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help using history notebook effectively

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We're slowly getting the year in gear, and my older child has commented that we never "use" his history notebooks.  Which has been true: we just file stuff in them.  My copy of WTM suggests that, for the logic stage:

"Once a month or so, he should look back through the history notebook, review his lists of facts and outlines, and glance back through his summaries.  This will help him remember what's been studied."

I wish! or: would it really?  This is a very sweet child and a very resistant learner.  He has perfected the skill of going through the motions with the least possible energy: of reading, narrating, and then promptly forgetting the lot.  If I tell him he's supposed to be studying I'm pretty sure he'll make the effort, but am wondering if this is really how people use the notebooks or is there some other way to help the child review & retain information?  I'm wondering if I ought to give notebook-based quizzes of some sort, for example. 

Grateful for thoughts & help!

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Hmm. I have a different kind of student using a history notebook, so I'm not sure I'll be any help. But, you haven't had any replies, so I'll take a stab at it.

Depending on how you are studying history (by location or by time or a combo of both), could the "looking back" activity be:

- a timeline fill-in where you pick just the span of years you've been looking at that month and he puts what's been going on in the different locations on a new sheet just for that purpose? (Dd#3 finds this fascinating. )

- He uses his notebook to write a short composition about something that involved multiple groups studied that month, how one group differed from others or how one likely influenced others. (Religion, arts, weapon-making, math - anything) Draw conclusions, make inferences, connect the dots.

Mine uses her notebook for projects (essays about why such-and-such was a bad or good idea, cross-cultural comparisions, and the timeline activities I mentioned above). But, she's not a reluctant writer and she likes history.


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Like others, for us, it is more guided by me. I may go over and over certain timeline events when we discuss something... "so this happened in 18..., was this before or after the civil war. Who was president?" or recap past things before we go onto something new having them tell me the year that things happened for the years that I am pressing into their memories for the year. 

I also like a PP assign one bigger project a semester. If we are in co-op we have presentation nights where the kids present things they have been working on. So this is the perfect opportunity for them to choose something they have been reading on and to do the longer paper, more research, create a poster including mapwork and artwork about the subject and give a speech about it. Other times I might just assign a longer history paper, and they can choose from things they have been learning about and do further reading on it. Mine have chosen things like the religions of an area or time period or the roles of women in certain societies. We have learned some really cool things that way. 

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  • 1 month later...

Do you have the audio version? If so, on Fridays I just randomly select a track to play and then review from there. 

I also made a game for my daughter to find out three facts on...(I would look at the table of contents and find something) 

Have a visible timeline out in your school area. 

If you do the hands-on projects, take pictures of them and print them for him to write about as well. 

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