Using Word Banks for Notebooking

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word bank on white board

word bank for Ancient Greek architecture

If you use notebooking for narration, you realize that the assignment you are giving your children is quite complex. It’s really a writing assignment in which they have to consider organization, spelling and mechanics, and capitalization as well as the facts they are narrating.

One of the things you can do to help your child write good summaries on his notebooking pages is to discuss what the main ideas are before he even starts writing. As you talk it over, write down some key words to serve as a word bank.

For maximum benefit, have the child write the word bank. (But be sure to check it for spelling and capitalization.) However, writing the word bank for the child is also acceptable and can quicken the process to get on to the notebooking page.

As the student writes his notebooking page, the word bank serves as a reminder and helps him focus on the key ideas so nothing is left out. Word banks are also helpful with reinforcing new vocabulary. Another perk is for the weak speller; a word bank gives an easy place to check the spelling of new words and unfamiliar names.

Try a word bank this week when you implement notebooking in your homeschool and let me know how it goes for you. If you already use word banks, please share your experiences in 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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Rebecca Reply

We listen to an audio book for world history and I have found that when I have a “word bank” to set in front of my son it helps him focus and listen better. It also gives him something to DO; he loves to cross each one out when he hears it.

Amber Emory Reply

This is a great idea!!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom Reply

I love this idea! I may even use it with my high school aged son….great idea and way to incorporate vocabulary without a lot of effort.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Kristy Reply

This sounds like a marvelous idea! I have got to keep it in mind. My oldest is still not at the writing stage…but almost!

Julie Reply

Great tip! I often wondered how I will get our 2nd and 3rd graders thoughts onto that notebook page.

Crystal Reply

One thing I struggle with is knowing if I should be discussing the main ideas (“What do you think is most important about what we learned?”) with each child seperately or all three together. We have a 7th, 4th and 2nd graders. I don’t want any of them relying on the answers of one or the other for their responses. How would you handle that?

I LOVE this idea of a word bank! We start school on Monday and we’ll certainly be adding the word bank into our notebooking!

    Jimmie Quick Reply

    As the mother of an only, I am no help, Crystal!

    Rachel Reply

    (I know this is an older question but this is how I’ve handled it for others that may also be wondering.) I deal with this myself having 3 kids also. My kids do “copy” some information from each other but it also helps them remember what they may have forgotten. I try to have each of them come up with a different idea to add to the discussion.

Amber @ Classic Housewife Reply

Just found this today — adding this immediately!

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