Notebooking

What is notebooking?
Do you want to add more creativity and variety to your child's school work, beyond the typical fill-in-the-blank worksheets?  Are you tired of having your child's school work scattered all over the place and would love to have a system for creating a portfolio of your child's work?  If so, notebooking may be just the thing for you.  Notebooking is a term used for creating a portfolio or notebook of what has been learned in a particular subject area.  For some more detailed descriptions of notebooking, visit the sites referenced below.* 

How do I incorporate notebooking into our everyday homeschooling?
Different homeschooling families use notebooking in different ways.  For some children, you can hand them a blank notebook and ask them to create a notebook on a specific topic (or a topic of their choice), and they will design an amazingly creative notebook all on their own.  Other children (like mine!) need more guidance and encouragement to be able to create a notebook.  That's why I set up a simple notebooking system for my own children -- to help guide them on what to include in their notebooks.  If your child is like any of mine, this system may be just the thing for you.  (Keep in mind that this system can be used regardless of the homeschooling method you use -- be it unschooling, online schooling, curriculum-in-a-box schooling, unit study schooling, eclectic schooling, and so on.)

What is my notebooking system?
1.  Purchase a file folder sized file box for each child.

2.  Set up hanging file folders in the box, labeling them with the general subjects your child will be notebooking (e.g., Bible, Science, U.S. History, U.S. Geography, World History, World Geography, Language Arts, etc.).  Add two additional hanging file folders to the front of the subject hanging folders.  Label the front one, "Today's Assignments," and the one directly behind that, "Today's Finished Assignments."

3.  For each day you will be notebooking, fill out a separate assignment page for each notebooking subject.  Print out any applicable notebooking pages (below), and paperclip the pages to the back of the appropriate assignment page.  Place the pages in the "Today's Assignment" hanging folder.

4.  As the child finishes the day's assignments, he/she places the completed work in the "Today's Finished Assignments" hanging folder.  After school, the parent checks the child's projects and either files them in the appropriate subject hanging folder (or has the child file them), or places any unfinished or incorrect projects in the "Today's Assignments" folder (with a new assignment page noting the additional work to be done) for the child to work on the next notebooking day (or hands them back to the child to be worked on some more the same day).

5.  When appropriate (determined individually by each family), the child (or the child and parent) pulls completed projects from the subject hanging folders in order to bind them together into notebooks.  Personally, my family uses a comb binding machine for this.  You can also take the projects to an office supply store to have them professionally bound.  For a more economical binding method, you can simply place the finished work into a sturdy (e.g., sliding side-lock) report cover.                         


Notebooking Projects
(Links are for free resources, unless designated by a $.)

Please note:  You will need to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read any .PDF forms.  

Photos/Scrapbooking page
GiftPlum
Digital scrapbooking
$ Scrapbook Max
You can get a free digital scrapbook kit to be used with Scrapbook Max,
Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Paint Shop Pro at
HeartofWisdom.

Cartoon Creations
Online cartoon creators/generators
ReadWriteThink
MakeBeliefsComix
Comic strip printables
DonnaYoung

Copywork page (quotes, related Bible verses, dictation, etc.)
Decorative journal paper
Activityvillage
TeacherPrintables
Plain lined paper
Activityvillage
Paperprintout

Map
Outline maps of the world
WorldAtlas

Sketch/Drawing
Sketch paper
Software
$ Smartdraw
Due to the cost of this software, I only recommend purchasing it if
Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering it at a significantly reduced price.
(They have offered it in the past, so check to see if they are now.)

Diagram
Sketch paper
Software
$ Smartdraw (see above note)

Graph
Graph paper
Activityvillage
Printfreegraphpaper
Paperprintout
Mathbits
Waterproof-Paper
Software
$ Smartdraw (see above note)

Brochure
Software
Microsoft Word
OpenOffice
$ Smartdraw (see above note)

Mini Poster
Sketch paper
Software
Microsoft Word
OpenOffice
$ Smartdraw (see above note)

Science Lab Reports
Dissection
GuestHollow
Experiment
GuestHollow
Microscope
GuestHollow

Timeline
Teach-nology.com
Software
$ Timeliner XE
Before purchasing this software, check to see if Homeschool Buyers Co-op
is currently offering it at a reduced price.  If not, check the publisher's site
to see if there is a current sale (they have been known to do that).

Formal Writing
Sentences
Paragraphs
Essays
Outlines

Creative & Journal Writing (stories, songs, poems, reflections, etc.)
Decorative journal paper
Activityvillage
TeacherPrintables
Plain lined paper
Activityvillage
Paperprintout
Clipart
DiscoveryEducation

Book Report
ABC Teach

Biography Forms and Graphics
General
4HimKids
Inventor
Teach-nology
Explorer
4HimKids

Foldable (like those used in lapbooking)
Homeschool Helper

Worksheet/Activity Page
Pages specific to your curriculum
Puzzles
Puzzlemaker at Discovery Education

Test/Quiz
Pages specific to your curriculum
Test Generators
EasyTestMaker

Chapter review/Study page
Pages specific to your curriculum
Bible
Chapter Study Notebook Page
Walking the Way of Wisdom Notebook Pages

Additional Language Arts Pages
Reading Log
Countryclipart
Activityvillage
4HimKids
Vocabulary
Lapbooking template
Worksheet
Grammar
KISS Grammar
Penmanship
$ Startwrite
Spelling
Worksheet

Spelling Hints:
Does your child need extra help studying spelling words?
  Try SpellingCity or $ Spelling Made Simple.
  Have your child keep a personal dictionary with his/her spelling words and
  store it in his/her file box.
Does your child struggle with spelling?
  Try Bonnie Terry's $ Making Spelling Sense and Making Spelling Sense II.

Do you want to do math notebooking?
Check out http://www.squidoo.com/math-notebooking and Mild-Mannered Math No More by Cheryl Bastarache.

Additional Notebooking Pages
OklahomaHomeschool
NotebookingPages
Highland Heritage
HomeschoolwithIndexCards
DonnaYoung
ABC Teach
4HimKids
GuestHollow

$ HoldThatThought





About Notebooking
http://www.squidoo.com/math-notebooking
http://highland.hitcho.com.au/notebooking.htm
http://www.ignitethefire.com/fuel.html
http://homehearts.com/teaching-toolbox/notebooking/
http://www.homeschooltimes.com/ezine/artiicles/Binderized.html