It’s the end of school for many homeschool families, so I thought this guest post was appropriate. Debra Reed, founder of Notebooking Pages answers questions many homeschoolers have as they figure out which of the home school programs is BEST for their family.
With the beginning of a new school year, are you finding yourself swimming through mounds of worksheets, quizzes, tests, and half-finished workbooks from last year – wondering just what to do with it all?
Where does the organization begin?
What do you keep?
Where will you keep it?
How much should you, dare I say, throw away?
As you begin to tackle this heap, your brain recalls the many hours that went into creating this voluminous collection. You may start to wonder just how well spent those hours really were. You remember the great ambitions with which you started the school year and the many good intentions that fell to the wayside in order to finish this massive collection you are now faced with sorting. Finally, you conclude that if most, or perhaps all, of your children’s work is going to get tucked away somewhere never to be seen again, how much value can it possibly hold?
Does any of this sound familiar? Well, it doesn’t have to anymore!
Our family has been introduced to an ageless tool of learning that keeps us from creating these questionable mounds of paper throughout the year. There is nothing left to sort. There is nothing left to pack away. There is nothing to throw away.
Instead, another volume (or two or three or more) of our children’s prized work gets added to their personal library at the end of each year.
No more busywork. No more second-guessing if our time has been well spent. As a matter of fact, this tool has freed me from the seemingly never-ending search for the perfect curriculum! It can literally transform the way you approach your children’s education and set afire a love of learning within each child.
Spend your precious hours exploring, discovering, and capturing the knowledge that awaits you and your children each day. Make learning a journey instead of a list to be checked off at the end of the day and a pile to be sorted at the end of the year.
How do you do this? Let me introduce you to the tool that has breathed new life into our homeschooling. It’s called . . . notebooking!
Notebooking – BEST Home School Programs
Notebooking is the coined term for what one may refer to as educational journaling or scrapbooking. Essentially, the idea is to take your planned school subjects and activities as well as the areas of your child’s interests and create notebooks, compilations of created pages collected in binders.
Your child will fill his notebooks throughout the year with what he has learned about these topics. Written narrations, drawings, maps, and photographs are just a few of the items he may include. The pages of his notebooks will capture both the new knowledge he has discovered as well as his own personal reflections of what he has learned. Through the process of creating a notebook, you will likely watch him become a storyteller, a teacher, and most undoubtedly, an expert in some of the topics he studies.
Unlike some of the more traditional tools of learning, like worksheets and tests, notebooking allows your child to develop a deeper relationship with what he is learning. Instead of finding out what he doesn’t know about a topic or study, which is what a worksheet or test usually reveals, he is given an opportunity to express everything he does know.
By cutting out the busywork that is involved in some of these more traditional methods, you open a window of time and opportunity for your children to dig deeper into topics, to really get to know the people, the places, the events, the concepts, the ideas, and so on of what they are studying. Then, they take this information, digest it, and produce a notebook that tells all about what they have learned.
After following this process, there will not be that sudden “unlearning” phenomena that usually takes place after the traditional chapter or unit test. The knowledge that your child gains during his notebooking experience will stick! Most importantly this process fuels a love of learning as your child begins to discover how exciting and fun it is to learn with notebooking!
As your children become more experienced with notebooking, you will begin to see the evident benefits of this great tool. The richness of what they are learning will be apparent as their notebooks become filled to the brim with stories, pictures, maps, quotes, and photographs of the people, places, and events encountered. The depth of what they are learning will be told as new layers are added each year to certain notebooks, such as their language arts and math notebooks. The process of learning they have experienced will be unveiled as you note the ways they organize and choose the material they include for their notebooks.
You will begin to see certain notebooks take on your children’s personalities as they learn to express themselves in the variety of ways they have been gifted. It is an amazing joy to sit down with your child while they lovingly and passionately share all that they have learned through the process of creating their notebook. Their hearts and hard work have been poured into this notebook and they beam with confidence at the turn of each page.
Each year, as you take time to look back through the increasing volumes of notebooks being added to the shelves, you will see that notebooking has become an amazing “living” record of your children’s journey of learning. Instead of tossing the year’s work into a box in the back of the closet, you’ll be looking for ways to add more bookshelves to house these treasures!
So, how do you begin notebooking with your family?
(Reprinted with permission from Debra Reed, NotebookingPages.com)
Thank you Debra for awesome information to help homeschool moms get started with notebooking page templates. I’m also excited to let readers know that Debra is offering her LIFETIME memberships one last time at a discount.
That means families can join your Notebooking membership right now and get lifetime access. If you only use the templates for 7 years, that’s ONLY $10 / year.
You’ll get all Debra’s new notebooking page templates for free … you won’t pay anything else for all the templates that Debra adds to Notebooking Pages. I can’t believe she’s offering the lifetime membership at a discount one more time. If you want to grab your lifetime membership (or learn more), click here.
Question: Do you use notebooking in your homeschool? You can leave a comment by clicking here.