To those that frequently visit us here on As They Grow Up know just how much we love Memoria Press. I have used them often throughout out five years of homeschooling and have yet to be disappointed. That’s why when we were given the opportunity to review The Book Of Trees, I just had to accept. Not only do my boys love nature, but this was a course I had been looking at along with a few others.
About Memoria Press:
Memoria Press is a family-run publishing company that was founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe. They offer easy-to-use classical Christian education that can be used for homeschools and private schools.
We first discovered Memoria Press while I was searching for a grammar and composition program for my third grader. Since that time, we have quickly fallen in love with this company and have been extremely pleased with their curriculum.
What we received for the review:
• The Book of Trees Teacher’s Guide
• The Book of Trees Student Book
• The Book of Trees Reader
There are two reference books that you can use to go along with this program, why they aren’t mandatory I personally would highly recommend them. I really felt that I added a little extra to our lessons. The two optional books are:
• The Tree Book for Kids and their Grown-ups
• Peterson First Guide to Trees of North America
Taking a look inside:
The one thing that helps me determine if a program is right for my family is to look inside and get a feel for what the curriculum looks out. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect when it comes to The Book of Trees:
The student book: Upon opening the student book you’ll find a list of goals that are to be accomplished during this study. Throughout this study you’re child will learn the basic aspects of botany,be able to classify the different types of plants and their external characters, identify the internal parts of plant organs, learn about the basic process of photosynthesis, and learn about the process of pollination, fertilization and seed dispersal.
You’ll also see a model lesson plan, but you can also purchase a lesson plan from Memoria Press, which is what I opted to do and it has helped us plan our year our using this program.
You’ll find that the student book is broke down into five units. Those units are:
• Unit 1: The Root & Stem
• Unit 2: Leaves
• Unit 3: Flowers & Fruits
• Unit 4: Observing Trees
• Unit 5: Photosynthesis & Respiration
With Unit 1 through Unit 3, you’re child will be reading from the book, answering questions about what they’ve learned, labeling and diagramming and activities. The activities are some of our favorites. They aren’t hard activities, but they really help with the learning process. A few example activities may be:
• If there are flowers in bloom in your area, take a walk outside and see if you can find the perfect flower, a staminate flower, and a pistillate flower. Identify the parts.
• If you have conifer in your area, try to identify the male and female
• Find different examples of leaves an categorize them
I love when curriculum includes hands-on activities, especially when they don’t include a lot of extra material and purchases.
Starting with Lessons 15, your student will then begin observing trees. We have been really enjoying this section. They are 15 tree observations and in this section, it encourages your student to look more closely at the tree, considering the location, bark, leaves, flowers and so much more. They even identify the tree and look up it’s Latin name, natural habitat and more.
Not only that, but they can sketch the leaf the best of their ability, or in the case of mine he would often times have a camera with him and snap a photo of the leaf. Also, if the tree includes fruit or flowers, it encourages them to also draw those items the best of their ability.
The teacher book is the classic Memoria Press layout. Inside you’ll find the answers to all the worksheets, labeling and even examples when it comes to the different observations so that you know what they are looking for as far as answers/observing goes.
The Book of Trees Reader:
This 83-page book is a fantastic read and our entire family has been enjoying this. It’s divided into nine chapters with the last two chapters being advanced work. It does have black and white images as well as drawn and labeled images so the student can see how different parts are labeled.
Optional books: These books can be purchased as part of the set or separately. I for one, highly recommend adding these books. In my opinion they have really added to our lessons and have encouraged mine to try to seek out additional trees.
The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups is a full-color illustrated book. It has easy to understand text and offers a glossary and resources section.
The Peterson First Guide to Trees of North America offers full-color illustrations and is the perfect size for tossing in a day pack for hikes and nature walks. It offers information on the ecology and natural history of trees and uses arrows on the illustrations to show you exactly what to look for.
Our overall thoughts:
While The Book of Trees is recommended for grades 6-8, my second-grader loved sitting through the lesson with us. Obviously he isn’t old enough to actually do the work, but he had so much fun learning along with his big brother. Keep in mind though that the student book is consumable, so you will need a book for each of your students if they are at the write age for this course.
The Book of Trees is so easy to use and it quickly became a favorite in our house. Being that my ten-year old loves using Memoria Press, he took right to this course.
Throughout this course, your student will learn botany, organs, function and plant systems. These are all presented in a way that’s easy to understand, welcoming and absolutely fun! It includes numerous hands-on activities, we have enjoyed tons of nature walks that of course included having the Peterson First Guide to Trees tossed into our day bag, and so much more.
In the past we have tried other Botany courses since he has a passion for nature, but they always seemed over-whelming for him and hard to grasp. You’re not going to get that at all with the Memoria Press The Book of Trees. Seriously, this program is more than I ever dreamed, and once completed we know exactly what course will follow.
Curious what other homeschoolers are saying about Memoria Press? Be sure to click on the image below to find out.