The Fun-Schooling Story: The Thinking Tree Grows!

The Thinking Tree Grows

At first, we weren’t sure any of “this” would catch on beyond our circle of friends. As we were contacted by families asking for journals with different themes, we knew something special had come. I got to work creating more journals. Each was based on the same concept with different covers and interior artwork to appeal to kids’ interests. These core journals became the foundational journal for Fun-Schooling families.

 

We named our new company The Thinking Tree when we published Dyslexia Games. My kids got involved in creating journals based on themes they were interested in and subjects they wanted to cover. I created smaller journals to use as an in-depth study on a single topic.

A Facebook page and group were started. We got the attention of a few Mom Bloggers who shared our journals with their audience. I added in Math and Spelling journals. Thinking Tree was invited to homeschool conferences. A few of our journals became available through Barnes and Noble. I created a series of Mom School journals so moms could pursue their interests and be a good example. Word kept spreading about our Fun-Schooling journals and I became an unintentional entrepreneur! 

The Thinking Tree grew by leaps and bounds during the Covid 19 lockdowns…read about it in this post!

Read the beginning of the story here!

Fun-Schooling for High School Credit

Parents often feel overwhelmed homeschooling high school and assigning credits. Remember, homeschoolers have a lot of flexibility. You don’t have to “school at home.” Your teen is preparing to launch into the world and doesn’t need to sit in a classroom with boring textbooks to thrive! Below is guidance on credits and some options for planning the high school years.

Remember-

Each country and state has different legal requirements. These suggestions should meet the requirements of most places. Please verify requirements where you live.

The HSLDA or your local homeschool support organization are good resources. Check to see if your area requires detailed record-keeping, transcripts, portfolios, testing, evaluation by a certified teacher, or any other records. Some states require in-depth and detailed transcripts while others are very laid back.

HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS

Most states require 15-25 credits for High School Graduation. For example:

Language Arts/English: 4 credits
Math: 3 credits
Science: 3 credits
Social Studies (U..S History): 1 credit
Social Studies (Any other Social Studies): 1 credit
Electives (physical education, home economics, foreign language, music, etc): 9 credits

Total: 21 credits

College-bound students will need a more specific record of courses based on their desired University requirements. The University admissions department will provide those details.

For example, specific science credits needed might be: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, & a Science Elective.
Social Studies might be: U.S. History, World History, American Government .5/Economics .5, Social Studies elective.

College-bound students will also need grades assigned to each completed credit.
Some areas require a more detailed description of courses taken. This can be anything from a short sentence to an entire portfolio of completed work. This is why it’s important to understand your regional laws.

How much work equals one credit?

In most places is 120 hours = 1 credit.
This is time working on journals as well as projects, field trips, interviews, etc. An easy way to track time is for your teen to write the start and end times when they work in a journal. This will also give you an idea of how much time is spent on that subject.

If you don’t have to track time, Fun-Schoolers usually give shorter single-subject journals ½ credit, longer single-subject journals 1 credit, and completed core journals 3-5 credits depending on their size. (click Page 2 to learn about selecting journals and assigning credits with Fun-Schooling)

21 Thoughts About Core Journals

1. I originally created the Core Journal so I could take a break from customizing each child’s curriculum around their interest while making sure we included copywork, nature study, logic, film study, math time… I wanted a way to document internet-based learning, library based learning, and include the Charlotte Mason goodies into each day without searching for the individual notebooks.

2. I was about to have our tenth baby and wanted to take time off, but keep learning going, according to the daily structure that works for my kids.

3. They need to have a balanced plan that covers the basics, while allowing them to dig deep into the topics they love. 

4. We were also about to move from Florida to Ukraine and I wanted a way for each child to have all their work in one portfolio.

5. My kids were already studying their interests, doing copywork, nature study, logic games, drawing, reading and watching documentaries… But nothing was being documented.  Sometimes I would be busy or sick and they would watch YouTube and read all day and not remember to do the simple things like nature study. 

6. I only planned to use the Core Journal for 6 weeks, but found it to be wonderful long-term for some of the kids. 

7. My Detective and Explorer kids really thrive with them. 

8. My Friend learners enjoy them when doing it with others, but like the smaller themed journals best. 

9. Followers who are motivated to study a topic like the routine, but they find the journals to be too open-ended and they may try to just get by with whatever is the minimum to move on. With Followers, a strong example is needed, thus we have Mom-School.

10. Creators like a lot of variety, and in some stages of life really need to learn to have more structure, for them the journals are not open-ended enough and they may feel limited… So they skip pages or re-purpose them.  Not all children have the drive, skills or personality to really embrace to potential of the Core Journals.  They don’t work for everyone. (click Page 2 below to continue reading)