These two books offer a totally unique format for developing thinking skills. Both books cover the basic subject areas of math, writing, science, language arts, and social studies, as well as enrichment topics and problem solving.
They use graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams, flow charts, and time lines that provide visual organization structures for information. Each organizer is presented as a blank "chart" and also as a particular lesson, accompanied by a lesson plan and background information. You can try the sample lessons to become familiar with the use of each organizer, then branch out on your own.
Organizers are reproducible, and when there are predictable answers for sample lessons, they are entered in non-reproducible blue ink to serve as an answer key.
The organizing pages (but not the lessons and other information) are also available on hybrid computer disks (one for each book) that will run on either Windows or Macintosh systems. You or your children can open these in most drawing programs and customize them for your lessons or topics.
Book I is suggested for grades 2-4 and Book II for grades 4-8, however, both books might be used over even wider age spans. Since the lessons themselves address specific topics such as comparing and contrasting Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, you must choose lessons that relate to subject areas appropriate for your children. (Some topics are more general and thus easier to use with more students.)
The books themselves are hefty (342 pages in Book II) with so many sample lessons to choose from that you can get a lot of mileage out of a book without getting beyond the sample lessons. However, you really should use the organizers for your own lessons rather than letting the book dictate your topics of study.