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Journaling A Year In Nature

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Items 1 - 11 of 11
  • Item #: 009836
    ISBN: 9781780677354
    Retail: $18.99
    Rainbow Price: $14.50

    Nature journaling comes naturally for some children, but others need a little more guidance to release their inner naturalist. Combining guided activities and free journaling or sketching pages, children will learn about various aspects of our physical world and gain confidence in recording their own observations. Planet Earth, moon and stars, tree identification, flowers, insects, frogs and toads, moths and butterflies, seashells, birds, and more are introduced. While most activities center on drawing and reflecting, a few hands-on activities are included as well: for example, making leaf prints and growing sprout head.

    This nature journal's 8"x 11 ½" size makes it perfect for children to document their nature journey without the limitations smaller journals present. Bright colors, black-line illustrations and well-constructed pages and binding will allow storage of your children's outdoor reflections and memories for years. Sturdy, flexible cardboard cover. 224 pgs. ~ Deanne

  • Item #: 050101
    ISBN: 9780971787452
    Retail: $26.95
    Rainbow Price: $23.95

    If you can train yourself in the habit, keeping a nature journal offers not only the opportunity to continually hone artistic skills, but also provides ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, develop a deeper appreciation for nature, enhance penmanship and writing abilities and become a precious keepsake for years to come. This guide takes students lesson-by-lesson through developing their own nature journal and building the skills they'll need to capture examples of nature's beauty. Created by Barry Stebbing, author of the How Great Thou Art courses, these lessons are formatted similarly with short, easy-to-read lessons and a related assignment. There are 47 lessons total, the first segment focusing on assignments that can be done in the classroom, and later assignments which students will get to head outdoors to do. Lessons include designing the journal cover; learning how to appropriately frame the page; creating various tones in green and brown, and drawing specific objects or scenes such as onions, vines or tree trunks, landscapes, night scenes, farm animals, feathers, insects and much more. The lessons are illustrated with a variety of related drawings (both color and black-and-white) by Barry, some of which serve as examples to copy, and others to provide inspiration or examples for students' own drawing. The last piece of the book provides several blank journal pages with lines, a space for an inspiring quote and blank areas for drawing. You'll need a few specific supplies to complete the lessons, including a hardbound journal, a legal pad, a rubber band, colored pencils, a drawing pen, a writing pen, glue stick, tape, washable markers, a #6 watercolor brush (to use with the markers) and semi-gloss paper. Especially if you're not already emphasizing art in your curriculum, a course in nature journaling can provide your students a rewarding, creative tie-in to your science, English or even handwriting program – and get them outdoors to enjoy that sunshine! – Jess

  • Item #: 025888
    ISBN: 9781603425315
    Retail: $16.95
    Rainbow Price: $12.50

    More structured than a nature journal, this "outdoor workbook" is a great tool for families and students who prefer some guided instruction and inspiration as they observe, record, and learn from nature throughout the year. It features a varied, interactive format that kids won't soon get bored with, great forms for observation you can print from the publisher's website, and lots of terrific activity suggestions. The book is divided into three parts: "How to Be a Naturalist," "Learning the Sky," and "Exploring Nature." The first part introduces students to the skills and tools of the naturalist, provides suggestions and forms for setting up a nature journal, offers ideas for observation and appreciation (listing species that live in your neighborhood, making a "nature arrangement" or using observations to write a nature poem), and even includes quick drawing lessons that all culminate in an "field expedition." Because weather plays such a large role in nature, it gets its own chapter, and students are encouraged to draw the sky over different days and times, "read" clouds, draw a weather map, learn why we have seasons, play with shadows, keep a moon journal, discover nocturnal animals, learn three constellations and write a sky poem. The majority of "Exploring Nature" is organized by month (January-December) and provides specific activities and mini-lessons on seasonal nature topics. In March students will learn about the spring equinox, check for life in small pools of water and streams, turn over logs and rocks, draw birds, observe and draw budding twigs, and much more. In August, the focus is on water (the book assumes a family vacation here!) and students learn about the water cycle, find out more about a local stream or river, experiment with water, learn about water creatures, find sources of water in nature, keep a nature journal on vacation, and sleep under the stars. Several forms are provided for all months, including "Nature Notes" and "Nature Quest" forms, and a blank page for a "Picture of the Month." You can print more of these online for ongoing observation projects. Quite a few helpful resources for parents can be found in the appendix, such as safety information, suggestions on how to use nature journals in teaching and how to use the book to meet state curriculum standards, a bibliography (including suggested field guides and books for kids), recommended websites and a list of nature organizations. If you're new to nature studies and looking for some time-saving forms and activity suggestions, this is a resource to consider – and its reasonable enough you may want to get each child their own copy. – Jess

  • Item #: 046094
    ISBN: 9780486284958
    Retail: $5.00
    Rainbow Price: $4.25

    Henry David Thoreau was a 19th century environmentalist who built a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts. For two years and two months (during 1845-1847), Thoreau lived in his cabin, where he lived simply and aimed to be self-sufficient. He farmed, observed nature, surveyed, and wrote in his journal. This classic of the American Romantic period expresses the spirit of New England Transcendentalism through accounts of Thoreau's daily life, detailed nature writing, and meditations on society, government, human existence, and more. 216 pgs, pb. ~ Lisa

  • Item #: 068025
    ISBN: 9780990777007
    Retail: $159.95
    Rainbow Price: $141.95

       This is a guide to developmentally appropriate activities in many learning areas – home life/social emotional, math/manipulatives, art/music, science/sensory, language/literacy, outdoor/gross motor, and field trip suggestions. Very little prep is needed to do the activities, just gather the supplies and books listed for a complete introduction with young children or accompaniment to your math and phonics/reading for kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade. Each month (September through May) incorporates a theme and a character trait into the activities, and is 3-hole punched so you can place the pages in a binder for easy access and storage. Printables are included and step-by-step instructions will make it easy for any parent to work through the activities. You should plan on 2 to 4 activities per day, but plan for what fits into your schedule – “flexibility” is the name of this game. 296 pgs, pb.

     

      Within the packet of pages, you will receive a monthly overview printed on card stock that can be hung up so mom can see what they will be covering during the month – a good visual and planning tool. Sections on the monthly overview list the activities to be done in each area of learning. An Introduction to the program explains the philosophy and a list of what will be covered by theme and character trait. The rest of the pages have beautiful photographs, and step-by-step instructions for implementation.

      Let me give you a sampling of one month of the program. The theme for September is “The World I Live In,” and the character trait is “wonder.” Mom’s Toolbox is the first part of every month and this is where some special resources or items will be listed. In September the “Private Eye” loupe and the book Global Art by Mary Ann Kohl are mentioned. Anything found in the “Mom’s Toolbox” section would be good to get your hands on for incorporation later in the lesson. Home Life and Social/Emotional is the first activity section for September and includes the activities of using balloons and a laundry basket to ‘take a hot air balloon ride,’ make a hot air balloon snack, practice your manners by saying please/thank you, clearing dishes after a meal, and planning an emergency exit plan for your home. You can tell already that not all activities will work for all ages, but that’s the beauty – you can adapt as you need to, pick-and-choose as you see fit. The book list for September includes Hot Air, A House is a House for Me, Can You Hear It, Frog and Toad, and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Language and Literacy for September includes tactile letter practice, children developing their own story, and making a book. Math and Manipulatives include activities such as counting and swinging, making a spindle box (counting box), making shapes, a nature math book, and playing a water bottle marble game. Science and Sensory will have your little ones exploring outdoors with simple tools like magnifiers, binoculars, nature guides, etc., making a nature journal and a pendulum, cooking up a batch of herbal tea play dough and creating nature scenes, making an artistic pond, and make a nesting set using cans. Art and Music includes using chicken wire to use as a weaving loom with fabric scraps, making a painting on a long piece of butcher paper, sculpting clay tree faces, using coffee filters to create artistic reproductions, making salt and mirror art, and learning the song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Gross Motor and Outside has activities to develop ball skills and play games like Squish the bug, Hit the Hula Hoop, Wonder-Ball and running an obstacle course. Field Trip suggestions are touring the local news station or grocery store. At the end of each month is a supply list so you can see everything at a glance for easier preparation; most items will be things from around your home. A page for monthly memories and two planning pages are included at the end of the month, as well.

      Throughout each month, on every page, are photographs of the activities and children performing the tasks mentioned on the pages. Each month follows a similar format, so it’s pretty easy to get into a routine that fits your lifestyle. The Printables are on card stock and include photos, game instructions and game pieces, and other items that are mentioned during the monthly activities.

      Intended to give some guidance but not dictate the schedule, Year of Playing Skillfully can become a partner for you and your family as you begin the educational journey with your young learners. ~ Donna

  • Item #: 000663
    ISBN: 9780689808616
    Retail: $8.99
    Rainbow Price: $5.95

    An extremely informative book about the first settlers in America: their landing; first year; and typical lives of men, women, and youngsters in the colony. Although from a secular publisher, their religious nature and motive in coming to America is very clear, as the author does an excellent job of projecting the general character and even speech of the Pilgrims. Sewall has researched her subject well, apparently using journal, diaries and other writings of those who arrived on the Mayflower. Quotes from some of these sources are interspersed throughout.

  • Item #: 005572
    Retail: $29.95
    Rainbow Price: $27.95

    While new homeschool curriculums crop up fairly often for history, science and language arts, it's a rarity that a new homeschool health program is developed! Author Michele Spadafora has done an incredible job in pulling together this easy-to-use, thoroughly Christian P.E. and nutrition course that incorporates weekly lessons in "faith, fitness and fuel." It's an 18-week course that includes three segments on each of those "building blocks" per week, with tests included after every 3rd or 4th week and lots of helpful and inspiring video content as well. Scheduling works most naturally if you do health three days per week for one semester. Each week includes three topical reading segments (each about two pages in length), questions for the student, space to write goals for all three areas for the week, and space to journal about the week. "Faith" reading assignments focus on a biblical message, typically a goal that we could all work towards in our relationship with the Lord. These include: giving God control, replacing stress with peace, prayer, worship, loving others, serving others, making disciples, and more. Scripture references are sprinkled throughout the text, and several questions typically follow the reading. "Fitness" readings focus on the practical and include the benefits of exercising, frequency of exercising, warm-ups and cool-downs, proper form, weight loss basics, core strength, exercise gear, etc. "Fuel" readings focus on nutrition, like eating portions and proportions, understanding food labels, the importance of breakfast, avoiding sugar, the importance of whole grains, eating healthy snacks, avoiding diet mistakes, understanding eating disorders, and more. Readings on fitness and fuel typically do not have questions for the student, but are always followed by a space to write a goal for the week. The tests are fairly short and made up entirely of multiple-choice questions (an answer key for these is included at the end of the book).

    The video content is one of my favorite aspects of the program. It not only allows the author to "talk to" the student via video, but it also provides a way to demonstrate proper exercise form, workout ideas, or cooking technique. There are 32 short videos that complement the content in the book, and prompts to view them are found at the end of the readings. Students are also directed to several "Burst" videos throughout the program. These videos are about ten minutes in length and, just like the name suggests, these offer short energetic workouts to get the blood pumping. These are also found on the author's website. A DVD is also included with the book which features three full-body workouts, each about a ½-hour in length. The workout routines are fast-moving, yet simple enough to follow along with and feature upbeat Christian music from a variety of contemporary Christian artists. No fancy gear is required; while exercise bands make an appearance in several of the workout videos, and weights and exercise balls are discussed in the book, most fitness routines do not require any equipment. Whether you use the routines included or your own fitness program, the student is asked to work out at least three times a week, outside of specific assignments from the book.

    This easy-to-implement program would be perfect to do together as a family. The readings are fairly short and easy for students at different ability levels to understand. Technical details on nutrition and fitness are kept to a minimum, and the fitness routines and exercises will appeal equally to girls and boys. Compared to a full-year health course, you won't find nearly as much content on the human body or physiology here; the emphasis is truly on practical knowledge and motivation to stay fit. It would make sense to incorporate the nutritional information into the whole family's diet as well. The text is designed as a consumable, but if your students all write in their own journals or notebooks, you could use the text as a family. Christian families will especially appreciate the emphasis on building your faith while you build your physical endurance. 171 pgs, pb. – Jess

  • Item #: 048859
    ISBN: 9780975494219
    Retail: $15.00
    Rainbow Price: $11.95

    Fascinating facts about wildlife, coupled with drawing instruction for the beginning nature journalist, make this a perfect supplement to the Handbook of Nature Study or other nature instructional text. Each two- or four-page spread is devoted to a different animal and contains: a good amount of interesting information about the animal; one or more artist-rendered sketches; and step-by-step drawing instructions to sketch the animal yourself. The book was written and illustrated by a husband and wife team, Colleen and Michael Monroe. Colleen is the writer, and she has included interesting and sometimes surprising facts about each subject (did you know that newborn fawns are born with no scent to protect them from predators?). Michael is a nationally known, award-winning (and self-taught) wildlife artist who spends most of his year visiting schools around the country, encouraging children to never give up on their dreams. His love of nature and wildlife is reflected in the sketches which adorn each page. The drawing instruction is detailed, begins with simple shapes, includes written instruction for adding features through the illustrated progression of steps, and ends with a completed sketch that very closely resembles part of the artist's depiction. Two pages of drawing tips, including a mini-lesson on shading, precede the actual text. Subjects include: hummingbirds, birds, ducks, loons, turtles, herons, frogs, rabbits, white-tailed deer, white-tailed fawns, owls, bears, and wolves. The book ends with some simple things you can do to help wildlife like keeping dangerous litter contained, building birdhouses, and planting flowers. The book is about 36 pages in landscape format with a hard cover, making it a little more durable for outdoor use.

  • Item #: 068703
    ISBN: 9781536914443
    Retail: $36.50
    Rainbow Price: $29.95

      Targeting a slightly older crowd, this flexible curriculum resource may inspire delight-directed learning in your family. In this (mostly) self-study, children begin by choosing topics they wish to study and take steps to achieve their goals. Tips for wisely choosing resources while using these recommended resources: computer access and personal Minecraft world, audio books, Story of the World for the Classical Child, Classical music, Google Earth and parent-approved news sources, educational videos and movies, and a math curriculum (Life of Fred or Math U See suggested). Listed are also a few necessary supplies: pencils, colored pencils, gel pens, origami paper, and a ruler.

      The heart of this course is the gentle, guiding learning in an array of subject areas including reading, creative writing, spelling and vocabulary, classical literature and music, mathematics (open ended to use with your math curriculum), science, geography, current events and much more. Comparing this to the author’s Fun-Schooling Curriculum: Homeschooling with Minecraft, you will note overlapping activities but a different focus. The aforementioned course includes an animal and farm theme designed to engage younger learners, whereas the DIY Curriculum is written for a slightly older crowd and focuses on Geography and “world news today” events. Woven throughout the course are research projects to learn about mining in the real world, which provides a fascinating “rabbit trail” to a Minecraft study.

      If you are wondering which of the Thinking Tree Minecraft studies would best fit your child, younger children who thrive when working more directly with a parent, may find the Fun-Schooling Curriculum: Homeschooling with Minecraft (#068704) a better option. While the reading level recommended for this course is grade 2 and up, many of the research activities and world studies seem better fit for an older child. Other activities like the backyard science nature walk and study may work with all ages. Another consideration in selecting these activities is the student’s ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. While the author does not define computer time in this course, her general guidelines for daily study are 5 pages per day for 10 years and under and 10 pages per day for 10 years and up (2-4 hours per day). Repetition is also built into this curriculum guide allowing students to study various aspects of Minecraft in a similar fashion.

  • Item #: 022613
    ISBN: 9781596472761
    Retail: $16.95
    Rainbow Price: $12.15

    Rather than being just another schoolbook, this handbook has a different feel to it. By this, I mean that instead of the pages seeming like assignments, the book is written for students who want to learn how to write - as though they picked up this book themselves because they were interested and are doing it on their own time because they enjoy creative writing. I find it very fresh and appealing. The authors believe that mastering a narrative first will lead to better short stories and poetry and help them to flow more naturally, so the first part of the book focuses on writing a narrative. This is broken up into 3 different chapters, offering students practice in beginning a narrative, developing a narrative, and lastly perfecting a narrative. Each of these chapters follows the same basic steps - pre-writing, exploring, and brainstorming; composing and creating a draft; and finally revising, using sensory and vivid words, working with combining sentences, transitions, beginnings and ends, peer editing (you can do this yourself if there aren't any other students to assist), writing the final draft and then proofreading again. The chapters on short stories and poems follow this same format. For the short story, you'll also work on characterization and the structure specific to a short story. In the poetry chapter, you'll practice with imagery, structure, rhythm, figurative language, ideas, poetic springboards, and other relevant elements of poetry. Throughout all of the chapters, examples from professional and student writers are given for students to analyze and understand what it is about them that is so effective and successful. (This includes excerpts from books by John Steinbeck (The Long Valley) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). Students are also given plenty of opportunities throughout the book for their own writing practice. After reading the example, they are encouraged to try their hand at capturing an audience with a great opener, vivid descriptions, smooth transitions, or whatever skill they are working with. They are also encouraged to keep a writing journal for daily use, and ideas for topics are given to help them get started. The very last chapter in this handbook provides ten guidelines for good writing and additional practice with sentence combining. This handbook could be a very beneficial, enjoyable tool for anyone who is interested in creative writing as a craft. - Melissa

  • Item #: 003171
    ISBN: 9781601264664
    Retail: $49.99
    Rainbow Price: $32.95

    A thoroughly Christian test prep course from Dr. James Stobaugh now in a completely revised and enhanced version. If your child plans to take the SAT test (or the ACT), this combination devotional, literature study, critical reading and thinking tutorial, composition practice, and test prep course is too good to pass up! It not only builds disciplined study skills in your child as he prepares for the SAT and exposes him to “classic” foundational literature, but disciples your child as well with a daily Bible study regimen that prepares him for Christian life on the college campus and beyond. This sends the sure message that daily Christian training should never take a back seat to the training of the intellect. The course consists of 150 lessons that can be completed over the course of one, two, or three years. Using the 3-year plan (which the author highly recommends), students complete one lesson per week the first year, two lessons/week the second year, and three lessons/week the third year. Under the 2-year plan, students complete three lessons per week both years. The one-year “crash course” plan has students work at the rate of one lesson/day. The 3-year plan is preferable, making it possible for your student to consume many more of the referenced literature selections. In case you’re wondering why literature is such as integral part of the course, in Dr. Stobaugh’s words, “Reading good books is the single best preparation for the SAT verbal section.”

    The three main components of the course are: the daily devotion, reading and vocabulary exercises, and math, verbal, and writing exercises. Each lesson begins with a Scripture quotation and reference that can be used as the daily devotional on lesson days. The scripture is followed by the introduction to a book to be read, or a narrative excerpt or a short essay correlated to the basic theme of the lesson, followed by a thought-provoking question. Next is devotional journal time. It is suggested that students using this course spend 30 minutes/day at devotions. A reproducible form, providing an outline for this activity, is included in the appendix. Students who are using the 2- or 3-year plans should choose from one of the targeted scriptures provided in the appendix, or select their own Scripture for meditation on days between lessons. Reading and vocabulary activities come next. It is recommended that students read an average of 30-50 pages per day. Although not mandatory, I would guess that they would want to first read the selections mentioned in the lessons, since their interest in these would probably be piqued. Just looking at the course, it seems that it would be difficult to read all of the selections referred to, especially for students beginning the course in the 10th or 11th grades.

    The author includes a bibliography representing a “comprehensive cross-section of good literature” in the appendix. These were chosen with an eye to selections made by Christian and public colleges in their literature studies and grouped for 9th/10th graders and for 11th graders. You are also free to substitute any titles with ones of your own choosing, though, again, I would guess students would want to read ones referenced in the lessons. Vocabulary words for study are often taken from these works, as well. Students are instructed to make up vocabulary cards for words presented in the lesson as well as unfamiliar words in their reading. A suggested format for these is supplied in the appendix. Lessons continue with Critical Reading passages (and questions) and Critical Thinking questions, usually related to the theme of the lesson. Every fourth lesson includes a writing assignment, again based on the theme of the most recent series of lessons. The writing assignments include all forms of writing. Lessons also contain problems to solve in preparation for the math portion of the SAT test. A kind of “last thought” for the lesson appears in the sidebar. Many of these are test-taking hints and tips for the SAT. Others are meaningful quotations or further literary introductions. These latter are usually tied to the theme of the lesson as established by the Scripture.

    A complete answer key is provided at the end of the lessons. In addition to answers for the objective questions, there are sample essays of each type assigned – very helpful in understanding the nature of the assignment. The useful Appendices include items previously mentioned plus a bibliography of critical thinking skills, test-taking strategies and a meaty section titled “Remedy for College Admission Essays Jitters”. This section includes essential information for the Christian student on surviving and thriving in a secular college setting as well as a collection of 50 sample college admission essays.

    Compared to other SAT preparation courses we carry (Cracking the SAT and Kaplan’s Guide to the SAT), this course has a totally different “feel” emphasizing long-term academic, spiritual, and mental preparation rather than intense test-taking strategy and content review. This course seems more heavily weighted toward the Verbal and Writing part of the SAT, so students might want to supplement with 100 SAT Math Tips and How to Master Them Now! or consult the Cracking the SAT book for additional test-taking strategies and tips. They should also follow Dr. Stobaugh’s advice and take a practice SAT test every two months during this time. A good source for these practice tests is the 10 Real SATs book or those included with other SAT prep books. These tests provide annotated answers (detailed explanations about why a particular answer is the correct choice). That being said, this is a quality, well-designed course that will prepare students both for challenges in college and for their daily walk as Christians. 425 pgs, pb. Janice