Top Ten Questions About Notebooking

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1. What is notebooking?

What a great question! I define notebooking this way.

to notebook: (verb) to put written ideas, drawn or printed images, and other relevant things into a notebook as a record of learning; often used in homeschool.

For a more in-depth answer, read What is Notebooking?, an article I wrote at Wizzley.

2. Is notebooking a curriculum?

No. Notebooking is a method of learning. A curriculum tells you what to teach. Notebooking gives you tips for how to teach.

Notebooking works with any curriculum, though.

3. What do I need for notebooking?

  • paper
  • a hole punch
  • binders
  • pens, pencils, and markers
  • glue or tape
  • scissors

Isn’t that simple? You already have all of that, don’t you? Then you are ready to notebook!

4. How can I get my child who hates writing to make notebook pages?

Ah, the Holy Grail of homeschooling. How to motivate reluctant writers. Here’s a secret. There is no magic wand for kids who hate writing. 

There are strategies, but no single answer to the question. Try every strategy you can get your hands on, and then cycle through them again. You never know what might work on which day.

  • digital notebooking
  • use more drawings
  • use graphic organizers that show relationships with visuals versus words
  • talk it out while recording, and then transcribe what was said
  • let your child choose the topic (Yes, even if it is legos, again.)

5. How can I use notebooking in math?

Instead of doing math the traditional way with numbers, consider alternate ways to express the same concepts:

  • words
  • diagrams
  • graphic organizers
  • illustrations

6. How should I grade notebooking pages?

Short answer: don’t. You don’t need to grade them at all. But if you truly must, then I would use a rubric that scores them on a rank of say 1 to 3 or 1 to 6.

7. What about errors on the notebooking pages?

This is a tricky topic because you can go too far at both extreme. I’ve written two posts that give balance between accepting sloppy work at one extreme and being a grammar nazi at the other.

8. How do I get started with notebooking?

You need to buy my eBook Notebooking Success! But actually, if you visit the post I wrote at my friend Mary’s blog, you will see my step by step answer to this question:  Getting Started with Notebooking.

9. How do you make your pages?

I use Microsoft Publisher to make my pages, but you can use any word processing or publishing software. I have created a tutorial and Betsy has screencast tutorials as well.

10. Who is the Notebooking Fairy and is your daughter’s name really Sprite?

The Notebooking Fairy is Jimmie. And my daughter’s name is not really Sprite. That is her online name. Her real name is Emma.

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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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Fatcat Reply

Something we do for my son who is dysgraphic and hates to write is to have him look it up, print it out and cut out the parts he wants to use and paste it on. With a drawing or a minibook, this turns out okay.

monique Reply

I seem to have a hard time keeping notebooks or lapbooks looking presentable through the year. Any advice? Pages, especially those with neat little books tend to look a mess in a hurry.

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