After much anticipation on my part, but plenty of procrastination as well, I have decided to add notebooking to our school schedule.
We dabbled in it a bit this summer, and have done lapbooks and various notebookish assignments in the past, but we will now make it a regular part of our school day, starting next week. :-)
Long ago I discovered the wonderful resources at Notebooking Pages, and have borrowed some items from their site already.
This summer I attended a workshop led by Jeannie Fulbright about notebooking and came away excited, but still not quite sure what notebooking was supposed to look like. I came back and searched the web a bit more and rediscovered this great description of how it works.
So, I pulled out the paper and we had our first official notebooking session.
The one thing that encouraged me that Jeannie Fulbright had said was you should expect to do one page per subject every other week. For some reason I had envisioned notebooking being a task that happened at the end of each subject every day (no wonder I was overwhelmed by the thought!) When she said that, it all seemed a lot more doable.
What it looks like in our homeschool:
- Study the topic as usual (books, pictures, online research, worksheets, etc.)
- Discuss the topic we have been studying (renarrate the books we have read, summarize the information we have pondered, remember the key people and events, discuss favorite parts and details, etc.)
- Write down key words that kids might not know how to spell (names, places, and technical terms)
- Pull out the paper (right now we usually just use one lined and one plain sheet, but this is where all those great notebooking pages come in handy)
- Each student creates their own memory of what we studied. They draw a picture of their favorite event, person, piece of artwork. They copy a map or portion of a timeline.
- I require my kids to each write some words with varying expectations. The youngest (4 years old) I expect to write (copy) one word. The oldest (12 years) expect a couple paragraphs from. One sentence per grade seems to be a reasonable guideline in our house.
- We have three pages a week scheduled. This way, over two weeks they will do one page for science, history, Bible, math, English, and two of their own choosing (art, music, nature study, folk song, etc.)
Around the web:
- Cindy Rushton on Notebooking
- The amazing Notebookingpages.com (always something free, and something else on sale)
- More free notebooking pages
- And, of course, a Yahoo group for notebooking
I love the casual addition of notebooking to our homeschool, and look forward to treasuring this permanent, portfolio type display of their learning progress.
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