Notebooking in Your Classical Homeschool
Notebooking works really well in a classical homeschool — it gives order to your learning while also allowing room for creativity and personalization. With notebooking, your children can create a beautiful record of their learning, regardless of how much writing or drawing they are interested in or capable of doing. And it incorporates many of the things classical homeschoolers are doing anyways — narrations, dictations and copywork.
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Notebooking is a great format for all ages and subject matter!
For your youngest learners, use notebooking to record their narrations for them and allow them to illustrate. You can also have them copy a sentence or two if they are able.
It’s really a format that grows as they do — eventually, they will be reading or researching their own topics and narrating or outlining independently!
Notebooking can be used for almost any subject too — history is a wonderful place to start, but don’t stop there! Use it for art appreciation, science, geography, composer study and more!
A few months ago, I created my own notebooking pages for our history studies with Story of the World which I shared with my readers. It was pretty labour intensive, but we are still using and enjoying them. Since then, I have discovered a much easier way: NotebookingPages.com.
NotebookingPages.com is a notebooking game changer for me. Making your own pages is so time-consuming! Trying to get the line spacing just right, accidentally deleting hours of work (yes, I did that!), hunting for coordinating public domain images to jazz them up. When looking for pre-made pages, I no longer have to hunt down multiple notebooking resources for each subject. Notebooking Pages has pages for all subject areas, plus copywork all on one site!
Use notebooking for simple & affordable science curriculum
Over the years I have spent A LOT on science curriculum. I’ve bought e-books, textbooks, encyclopedias, lapbooks, lab kits & notebooking resources. We’ve enjoyed many (not all!) of these products, but we could have saved a bundle by simply using our library cards, a three-ring notebook, and sticking more closely to The Well Trained Mind’s science recommendations.
Notebooking is a very simple and cost-effective way teach science to your elementary aged students. And it just so happens that it is also works with The Well Trained Mind‘s grammar stage science recommendations. I so wish I had discovered this 5 years ago when I first began plotting our homeschool path and making our curriculum choices!
There are many free, printable notebooking pages available online but a one time purchase from Notebooking Pages could still have saved me so much! The cost of their Lifetime Membership would be equivalent to spending less than $25 per year on first through fourth-grade science curriculum!
All you need to do is use science encyclopedias or library books of your choosing, read, narrate and add in additional activities as appropriate. Here is a sampling of what is available for a year of biology study:
Notebooking Pages also has a full selection of pages for use studying earth science and astronomy.
While they don’t currently have specific options for chemistry & physics, there are science experiment pages, blank pages as well as the Notebooking Publisher web-app. The web-app is where you can design your own notebooking pages – how great is that?! Here’s a short video showing some of the ways you can use the web app to create your own custom pages:
One of the things I love about the Notebooking Page’s Lifetime Membership though is that it does give you access to future notebooking pages — and there is even a place where you can submit your requests/ideas for new pages. I’ve already suggested Chemistry & Physics themed ones. In the meantime, I found some great science notebooking pages at Homeschool Helper Online, including these for chemistry & physics.
Use notebooking in every area of your homeschool!
Here are just some of the ways you can use notebooking, and Notebooking Pages in particular, in your classical homeschool:
History: Notebooking Pages has blank history pages, Book of Centuries notebooks and pages themed for Ancients, Middle Ages, Reformation/Renaissance, and Modern Times. Great for chronological history studies! If you are using Story of the World, check out my own Volume 3 and Volume 4 Notebooking Pages.
Fine Arts: Use Notebooking Pages to record learning in composer & artist study. Narrate for picture study.
Geography: Notebooking Pages has a good selection of maps, as well as country study pages.
Language Arts: Use Notebooking Pages for copywork and literature narrations. There are even Latin & Greek word study pages available!
Nature Study: Bird, plant, tree, and flower study pages are available, as well as blank nature study pages.
NotebookingPages.com is a great resource for classical homeschoolers! You can, of course, simply use plain lined paper for your notebooks. That’s what we did for years until I discovered all of the creative, pre-made options available. But I’m so glad that we changed up our notebooks — it has made a huge difference in my daughter’s enjoyment of her written work!
Notebooking Resources For Your Homeschool
Besides NotebookingPages.com, making your own, or using plain lined paper, there are many online resources, both free and paid, for notebooking pages. Here are a few to check out, but you will often have success just googling what you are looking for:
- The Notebooking Fairy – This is Jimmie Langley’s notebooking page. She’s kind of a notebooking guru and has written A LOT about notebooking.
- Jimmie’s Collage — Jimmie Langley’s main blog, it also has some notebooking pages available.
- Practical Pages – lots of free printables on this site including notebooking pages. We’ve actually used this site many times for their wonderful history-themed paper dolls!
- Notebooking Nook – another paid, membership site for notebooking pages.
- Homeschool Helper Online – this is a great site full of FREE resources for lapbooking, unit studies, and notebooking.
- Currclick – many free and paid options available here, Currclick sells products from many different sources, including NotebookingPages.com.
- Educents – Educents sells all sorts of educational products! They also have a selection of downloadable products including some notebooking pages.
If you are interested in finding out more about incorporating notebooking into your homeschool, I urge you to check out the many helpful articles and videos on the Notebooking Pages website and to take advantage of their Free Product Sampler.
This post is linked up at Trivium Tuesdays