What is notebooking?
Creating and compiling a personalized notebook of learning experiences, new knowledge, insights, sketches, illustrations, creative writing, reflections, and more! This is like a scrapbook of things learned.
The notebook takes on the personality of its author – the student – as she decides what content to include, how to present it, how to organize it, and how to shape what she’s learned.
The notebook captures the journey of a child’s learning. Notebooks not only record new knowledge, but also reflect deepening understanding of the world, developing a writing voice, and exploring creative talents.
2 components to notebooking…
This can include narration, facts, copywork, poetry, vocabulary, essay, creative writing, thoughts and opinions.
This can include drawing, maps, timelines, clipart, images, coloring pages, photographs, borders, stickers. They can be as fancy or plain as you like.
Notebooking is not…
It’s not busywork. It’s not like fill-in-the-blank worksheets. It’s not a diary. It’s not inflexible. It’s not cookie-cutter. It’s not just for a certain type of learner. It’s not just for a certain age. There are no limitations.
Why we love notebooking:
It develops critical thinking skills, penmanship, research skills, pre-writing skills, strengthens comprehension and retention.
Notebooking and narrations can be used with or without formal curriculum and it is not limited to any particular homeschool or educational method.
My kids exceed my expectations with their notebooking pages all the time. Sometimes, they want to do copywork or narration. Sometimes they want to get really creative. Sometimes, they feel colorful and other times, they just want to jot down the facts.
How we use notebooking in all our school subjects:
I often print all the relevant notebooking pages for a unit of history before we begin study. The kids fill them in as we read or afterwards, summarizing what they learned.
We love copywork and art with Draw Write Now. We practice with dry erase boards and then complete the writing and drawing in our workbooks. We keep art journals and portfolios. I even frame some of the really great ones.
We love learning the Bible with notebooking. We write Scripture, do stick figures with Grapevine Studies, complete notebooking journals with Apologia.
We love notebooking about science and nature study. We learned about grasshoppers. We learned about our backyard pond. We went on a winter nature walk and notebooked about what we saw. We also love the Apologia science notebooking journals.
As my kids get older, they love notebooking online or with technology. The Notebooking Publisher App is great for creating notebooking pages – especially handy when we can’t find ready-made ones for special topics.
Our Favorite Tools for Notebooking:
We start with super simple and frugal:
As the kids get older – more creative and independent, we add other elements:
For personalized notebooks (great for unit studies!):
I use these for unit studies, copywork books, Bible notebooks, and more.