Notebooking Spotlight: Daisy

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Notebooking Spotlight at The Notebooking Fairy

(photo credit by Carmela Nava)
In the Notebooking Spotlight, we feature homeschool moms who use notebooking with their children.

Today we have Daisy in the spotlight.

Daisy blogs about homeschooling her children at I’m Nobody! Who are You?  Her son “Dragonfly” is 9; her daughter “Buttercup” is 12.

Daisy's son (9) and daughter (12) with their notebooks

When did you start notebooking?

Beautiful Feet’s American History Primary Guide introduced a very green homeschool mom and her seven year old second grade daughter to the world of notebooking. It was our first year homeschooling.

How did you first implement notebooking and how do you use it now?

At first I bought history curricula that incorporated notebooking pages into their programs. As a new homeschooling mom it helped me plan our pacing and kept my expectations in check. I didn’t feel it necessary to stick with any one publisher, but I knew I wanted living books and notebooking pages. We used Beautiful Feet that first year and then went on to My Father’s World and Heart of Dakota. Once I gained confidence, I found it easier to create my own notebooking pages from the resources we use.

What is your favorite thing about notebooking?

My favorite thing about notebooking is the memories we’ve cataloged. My children love to get out their notebooks and review our homeschool journey for the last six years. It also gives us all the opportunity to invest creatively in our learning. It combines the hands-on activities that so many children need with rich content. There’s no busy work found in those pages.

What is your greatest obstacle or difficulty in notebooking?

The greatest obstacle or difficulty in creating my own notebooking pages is the time involved in planning out the content of the notebooking pages.

What subjects do you use notebooking for?

We have at varying times used notebooking for every subject, but the subject we notebook for every year is always history. History covers art, biographies, science history, church history, and even applicable notebook pages for historical fiction from the time period.

Daisy's 4th grader with his notebooks

What makes your notebooks unique?

I create my own pages and I tend to aim for one main notebook page for each week’s history lesson. I like for us to have one major notebook page that summarizes the week. Behind that page we file away and more specific pages we completed. This makes review especially easy as the children can just read the highlights of the week.

What are your best notebooking tips?

My biggest tip is choose one subject and just try it. Commit to notebooking for one year in one subject. You’ll be amazed at how vested your children will become in their learning. Also don’t be afraid to make your own notebook pages or involve your children in making them. I had no clue how to use Word to make notebooking pages but I fooled around with it until I found a method that worked for me.

How do notebooking pages enhance learning in your homeschool?

We use notebooking as a mean of recording our learning. I incorporate narration, outlining, copywork, biographies, book summaries, timeline work, and creative writing assignments. It acts as the glue for the many different living book resources we use for history.

What kind of notebooking pages do you use?

I primarily make my own notebooking pages for history but I will use anything that works. I’m always happy to discover a useful notebook page made by someone else. Saving time is always nice.

Do you use a combination of notebooking with lapbooking or scrapbooking?

I haven’t purchased lapbooks or scrapbooking supplies but if I stumble across something on the internet that fits what we are trying to accomplish, I’ll print it off and have the children add it to their notebooks. We’ve ever only done one lapbook. My daughter chose to do one on Ancient Greek. She loved it, but for the most part I’m more likely to take components from a lapbook and make them notebook friendly.

Daisy's 7th grade daughter with her notebooks

How often do you use notebooking?

We notebook to one degree or another every day.

How do your notebooking expectations vary for different aged children?

The notebooking pages I make for history are versatile enough to be used by both of my children (4th and 7th). The expectations differ. My 7th grader will write a narration or further research a topic whereas my 4th grader may do copywork.

How do your children feel about notebooking?

Whatever subject we use notebooking in always becomes their favorite of the year. Those notebooks are the first things to get pulled out whenever someone visits. I think Grandma and Grandpa have learned just as much about history from those notebooks as the kids have. Every time the children pull them out, we start the discussions all over again. “So do you really think the Greeks…”

What are the educational advantages of notebooking?

Children LEARN with notebooking. They don’t just regurgitate facts. They have to really synthesize the information they are learning. They also move that information into their long-term memories as they go back and read their notebooks over and over again.

What else would you like to share with the readers of The Notebooking Fairy?

I’m embarking on a new notebooking journey in the next week or so. We begin our study of inventions using God’s Design for the Physical World: Inventions and Technology. It is still in the fiddling stage but the kids are thinking secret invention notebooks of some kind. Maybe we’ll do some sketching and mirror writing a la da Vinci.

Thank you, Daisy for your great interview! I appreciate all your meaty responses and can’t wait to see those invention notebooks.

If you would like to be featured in a Spotlight post, just send me an email.

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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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Mary Reply

What I love about notebooking is the tremendous keepsake you have when it’s all said and done.

These notebooks are beautiful! I love reading your spotlights!

Amber Reply

Excellent post! Daisy has been very inspiring to me over the years, and her ideas for notebooking have really helped me get out of the norm in our textbook approach. I am looking forward to seeing how the Inventions & Technology ideas come out!

Gina Reply

Reading this interview was very helpful. I use notebooking as well and this gave me some new ideas.

Christy Reply

I loved reading about how and why you notebook, Daisy. Great post and great pics. You have some adorable kids who look very happy about the work they have created doing notebooking. Thanks for taking time out of your busy homeschool day to share with all of us.

Michelle Reply

What a wonderful spotlight of Daisy’s (and her children’s) talents.
I have admired her notebooking approach for years on her blog, and I am so impressed that she makes all of those pages herself.
Thanks for sharing!


Anna Reply

I enjoyed this interview! We’re trying to incorporate more notebooking into our day with my writing-allergic son. Loved seeing pictures of kids who enjoy looking back over their completed pages!

Lula B Reply

Thank you for sharing your notebooking process, Daisy. I have been wanting to start notebooking with my 1st and 2nd graders but haven’t really known where to begin. Your post has helped inspire me to just get started! I am still a little unsure about how to go about creating my own pages, but I guess fairly generic blank/half-lined pages will do to start.

dee p Reply

Such a good point, Daisy, about how kids learn from notebooking instead of regurgitating facts in worksheets. Narrations help all of us win! Thank you so much for all you diligence and for showing us the happy kids who will continue to use their notebooks for a long time.

Jacque Reply

I enjoyed Daisy’s blog so much and was blessed by her practical help. Her blog is now private and I can no longer access it except by invitation only. I have been trying to find a way to access her book reviews (there were some good ones and I can no longer remember them). Any ideas of how I can get ahold of her? Thank you.

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