Today’s Q & A post offers something totally new — a video! Yes, the Notebooking Fairy is now vlogging. (The basic information, in text format, is below for those of you who prefer to read rather than watch.)
Q: When using notebooking, how many binders should each child have?
Do you combine all the year’s subjects into one binder or separate them by subject into individual binders?
I have a hard time figuring out a good method for keeping our unit studies and the accompanying activities all together.
A: Start with three to four binders — one for each of the main subjects.
I can tell you what has worked for our homeschool. Try it out and see if it works for you too.
In the past, I have discussed choosing different types of notebooks. Although we use a combination of all types at different times, our favorite by far are three ring binders because they are so versatile. Therefore, I recommend you start with several three ring binders, each at least one inch thick (but as large as three inches thick).
With four binders, you can cover these major areas:
- language arts
If you choose to condense that down to just threebinders, you can combine math and science into one notebook. Most people begin notebooking their history lessons, so it tends to become a very thick notebook over time. Consider buying one 3 inch notebook for history and two or three 1 inch notebooks for your other subjects.
Each child needs his own notebooks, so if you have three notebooking students, you will need 9-12 notebooks total. If you already have some notebooks in your school supply stash, use what you have on hand. If buying 12 notebooks is a burden, then start with just one or two per child, and invest in new, larger notebooks when you fill up the ones you have.
There are no rules with notebooking, so there are no clear cut answers to the question of how many binders a child should have. I encourage you to try different set ups until you find what works for you.
However, organizing pages in a logical order is one of the educational benefits of notebooking. If you stick all your notebooking pages in a single notebook in a haphazard way, you will be missing out on teaching practical organization skills. Encourage your children to make good choices about how to order their notebook pages.
Let me know here in a comment how many notebooks work for your family.