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HOW to do Notebooking

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Before I even learned the terms "notebooking", "commonplace", or "bullet journal", I've always felt drawn to keeping a notebook, for whatever.


It seems this desire has been passed down to my children. They love drawing and copying things into spiral notebooks and composition books. Up until now, this has just been something they do in their free time, an embodiment of their love of learning.


Today, DS7 copied a diagram of the composition of the Earth and copied the paragraphs on the page pertaining to it. He did this on his own, separate from school work. He asked if he could count it as his copywork for today, and I said Absolutely!


I would like to harness this method to use for our homeschool. I want to be able to hand my child a notebook, book, and a pencil and just GO. Simple, uncomplicated, no printing or researching to slow us down.


Are there any websites or blogs that discuss HOW to notebook? I don't mind printing an occasional picture or diagram to be colored, but I don't want the main focus to be on printing pages.


Also, resources on how to integrate LA would be great.


Thank you!

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We did composition books when they were little. I just required them to draw and write. If we went to a zoo, they were to draw something that they liked or saw or learned about the next day. That was their school. They were required to write about it. How much to write or what to write about was discussed and I helped as needed Those are treasured notebooks. We did travel notebooks on trips. They glued in pieces of brochures and postcards and wrote daily.  We have kept Bible notebooks. They sketched out family trees, colored pictures in their coloring books which we then cut out and glued into the notebooks. They did copywork or summarized what we read. From the time they were little I had them draw something at museums.  We keep nature journals a bit CM-like that we take to draw in and use our field guides with when we go on a nature trail or hike.


In homeschool we have done many things. We keep 3 ring binders as our history notebooks ala WTM. When little these contained their SOTW worksheets and color sheets and projects and pictures of their projects. Sometimes they were very artistic and scrapbooky. Sometimes just a sheet of paper with writing or drawing on it.  The worksheets and maps were just 3 hole punched and put in.


In middle school those history notebooks switched to the WTM model with the tabs. 


For a separate state history notebook we have done scrapbook pages, writings and essays, brochures, etc. all together in binders in page protectors. 


For elem. science, my younger ones did just what yours did. Ala WTM we would do an experiment. They would draw a picture of the experiment and tell what they learned or copy definitions or diagrams into them. 


I have found notebooking, the more artistic the better, is a good fit for one of mine. It is worth the money for me to spend on notebooks already put together as she has gotten older. So if co-op was doing Apologia science, I sprang for the notebooking journal for her. Sure I could assign her to draw into a composition book and write a paragraph and write her definitions into it, but for some reason she is more willing to do it in the premade workbooks. (plus those had some good reading lists and other activities not in the actual textbook. One year I did the Apologia Flying Creatures notebook without the text. There was so much good in there and with the library and other books we had, we used the notebook all year just fine.) 


I have now found the Thinking Tree Do It Yourself journals and Spelling journals and these we can work all kinds of our curriculum into for her. It is perfect. It is worth the cost because it combines fun assignments and pages that I can adapt to use with our own curriculum and assign into the journal, and she loves it. She likes making it artistic and works really hard to do neat work.  They have a science one that she could use with any science curriculum that I thinking about for her next. She just loves them.


We still do composition book notebooks for some things, but we have the Thinking Tree Journals, good sketch pads for nature journals these days and for drawing, and we still have our WTM style history notebooks as laid out in the book. 


We still do a separate English curriculum, but I do a lot of copywork, handwriting practice, notetaking, or outlining, creative writing, summarizing, etc. in the separate subject journals too. I am able to pick and choose what written work they need to do daily in the grammar program because we cover a lot of it other ways. Sometimes we can just read through it and just make sure they get the concept or just do a few of the exercises. 


For my child that isn't so artsy, she just writes and only does assigned drawing. But that works fine for her. Her notebooks aren't as pretty. But I did purchase a huge set of gel pens for her this year, and that has helped. They both like the colors and make their work in the notebooks a bit better because they like the pens. That made such a difference for the one that it is worth mentioning. :) But we started just the way yours are doing. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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This is notebooking from a Charlotte Mason perspective: https://www.amazon.com/Living-Page-Keeping-Notebooks-Charlotte/dp/0615834108/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487964617&sr=1-1&keywords=the+living+page


This is a Charlotte Mason inspired Language Arts program that does notebooking of a sort that includes literature based grammar, poetry memorization, narrations, writing assignments, copywork in a commonplace book and dictation in each short lesson. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Eanglish+lessons+through+literature

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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Each day (we'll, most days) my two kids pick something they've learned about to do a notebooking page on. Occasionally we'll do a poem, scripture, or song instead. They write their narration on copywork which I help them create. They draw with colored pencils on their page. They finish by doing a watercolor wash over the whole page. Every week or so I laminate them and put them into three ring binders.

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