different then any of the others.  A few weeks before our trip to Yosemite Memoria Press sent us the main components to their The Book of Trees program.  Perfect timing, right?

We received the main book - An Introduction to Botany Through the Study of Trees and the Student Book and Teacher Guide. There are two resources that you can also get, we decided to use the many resources we already have at home.  But, I do think I will add them to my wish list. :)  


Kaden has already studied Botany and we study all things nature several times a week, so this was real easy to slip in to.  I will say that the other Botany course we used in the past was much more in depth then this one.  It says it's geared for grades 6-8, I think as young as 4th grade would be okay too.  I like that even though it's not a 150 page book it covers a ton.  The first chapter consists of why should you study trees and plant systems.  The following chapters include topics regarding the root system, stem, leaves, flowers and fruits.  Our favorite chapter was chapter 7...observing Trees....I'm a Tree Lover, all the beautiful things about them.  There is even a few chapters that is considered Advanced Work that goes into Photosynthesis and Respiration.  Kaden has been dabbling in Chemistry for 2 years, so he was very familiar with the Periodic Table and was excited to see it in this study. 

Like I said the actual book is not huge, it's less then 100 pages.  And that worked great for us, because not only was it an easy read and engaging, but Kaden took it with us to the store, to Mahala's softball practice and even on our camping trip.  Now the Student Book is where the gold lies in my opinion.  I LOVE that each lesson starts off with reading and then questions.  Short, to the point and sweet.  The next little section is Diagramming and Labeling.  This is work for Kaden, it's hard for him to take what he knows in his head and put it down on paper in a way that someone else would know what he is talking about.  So, I really like how the pictures or diagrams are clear and easy for him to fill in and label.  I see it building a bridge for him so he can express what he knows other then orally.  The last part of the lesson is the Activity section.  It has a few different activities to do.  I'll admit he didn't do all of them.  There are passages to memorize, hands on projects like uprooting and examining the actual root system.  Kaden liked the sensory activity of touching different barks on trees to explore their different textures.  We collected tons of leaves and organized them.

The Tree Observation section is so neat, they give you enough space for 15 different observations.  Kaden and I were able to document where the Tree was, what it looked like and what kind it was by a process of several questions.  It was like we were Tree Detectives Kaden said.  We were able to collect data and sketch 5 different trees so far.  After the Observations is the Final Exam that is basically an accumulation of questions from all the lessons already completed, along with Diagrams and Labeling.  The last 2 lessons are the Advanced Work and the layout is the same....read, questions and then diagram and labeling.

The Teacher Guide is pretty straight forward....easy and clear to read...that makes me Happy!!  :)  I will say an added touch that I appreciated is that the Tree Observation sheets I figured would be all blank.  But nope, they were all completely filled out.  I was thrilled because we have only been really into nature study this year.  I do not know everything and seeing the way they would word a description or get the Latin name was a bonus.  Even Kaden had fun reading through all 15 of their Tree Observations.

So, what did I think?  I think this is a total must for beginners to the world of Nature Study.  This would be perfect for the summer time to get your kids out in God's beautiful world.  And if you are like us and have taken Botany before this is still packed with great information in a way that's hands on that will create great discussions and outings filled with fun activities to bring nature just a little closer to your hearts.

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