Using Notebooking with My {Gasp!} Kindergartner


The concept of Notebooking is very new to me this school year.  While I had heard of the method, I had my doubts that it would be a good fit for our homeschool.  My son detests the physical act of writing, so why in the world would I torture the poor boy with even more of it?!

And using notebooking for my 5-year-old Kindergartner?  I would have thought that was the most ludicrous thing ever.

Oh, but I was so misinformed.

I didn’t realize that notebooking could be about writing, but that it could also be about drawing. I didn’t understand that it’s an excellent way for my children to re-tell what they’ve learned.

If your child can repeat back to you – or draw a picture as the case may be – they have retained that information.  I was an inexperienced homeschool mother (and still am!) and didn’t get that this concept of  narration – verbal, written, or drawn – was sufficient in proving they understood a particular subject.


Using Notebooking with My Kindergartner

If I could put myself back like the mother/teacher I was a year ago, I would have literally laughed at my current self for attempting to use notebooking with my Kindergartner.

But it’s been a hit!  She loves it!

We use Horizons Phonics to teach letter sounds and reading and it is very heavily worksheet-based.  Since my daughter isn’t reading at all yet, we go through her entire day’s lesson together, line-by-line.  She loves her daily phonics worksheets and literally cannot wait until it’s her one-on-one time during school.

Despite her love for her current Kindergarten routine, my daughter jumped at the idea of using Alphabet Notebooking Pages.

Interestingly enough, she didn’t perceive the notebooking pages to be school-like at all.  She thought it was a new craft I was introducing and anything of the crafty sort is right up her alley.


I purchased a large grab bag of letter tiles from a sale bin at Michael’s.  Her “assignment” was to sort through the letters and find all of the h’s.  Then she had to glue them on the letters on her notebooking page.  You’ll see her version of that assignment in the top photo.

Her other assignment was to draw a picture of any animal she could think of that started with the /h/ sound.  I helped her spell it on the lines below.

And this little folding book was her favorite.  She likes little things and this was the perfect fit for one of her many bags of random items that she totes around the house.  Not to mention the fact that she could “read” her H book all by herself.  She was to draw several things that started with the /h/ sound on the left side of her page.  She chose hearts, a house, and herself (our last name is ‘Hill’ – I thought that was clever!).  She then wrote the word ‘hat’ a couple of times on the right page.

Of course these aren’t the only options.  She could have colored her h’s, glitter glued them, pasted on ‘h’ pictures…the possibilities are endless with notebooking, even in the little grades.

Being Open to New-to-Me Methods

I’m so grateful I’m a different teacher than I was a year ago.  I’m fairly certain that I would not have been so open-minded about a new-to-me type of learning.  That public school education of worksheets & drills is so ingrained in me that it’s hard to think outside of that box sometimes.  While worksheets and drills do have their place, that’s not the only type of learning and testing that exists.



What new-to-you methods are you trying with your children this year?

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  1. Kindergarten?! That just can not be right! Brinley will be following her next year! Oh it is so bittersweet to have our little ones grow up. :)

  2. We’re starting kindergarten this month, and I plan to notebook with my son just like I did with his sister. We have some great memories to look at from that time, and she was so proud of them!

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