How to Choose the Best Notebooks for Your Homeschool

by Jimmie Lanley on February 18, 2011

NotebOoK

There are 4 main types of notebooks that you can use in your homeschool. When deciding which type to use, consider the pros and cons of each type.  And of course, trial and error is the best way to make a final decision. Often you don’t how what you need until you try it out.

1.  Spiral Notebooks

PROS

inexpensive

Especially during back to school sales, spiral notebooks are a cheap investment. You can have one for each subject.

CONS

fixed pages

You can’t move pages around or add pages.

flimsy paper

If you like to add postcards, brochures, or other thick or heavy things to your notebooks, you may find the paper in a spiral notebook too thin to support them.

2.  Composition Notebooks or Hardback Journals

PROS

no confetti

When you tear out a page, there’s no shower of little white bits of paper.

attractive looking

Composition notebooks look classy already, and the thick cardboard covers can be decorated and personalized.

thicker paper quality

The nicer paper makes it easier to affix thicker items or envelopes for holding small objects.

CONS

Just like the spiral notebooks, composition notebooks have fixed pages which don’t allow for rearranging or adding pages.

Notebook collection

3.  Three Ring Binders

PROS

availability

Three ring binders are easy to find, even at thrift stores.

flexibility

Pages can be moved, added, or taken out easily. If you buy a large enough notebook, you can add thick objects in page protectors.

durability

Quality binders will last for years and years.

CONS

bulky to store

Binders can take up a lot of shelf space and be very heavy.

can be expensive

The larger binders can be costly.

4.  Self-bound Notebooks

PROS

professional looking results

It’s so rewarding to bind your own work into a fancy looking, bound notebook.

CONS

initial investment

Binding machines, like Pro-click, cost around $50.

Based on all the pros and cons, my top choice is a three ring binder. Although they are admittedly bulky, they are durable and versatile.

What about you? What are your favorite types of notebooks? Do you use one type or mix it up? How do you decide what style of notebook to use? I’d love to hear your feedback.

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