Notebooking Questions Answered

I hope that by reading this post (and/or listening to my podcast), you will have many of your notebooking questions answered.

Recently we have been delving deeply into the idea of notebooking as a homeschooling method of learning. This is partly because of our current project of creating some “notebooking books” that we are calling Commonplace Books. (We held a contest on the Mom Delights YouTube community and it was so much fun!).

Anyways, as I have been sharing so much on the subject, a number of questions arose from our audience. I thought it would be a good idea to take some time and answer as many of them as I could. Here goes.

Q: Can you make notebooking your curriculum?

A: Yes. How? There are so many ways! Basically, you study and experience, then record. You can choose a theme, or a book (even a textbook), or a span of time, and then learn everything you can about it and record what you are learning. More on that later…

Q: Is notebooking good for high school?

A: Absolutely! Actually, you can assign a subject and notebooking pages, then have your teen do all the research himself. This is great to prepare them for higher education (all those research papers…) as well as real life, when they will be responsible for stewarding their time and resources.

Q: How do you fit notebooking into your day?

A: You can have a “together time” (a la “morning basket”) where you sit and read and study together, then a time for free play and independent study, and finally a “table time” where you have the supplies for notebooking ready and your children work on their notebooking pages.

Q: How do you fill them in?

A: I usually allow my children to pick their own words, quotes, graphics, etc., but I have also given more specific directions. There have been times I actually wrote on a white board what I expected them to include.

Q: Do you correct the pages?

A: I rarely, rarely correct notebooking pages. First of all, I find this is discouraging, especially for young children. They honestly are already trying their best to create something wonderful, so I treat it as such.

I have found that, with consistent, regular immersion and practice, their mistakes gradually get corrected over time. Using the McGuffey’s with a Charlotte Mason approach helps tremendously, as well as Gentle Grammar and Harvey’s Grammar.

As they gain regular experience writing short, informal essays, I have them read them aloud, and they usually catch their own errors!

Q: How many should you do?

A: It depends on a number of factors, especially ability and work load.

Of course, it would be easy to go overboard with notebooking pages, which would lead to sloppy work and just as much potential for burn out as any other method.

Realistically, I think one notebooking page (of actual content, besides something like The Lesson Book and some math) is plenty, and even too much if you are looking for your child to produce some amazing content. Creating a really good notebooking page requires a lot of mental energy, and sometimes one notebooking assignment a week is plenty.

Well, I hope this has answered some of your major questions. If you have more, or some tips to share, be sure and pop those into the comments.

Meanwhile, you can learn maybe even a little bit more by listening to my podcast on this subject via these outlets:

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1 thought on “Notebooking Questions Answered”

  1. This is truly Gold! I have been so blessed by your lesson book and your gentle grammar. I am looking forward to adding this in as well! Thank you for blessing us!


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