Notebooking is a great method to use in your homeschool for active learning that also allows for creativity and individualized content. It’s a versatile tool for your homeschool toolbox, especially if you want to teach multiple kids at once! Here’s a brief overview of homeschool notebooking.
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What is Notebooking?
You can think of notebooking as an ever-changing collection of your student’s work in a given subject. It’s like a big fun scrapbook of their learning!
It can take any form you want. Your artistic child might sketch diagrams and maps for many assignments. Your linguistic child might love to create historical diary entries or persuasive essays about history topics. Your scientific child might love to include sketches from nature walks or weather stats from the week.
The best part is – there are no rules for notebooking! It’s like homeschooling in that it is customizable, DIY, and can fit your child.
So, the dyslexic kid who struggles with writing? Don’t force it! Include more pictures, diagrams, or sketches if that’s easier to communicate what he’s learned.
Your first grader’s notebooking product will look much different than his sibling’s notebook for sixth grade.
The beauty of notebooking is that you can use it for all your kids while teaching multiple ages together.
The supplies are simple too, which is great. The best option is to grab a 3-ring binder for each kid, and lots of lined or blank paper to insert. Colored pencils or pens is also fun!
Then, for each subject, you need your content. This could be in the form of a textbook, subject-specific encyclopedia (like an Usborne Science Encyclopedia), atlas, videos, or other “spine.”
Once you read or listen to the content for the lesson, you and your child can decide on the “response” to the content, which gets included in the notebook.
Are they going to write a narration about the history lesson? Maybe draw a mini timeline of events?
For science, they might sketch different plant leaves and label them. Or, draw a diagram of the water cycle.
Foreign language might include learning the names of colors today, so they could write “red” then “rouge” and then finally color a splash of red next to the labels.
How Can You Use it in Your Homeschool?
We’ve used notebooking over the years for history, science, Bible, and foreign language. It’s well-suited for teaching multiple ages together, as you can customize the requirements for each grade level.
The youngest kids might draw a picture and write one sentence. The older kids might be required to label a diagram and write a paragraph.
It’s also a thrifty homeschooling method, as you don’t need to purchase expensive workbooks or work texts for each child. Just use the spine of your choice (history book, science encyclopedia, foreign language videos) and then the written component of the course take the form of creative notebooking pages.
You definitely can purchase pre-made notebooking pages, but sometimes the best option can be to help your kids create custom pages as they go.
Each assignment will have a different spin on it and need a different type of notebooking page.
Here are some ideas:
- diagram with labels
- biographical content
- plot structure
- pictures & words (foreign language)
- illustrations and short captions (from your Bible reading or history lesson)
There really are thousands of different things you can include in your notebooking routine! It’s a fun way to capture all the different things your child is learning in a subject.