What would you say the most versatile homeschool tool is? One of the most adaptable, use-it-anywhere tools has to be the notebooking page. This set of free blank notebooking page templates is a great way to get started.
We’ve been homeschooling for 17 years now. WOW, time flies when you’re having FUN. It hasn’t always been fun though. When my oldest hit 4th grade, I wanted to quit homeschooling.
Worksheets and tests had her in tears. I knew she was bright, but why couldn’t my creative kid answer questions on worksheets?
Then I discovered NOTEBOOKING. It completely transformed our homeschool!
We were using The Mystery of History, and she loved it. I loved it. We ditched the worksheets and all the quizzes and tests and broke out some blank notebook pages. I asked her to summarize what we had just read through written narration. Even just typing this out brings tears to my eyes!
She was able to thoroughly tell me what she had learned in her OWN words. I almost collapsed with thankfulness and exhaustion from trying SO HARD to make homeschooling work.
It turns out she WAS learning all she needed to know, but the worksheets and tests gave her anxiety and made her freeze up.
What is Notebooking?
Notebooking can be a blank notebook, like we used at first, or it can be open-ended questions that prompt a written response.
Notebooking can also be sketching and drawing, labeling, and diagramming – all on the same page!
Notebooking is PERFECT for a creative kid. It gives them space to show what they know.
Using Notebooking for Multi-Subjects
I started making blank notebook templates for her to use with as many subjects as possible, basically everything but math and language arts.
I eventually got a bit more creative and started customizing notebooking pages for individual books, adding in question prompts that gave my daughter space to write her responses and draw and sketch pictures from the books we read.
This allowed me to turn ANY BOOK into a “curriculum.” When my youngest was obsessed with weather, I created our very first Notebook Companion for Master Books.
It was a huge hit – so they gave us permission to create and sell Notebook Companions for the entire Wonders of Creation science series.
Our oldest graduated our homeschool in 2018, but my love for notebooking has only grown. We’ve since partnered with several publishers to create Notebook Companions for popular books that homeschoolers love.
Notebooking Companions for popular books:
How to Use Blank Notebooking Pages:
Here are ten fun ways you can try notebooking in your homeschool!
1.) Have your child write a final draft of a paper on them. Let them illustrate the boxes with drawings, magazine cut-outs, etc. on the notebooking pages.
2.) Attach samples from nature walks to the pages, write about the walk, and cover the page with a protective sleeve.
3.) Attach a swatch from a sewing project and write about the project or draw a picture of the finished piece.
4.) Turn them into a newspaper-style project and have students write and illustrate articles on any number of topics.
5.) Write a research question on the top of each notebooking page and have the child record what they discover.
6.) Write a vocabulary word on the top of the page. Have the student write the definition beneath it and then write several sentences using the word.
7.) Have your child record the steps of a science experiment and attach a photo of each step.
8.) Use the notebooking pages as a tool to help your child record key information about characters in a book or play.
9.) Ask your student to record something they learn each day on a page, creating a keepsake of your homeschooling year.
10.) Use the pages to create a detailed timeline of an event or period your student is studying in history. By recording a single date and fact per page, they can create a timeline notebook that takes them through the topic one fact at a time.
Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by her website WriteBonnieRose.com for homeschool and history curriculum, resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to check out her newest release from JourneyForth, The Hidden Village, an early reader set in India.