Notebooking as the Lesson

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When Notebooking IS the Lesson

Generally I consider notebooking a method of narration, something that is done at the close of a lesson to restate and reinforce what was learned.

But sometimes notebooking can be the lesson itself. 

An example comes from my daughter’s science lessons. As part of her anatomy studies, she sometimes works on a page from the Kaplan Anatomy Coloring Book. Don’t let the term coloring book fool you. This resource is an advanced anatomy guide for medical students and is perfect for notebooking.

Each page has a diagram and an explanatory key that tells you what to label on the diagram. Sometimes the directions even include specific colors to use.  Generally Sprite has to reference her other science books to correctly fill in the diagrams. For the most part, one of these pages becomes the day’s science lesson.

anatomy-circulatory-system notes

To complete each page, she has to work through several tasks:

  • carefully read the explanation on the coloring page
  • look up key words
  • search other diagrams in various books
  • use trial and error

By the time the page is correct, she has searched for and learned quite a bit of anatomy. (And all without a single textbook.) With the Kaplan Anatomy Coloring Book, the notebooking page is the lesson.

Have you ever used a notebooking page as the main vehicle of the material your child is learning? Maybe with a  research assignment? I’d love to know if a notebooking page ever becomes the lesson itself in your homeschool and what resources you use for that. Feel free to leave a comment.

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Jimmie Quick

Jimmie is now a veteran homeschool mom. Her daughter Emma is a student of the sciences at a large university in Illinois. Her guide to notebooking—Notebooking Success—guides you through notebooking: what it is; how to use it; how it fits a Charlotte Mason, classical, and textbook curriculum; tips for getting the most educational value from it; and much more. It comes bundled with several bonuses, including a small set of generic notebooking pages that can be used with any topic.

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Corrie Reply

I’m still confused as to what a notebook is used for. How do you use it generally in home school? What is the benefit in the daily lesson? Why do you say that the subjects you note book on are the family favorites? How is this different from a storage place that I used in public school and college for worksheets and stuff for each class?

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