Monday, June 5, 2017

The Book of Trees from Memoria Press -- my REVIEW

To preface this review, I love science.  My pre-children career was in environmental education, and we as a family really enjoy the outdoors; since they were young, I have taught my children about many aspects of the outdoors and nature--basically just as "fun learning" and not "formal" education. I was so excited to have the opportunity to review a middle school botany curriculum--and my daughter was happy to give it a try!

The Book of Trees Set

The materials we received for this review were three items from the set called The Book of Trees set by Memoria Press.  The full set includes the three titles put out by Memoria Press as well as two supplementary books which will enhance your learning about trees and plants in general.  The subtitle of the books is "An Introduction to Botany Through the Study of Trees," and I would really agree that this more fully states what this course is about.  It is not purely a study of trees, but rather a study of botany that then narrows down so that the student can specialize in a study of trees.

Students read a selection from The Book of Trees and then turn to the corresponding section of the workbook to easily answer the page of questions about their reading.  The following page includes things such as diagrams and labelling as well as other suggested activities.

The study begins with a discussion of why we should study trees and plants) and moves through different plant systems with chapters on roots/root systems, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits; the next segment is tree observations--students learn how to observe a tree and will conduct 15 different tree observations (including things such as structure, location, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, identifying the tree, further research of the tree, as well as sketching different aspects of the tree.)  The final unit delves further into some of the chemical processes that a tree/plant experiences:  photosynthesis and respiration.

The student who used these books in our family was my youngest daughter, who is 12 (7th grade).  She was excited right from the start.  The textbook was written in an easy to understand, easy to follow manner, and the workbook was simple to complete following the reading.  She used these books independently (though we did a LOT of discussing of the things she had learned!  She sprinkled her new knowledge into many conversations and car rides!)

As a parent/homeschool teacher, I was pleased with the level of material that this curriculum contained.  It was definitely written for a middle school audience (not childish, but written in a way they would process and truly understand easily).  The material covered is a great overview of the high points of botany.

Here's what my daughter said about this set The Book of Trees:  "The Book of Trees was very informational, and I learned a lot.  It teaches in an interesting way and it is easy to follow along.  It isn't very hard and when you're done, you leave feeling (and knowing) that you learned so much.  

As you have probably already gathered, I would definitely recommend this botany curriculum.  It covers the topic nicely, it is written in a very readable fashion, and the workbook is comprehensive and very helpful to enhance the learning.  

Here are just a few more pictures from the workbook to give you a better feel for it:

This is not the first Memoria Press product that we have had the opportunity to review.  I have been VERY pleased with their curriculum thus far.  They have many different course offerings, including quite a complete Latin program.  In this review cycle, some of the homeschool reviewers got to use curricula other than the Book of Trees-- some others that were reviewed included Prima Latina Complete Set , Latina Christiana Complete Set , First Form Latin Complete Set , 
Second Form Latin Complete SetThird Form Latin Complete Set,  Fourth Form Latin Complete Set, and Nature's Beautiful Order .  .  Curious?  Click on the banner below and you can read some reviews of these products as well!

Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}

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