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The Purpose Of Plants Review by Clarissa West

Julie A. Polanco, MH
Julie Polanco Books

The Purpose Of Plants (a guided study of botany for young people and adults, too!) is a 115-page paperback text and student handbook. It is written in a conversational-tone and includes hand drawings and color photos throughout. Each chapter has questions to answer and experiments to complete. It is listed for $20.69.

You will find a welcome page explaining how to use the course, a supply list of what is needed to complete the course, and the table of contents outlining each chapter of study.

The first chapter contains a diagram of the plant kingdom and two charts for documenting the information gathered throughout the course. Next, you will read the reasons why you should study plants in the first place. This chapter defines botany and some of the most common uses of plants. The author also shares why she loves botany and what lead to her study of plants.

Nine more chapters go on to discuss and explain all aspects of botany, such as the soil and minerals needed for healthy plants, all about plant roots, water and how it benefits plants, the plants circulatory and respiratory system and how it is similar to humans, how light affects plants, plant cells, and how plants defend themselves.

The remaining few chapters cover how plants can be used as medicine and food, how some plants without flowers can still reproduce, where trees fit in, and touches on plant genes and genetic engineering. The author wraps it up with concluding thoughts, answer key, and bibliography.

This book is meant for children twelve and older or adults interested in learning about the many uses of plants. It is set up with each chapter covering one topic and testing the student on what they have learned at the end.

This is self-paced and all questions are open book with answers at the back of the book. Some lessons require the student to explore the outdoors for specific objects (i.e.: leaf) and draw what is found. Other lessons require you to complete experiments using items listed on the supply list. Still other lessons ask that you research and write an essay on a specific topic. You will find a list of resources (websites) at the back of the book to continue your botany study.

The Purpose Of Plants offers a great overview of botany and a look at the holistic lifestyle. Not only does the author cover the structure and systems of plants, but how to use them as medicine and food. I found the chapters on the cells and genes very interesting, since the mitochondria in plants work in the same way as they do in humans. My daughter has a mitochondrial disorder, so I found that fascinating and relatable.

I really enjoyed the holistic approach the author takes and that she addressed essential oils and their uses. This book fit well with my current interests in essential oils and natural health. The Purpose Of Plants would do well with a few homeschool styles, such as those who enjoy unit studies, notebooking, and the hands-on approach.

I am happy to have this book added to my home library for reference as I seek to learn more about natural health.

—Product Review by Clarissa West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2015