Notebooking Spotlight: Julie

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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 Julie in the spotlight.

Julie blogs about homeschooling her two daughters at Butterflies and Barefoot Lasses.

Julie, when did you start notebooking?

We started notebooking 2 years ago when the girls were only 6 and 5 and we had been homeschooling for a year.

How did you first learn of notebooking and implement it?

I actually learned from Jimmie’s lens on Squidoo. Since the girls were so young, I cut out a lot of premade lapbook components and graphics like the My Father’s Dragon lapbook  for them to paste into our notebooks. Many of the items were manipulatives.

What about now?

We use notebooking mostly for history, but I’m trying to break into science too. I use many different ideas that I’ve compiled from surfing the Internet, including photos of activities, premade notebooking pages, child-led notebooking pages, coloring pages, pockets, free printables, and lapbook components. See a recent blog post for some examples of what our notebooking pages look like.

Julie, what is your favorite thing about notebooking?

Notebooking helps to tie things together. The literature-based style of study which we use doesn’t follow a tidy and neat progression, but notebooking helps to tie it all together.

What is your greatest obstacle or difficulty in notebooking?

I find that organizing my notebooking resources is a trouble sopt.  I have folders upon folders of great notebooking pages and printables that I have found. Although they are organized, many of them are forgotten because I didn’t print them at the right time in our studies.

What makes your notebooks unique?

We use more than strict notebooking pages. The girls adore 3D components and things they can manipulate while perusing their notebooks. I like to have maps, photos, and pockets with pictures of the things we studied. Sometimes my girls like to go freestyle with their notebooking pages, and I encourage that.

What is your best notebooking tip?

At the beginning of the year, I organize all my notebooking pages in folders on my computer. Using my grid schedule, I try to schedule the pages weekly according to what we are studying. Before that week comes up in our studies, I print off what I think we’ll use (sometimes omitting stuff here to keep things realistic) and put them in an accordian folder organized by week. With this organization method, everything is ready in the course of a busy homeschooling day.

nature journal pages

How do notebooking pages enhance learning in your homeschool?

We use notebooking pages mainly for narration for books we’ve read and for copywork. Creating the notebooking pages really helps the girls nail a summary of what we’ve been learning. Also, every time the girls put a new thing in their notebooks, they love to look through everything they have done up to that dats, and the whole notebook becomes an excellent tool for review.

How often do you use notebooking?

We notebook nearly every day, whether it be preparing lapbook components or writing or coloring. We use formal notebooking pages about 1 to 2 times a week.

How do your notebooking expectations vary for different aged children?

We have morphed to more writing this year, but in previous years I would prepare or find the text portions already typed out so the girls could paste it in instead of write.

How do your children feel about notebooking?

Our girls love it, except for the physical act of cutting out the lapbook components. Since they love flip-flapping through the finished minibooks and learn so much from them, I usually do the cutting for them.


Wow, thank you, Julie for doing this interview. I really like your organization tip. And seeing the photo of your girls’ work is very helpful.
If you use notebooking in yourhomeschool and would like to be featured at The Notebooking Fairy, please send me an email. (Under the About tab, there is a contact page.)

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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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Julie Reply

Thank you for the spotlight, Jimmie! I really love your printables and Jimmie’s Collage.

dee P Reply

I soooo understand the lack of organizing notebook pages! WOW, so many good mentors providing notebooking resources. I really appreciate the nature journal pages. Our nature journals are the best pieces of evidence that I don’t trap my kids inside and force them to do more work than even kids in the classroom 🙂 They’ll remember those times more than the times I did spelling with them. Thanks

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