Trying Out Notebooking

Funny how the Lord lets you know when he wants you to change direction.

Not too long ago, Boo let it be known that he didn’t like science days because that meant he had to do science worksheets. This has been the first year I have required that he complete the worksheets that came along with our science curriculum. I didn’t really give them much thought, I just figured that they would help reinforce the material we’re learning. Then last week, during the chapter review, I was surprised at how little information he’d retained.

Coincidentally (or not), also last week I read this post –Notebooking With Sonlight – over at Falling Like Rain. I realized that Boo must feel the same way about those very same Sonlight science worksheets. He, too, struggles with drawing (which is a whole other post) but is good at narrations. I started wondering about notebooking. I had read about it in passing, but I think I was confusing it with lapbooks. I’ve seen examples of lapbooks, and holy cannoli! I just don’t have that kind of time or energy. Maybe when my children are older, but not now. But after doing a little more research of my own, I realized that there is a difference between lapbooks and notebooking and that notebooking is far simpler than I had originally thought.

I looked into all the notebooking templates that are available to buy. Most of them seemed to be some variation of blank spaces to draw in with some lines for writing. I didn’t think really feel like buying something that I could create myself. I also didn’t feel I needed all the extra graphics, borders and hoohas that were being offered. Plus, for the number of pages I’d be printing out, it sure seemed like I’d be going through a lot of printer paper and ink. Frankly, I just wanted Boo to draw a picture of what he’d learned on any given day and write a few sentences about it. Depending on what the rest of his workload looked like, maybe I’d do the writing. That’s when I found paper with a huge drawing space on top with lined handwriting paper on the bottom. (Picture Story Pads) Exactly what I was looking for.

It’s funny that I hung on to our science worksheets for this long. They were really the only busywork in our school day, and they just didn’t provide enough interaction with the material. I’m hoping that creating science notebooks will really drive the information home.

Both Boo and Pumpkin Girl enjoy history, especially when we get out the map. They particularly enjoyed discovering that their daddy was cruising all over Mesopotamia in his tank during the Gulf War and was probably very close to the garden of Eden. We’ll be doing notebooks for history, too, so they can track what they’ve learned and connect it all together. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to report on the success or failure of our notebooking efforts.

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • Notebooking is great fun, and, when I manage to do it with the children, they learn an incredible amount.

    BTW, I love the wintry photograph at the top of your blog. It goes so well with your icy blue background! I’m going to miss it when spring comes, but I’m sure you’ll find something equally lovely.

  • I am sure you will be a success! My daughter enjoys using regular notebook paper. She felt confined by using the printed notebooking pages. You’re right, it is a lot of paper and ink. And all for what? I can buy notebook paper by the truckloads for the same price.

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