No one is perfect, but we certainly should have expecatations of quality work from our children’s homeschool assignments. My daughter’s recent study of Aesop is a perfect example of how the expectation for quality work plays out in notebooking assignments.
She read Aesop’s fables and this webpage about Aesop’s Fables. (To give you some reference, Sprite is in 6th grade.) I asked her to fill out this free printable Aesop notebooking page from Notebooking Nook. Before she wrote, I asked her what she should include on the notebooking page. In her answer, she left out some key ideas which I pointed out to her. I gave her some reminders such as dividing her information into paragraphs and leaving margins. She said she was ready.
But when I looked at her completed notebooking page, it was a disaster. She had some very convoluted sentences, lots of spelling and capitalization errors (in ink!), and no paragraph divisions. Back to the drawing board. I pointed out what was good about her narration and also what needed work. Pictured below is her second attempt. She attached the image from Betsy’s freebie onto cardstock.
The problem is that this page had no margins whatsoever. (See my red marks?) And all the information was jammed into one big paragraph. Not acceptable. Sprite was somewhat irritated that I made her do it yet another time. But it was worth it. The next day, she produced this final copy.
This page is not perfect. But it is good. It is acceptable. My hope is that requiring her to correct her work will create more careful work in the future.
Knowing what to require from your children’s notebooking pages can be difficult. Their writing should reflect the spelling, grammar, and mechanics lessons that they have studied. If you deliberately reminded them of a specific vocabulary word to include or some layout element (like margins), those should certainly be included.
When implementing notebooking in my homeschool, it is an organic process. The final notebooking page is often a second or even third draft. What are your expectations with notebooking? Do you ask your children to redo pages with major problems? What kinds of errors do you allow on their notebooking pages?