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How to Use Notebooking in Homeschool
What is Notebooking?
Notebooking is a form of journaling. It’s simply using a notebook or pages placed inside a binder or folder that allows a child, or adult, to document the knowledge they are gaining. It can be a simple sketch of something they observe in science coupled with written words that show an understanding of the material. They might make a list of math facts they’ve been working to memorize. You might see a quote they want to remember. Or they might just document a paragraph about the last chapter they read in literature.
The cool thing about notebooking is that it creates a visual memory of the workable knowledge the child gains over time. Thus, it becomes a progressive document. Over time, your child will subsequently create a scope and sequence of their own education.
Three reasons to Utilize Notebooking in Homeschool
- These notebooking journals can become an educational scrapbook treasure that they can visit again and again for inspiration or reference.
- It can also serve as a portfolio assessment.
- A visual reminder of skills, lessons, and knowledge that they have obtained.
Notebooking has been around for centuries. Leonardo Da Vinci is likely the most famous person to use notebooking techniques to document his work, thoughts, and ideas. It’s been estimated that he wrote more than 20,000 pages of notes and sketches about everything that he was interested in.
His notebooks are famous and have served as learning tools for many fields of study even today. You can read them online here: Leonardo da Vinci’s Note-Books.
The notebooks span many areas of study.
- shadow and light
- theories and inventions
Leonardo began writing in his journals when he was 26 years old and continued to do so until his death at age 67. His notebooks contain sketches, various notes, thoughts, anatomical studies and more.
Pre-K and Early Elementary Notebooking
For younger children who are not yet writing, you can use notebooking to allow your children to simply draw pictures of what they learn. As you read to your child they can doodle what they feel or think. When practicing beginning handwriting they can write their letters or numbers in a notebook. As they get older they can practice the alphabet, name writing, doing number work or even copywork.
How to Utilize Notebooking
You can approach notebooking in any way that fits your families needs. There are no right or wrong ways to do notebooking. In fact, if you looked at Da Vinci’s works you might just see a jumbled mess of doodles and notes. But those notes helped him to formulate fantastical theories, ideas, and inventions.
Notebooking isn’t about a child completing a worksheet for the sake of busy work. Rather, it’s about allowing the child to document, in their own way, what they are or have learned. It’s a good method for them to postulate questions and then explore the question fully, taking notes as they go, which may lead to a resulting answer to their own question.
There are generally two components used in notebooking creation. They are a written component and a visual component.
Together these two components show what the child has learned. Think of it as a graphic show-n-tell. The child documents their thoughts and ideas in both visual and written form.
Start simply. Introduce the notebooking pages and tell your children that they will use them to draw and write what they learn. Proceed with your lesson. At the end of your lesson simply ask them to draw and/or write out details that they remember from the just completed lesson. It’s really that simple.
Suggestions for Notebooking Supplies
- Binder Notebooking
Use a binder to organize printable pages for your child. Or you can use loose-leaf paper. The point is to use a binger to keep pages organized.
- Notebook Notebooking
Use a simple spiral bound notebook, or composition notebook and allow your child to draw pictures, sketch, take notes, or make lists, or ask questions that they then research and document their learned results.
Buy journals and place them in front of your children. Let them discover them on their own and when they do tell them they can keep their thoughts and ideas in those journals.
Types of Notebooking by Subject
- Copywork Notebooking
- Art Notebooking
- Story Notebooking
- History/Geography Notebooking
- Science Notebooking
- Nature Study Notebooking
- Project or Research Notebooking
If you are looking for a simple way for your children to explore their own thoughts, document their own questions, research, and document areas of learning then look no further than notebooking. This journaling method is tried and true and has been used for hundreds of years. You can’t go wrong when incorporating notebooking into your schooling methodology. It’s a technique that serves as a great companion to homeschooling regardless of the method you choose or style of learning your kids need.