I mentioned on the Mama’s Facebook Page that we were starting something new-to-us this week:
Notebooking and Our Homeschool
I will admit that I’ve been reluctant to start Notebooking for one main reason: my oldest (7yo) is not a fan of the physical act of writing. While I push him to write a little every day, I do actively try to find activities where writing isn’t the forefront of the activity.
And even though we are just very loose Charlotte Mason-type people, Notebooking has always been in the back of my mind as something could potentially try.
I’ve read all about Notebooking and know that it has great benefits to evaluating what my children learn. I love that my kiddos get to decide what aspect of learning they want to share – not what a worksheet or multiple-choice questions decide is the “best” thing. There are so many wonderful aspects to it!
Why Notebooking is a Big Hit So Far!
This week, I decided to take the plunge into Notebooking. For the past 6 months, we’ve used lapbooks in our history curriculum and in a weather unit study we just finished up. My oldest 2 children love Lapbooks, but to keep that method fresh, I only want to use it for a few subjects.
So Notebooking seemed to be a great alternative to Lapbooks. A Notebooking Page is like a mini-lapbook. The biggest difference is that my son gets to choose what aspect of the book or material he wants to “talk” about.
For example, we’re studying the Romans right now in history and he could not be more intrigued by Roman soldiers. While he’s interested in their way of life and how we are alike/different, what he really wants to learn about are the Roman soldiers. He could study them for hours – their formations, their battle gear, their weapons, the chain of command, and on and on.
Honestly? I don’t need to evaluate him on those Roman soldiers. He knows them inside and out because he’s so interested in them. Notebooking is perfect for this since he knows the topic so well – he can work hard on the graphics portion of the Notebooking page and then I can write down everything he tells me about them. He’s only 7, so his little brain can think of his Roman soldier facts much faster than he can write them down! So I’m his scribe for activities like this.
This method works really well for him. He feels proud of his Notebooking pages – how well he’s worked on the drawing/graphics and also all of the things he remembered about the topic. I love that he feels so successful!
What Notebooking Looks Like in Our Homeschool
While we do work on a Lapbook for each of our units in history, I wanted to try a couple of Notebooking pages also. It seems like history would be an easy place to start. Our history curriculum is made up of living books that we read throughout the week. We can then choose to work on a craft related to the reading material or work on the Lapbook. Now we can also choose to add in a Notebooking Page or two.
After reading this week’s materials on the Romans, we made mosaics as our craft and worked on a couple of Lapbook pieces. Since I’m a Treasury Member at NotebookingPages.com, I found the enormous section on Romans and printed out several pages for my son to choose from. The topics available include everything from Roman roads to aqueducts to chariot racing to their general way of life. There were also multiple people of history to choose from, such as Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Nero, among many others.
As a big shocker, my son chose to work on a Roman soldier page. We copied his favorite soldier picture from one of our books, and colored it with pencils. He then added a title and named his soldier. Orally, he told me every piece of weaponry his soldier carried and how it was used. He did an excellent job!
In our next few Notebooking Pages, I’ll have him write a couple of sentences about the topic and let him practice his writing skills. While I haven’t pushed him at all with writing, he is capable and so we’re going to move forward with it, inch by inch. The idea of writing about a topic he’s excited about seems fun to him – and I love that!
So Notebooking, here we come!
Disclosure: I received a free membership to NotebookingPages.com. I did not receive any financial compensation other than this free membership. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains several affiliate links.