Back to Homeschool with Notebooking

by Jimmie Lanley on August 11, 2011

It’s back to homeschool time, and I’ve been organizing my notebooking materials among other things. My notebooking resources break into three main categories, and they all need specific attention.

Paper for my notebook.

photo credit rmkoske @ Flickr

Organizing Online Resources

The Internet provides such a wealth of notebooking material that it’s easy to lose track of it.

Sandy put it well on a blog comment here at The Notebooking Fairy,

“I’d love some organizing tips, too. I have so many bookmarks I can’t keep up with them. There’s just so much out there. Then, I forget to use things and then it’s too late. That happens way too often.”

The key to bookmarks is using an online manager.  If you are using your browser to hold your bookmarks, you will find yourself quickly disorganized. Worse, if your computer crashes, you lose everything.

I’m currently using Delicious.  (It’s free!) Be sure to tag your finds very thoroughly. You can even create custom tags that match your specific curriculum and make it easy to locate resources later.

Organizing Digital Resources

When I find a great freebie online, I normally bookmark it. But if I know that I definitely will use a certain printable within a few months, I go ahead and download it to my computer as well.

To keep things organized, I’ve learned to create folders and file things as soon as I download them. I have folders for every major academic area — language arts, science, math, history, art, and music. Inside those folders are more specific folders that break down the topic even more. It takes only a few seconds to make new folders, and the payoff is huge when you’re looking for files.

CurrClickIf necessary, print screenshots of what is in the folders and add those to your Mom Notebook.

You can also print the table of contents for any purchased notebooking sets (for example from Notebookingpages.com or from CurrClick). That way you know exactly what is in the set without constantly looking back at the PDF.

Organizing Physical Resources

I like to print out blank, general purpose notebooking pages and have them handy in some sort of organizer. That way I always have a supply for my child to choose from. (You may even want to have a supply of prefolded minibooks on hand.)

Be sure to have your three hole punch, scissors, any binding machines, etc. in an accessible place so that your children can take ownership of the notebooking process.

Have you begun your school year yet? Do you have any tips for getting your notebooking materials organized? Please do share them!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Connie, the daisyhead August 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Great post! There is some very helpful organizing info here, whether you use notebooking or not. Why, oh, why have I never thought to use screen shots to remember what is on my computer?! That one is going on my to-do list. Thanks!

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Shannon August 11, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Regarding your digital media, I have a handy-dandy 16 GB flash drive / thumb drive that I backup all of my main Homeschool files on to. I backup my HS files normally once a month. If it is something expensive, I back it up right away.

You can find flash drives on sale for 1/2 price often.

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Julie August 12, 2011 at 5:14 AM

I’ve been making a table of contents of sorts. I download to my computer what I know I may be able to use. Sometimes I don’t get to them. I make a master sheet of what I have divided by categories I find helpful. History, art, etc. Then I store it in my daily binder near the week we are on, and when my schedule says to notebook (on Friday), I check to see what we’ve got.

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Nadene August 12, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Your suggestion to print out the index or table of contents of a download has been such a help. When I need a specific notebook page I can scan the titles and topics and find the exact page quickly.
I’m looking at using One Note (part of the Microsoft Office package) for an online homeschool notebook. You can create books with subjects with any amount of pages to file screenshots, urls, files and pictures etc.

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Mary August 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I appreciate all of your notebooking organization suggestions. I’m already flying by the seat of my pants! ack. I have printed general notebooking pages for science and history, and then when I want the kids to “expand” on a subject we go to the computer and look for more. You’re inspiring me to keep better track.

Thanks!

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Amanda Anderson August 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM

I’ve started using Pinterest rather than bookmarks, but i’ll check out delicious too :)

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Nikki August 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I want to check out the online organizational site you mentioned, Delicious.

Right now I have a large 3-ring binder that I store my master copies in. I can pull it out, make a copy and I’m good to go.

It’s my online resources that I need to work on the most.

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ChristyH August 17, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Late to the party but this is helpful!! Thank you.

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