One of the best things that I’ve for our homeschool is incorporate notebooking into various subjects. Notebooking is a great way to see what information your child has absorbed from what they have learned. I always have a place for my child to create a drawing along with their writing because it’s another creative outlet for them to express their understanding on the subject.
We mostly use notebooking for science and history because those are the most highly visual subjects. My son, who is a history buff, is also a visual learner so notebooking has been a great for him. There’s always a story he wants to tell with him pictures and now that he’s getting into the higher grades, I don’t want to miss out on it either. I’m now using the same idea with my younger son, who is in the first grade, and he enjoys it as well although he is not a visual learner. Sometimes his writing can’t express what he wants to verbalize so he enjoys drawing a picture instead. For younger kids, you’d also want to use lined paper with larger space in between the lines to accomodate their fine motor skills.
There’s a lot of great free resources out there when you search for notebooking pages as well as paid. It just depends on your needs and how much you want to put into it.
I love the idea of written narrations to determine whether a child comprehends a new story, chapter or experiment. Instead of asking questions or filling in worksheets or book reports, the child can retell what they remember in their own way.
What kind of notebooks
Notebooking can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like. You can use a plain old 3 ring binder with lined paper or create templates that you can print out for each study. I enjoy using spiral bound notebooks because when my son writes he always pulls the pages away from the rings and rips them. I hate having loose papers everywhere.
We enjoy notebooking about our favorite books incorporating setting and characters, science with resources and experiments or history with timelines and facts. When we’re struggling with other subjects we try notebooking about them to give us some time to reflect and look at things from another perspective. We’ve notebooked various math topics so that it would really cement the facts into my sons mind rather then have him just memorize it. I want him to have a full understanding of why he’s doing something and not just because he’s told to do so.
This also means I don’t have to fret about find the perfect curriculum as long as we have some good library books and activities to do I have a full curriculum on hand. I make my reading lists and usually work off a spine to keep things coherent. But we use all library books and this method has saved me money and allowed my children to follow those wonderful rabbit trails.
Monique is a biology graduate, web designer and homeschooling mother to 3. You can find her blogging about homeschooling tips, printables, activities, and parenting goodies at Living Life and Learning. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.