You may have seen our popular notebooking companions to Julia Rothman’s series of beautifully illustrated books. We have one available for each of the four titles in her series, the Nature Notebook, Farm Notebook, Ocean Notebook, and Food Notebook.
Some of our readers asked if this series can be used as a science curriculum, so I wanted to take a look at that below.
Our notebook companions use a combination of written narration, diagramming, drawing, and labeling alongside the books in the Julia Rothman series. These are publisher-approved notebook companions, and we are delighted to make them available to you. There is no prep-work involved – you simply grab your copy of the book and your notebooking journal and work at your own pace.
These notebooks are very flexible and can be adapted for younger and older children, but they are designed for grades 3-8.
Have your kids ever wondered what causes the seasons or how you can determine the age of a tree? Do they wonder why a horn is different than an antler or notice all the different birds that inhabit your neighborhood? They can discover the answers to these and many more questions with the Nature Notebook.
Do your kids know about the importance of healthy soil or the importance of composting? Are they fascinated by farm equipment or wonder what makes one breed of cow or chickens different from another? They can explore these and many other topics with the Farm Notebook.
If you’re looking for a way to introduce cultures around the world and work up an appetite at the same time, this is the answer! With the Food Notebook, kids can explore fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, dairy, snacks, seasonings, desserts, and more from around the world!
Does the world beneath the ocean’s surface intrigue your children? Do they wonder what kinds of fabulous and bizarre creatures live in the ocean and coral reefs? The Ocean Notebook takes them on an underwater adventure of discovery where they can learn all this and more.
Some questions I have received about this companion notebooking series:
Q. What grade levels will these notebooks work for?
A. Like many homeschooling resources, there is no set grade level. Kids of all ages will enjoy Nature Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Ocean Anatomy, and Food Anatomy because they are beautifully illustrated books full of interesting facts and hand-drawn illustrations. The notebook companions will work best with students in 3rd grade and up, but they are meant to be very flexible.
Q. Is this a science curriculum?
A. No, this is not a science curriculum. Many homeschooling families who enjoy unit studies and piecing their own curriculum together use our notebook companions as a springboard, diving deep into specific topics. Some have used it as a spine to create a full curriculum for elementary students by adding in additional resources. Here’s an example of how one might do so:
When you get to the section on whales in Ocean Anatomy you would use it alongside the Ocean Notebook and add in some extra books about whales, do a research paper on a specific whale type, and watch some videos for a complete study on whales.
Here are a couple additional examples of how you might use the Julia Rothman Series as a science curriculum spine with an elementary student:
Using Nature Anatomy and the Nature Notebook – In chapter one of Nature Anatomy students will learn about the earth’s rotation, layers of the earth, rocks and minerals, fossils, landforms, mountains and more.
You will use the notebook companion to journal your studies and you can expand on this chapter using printables, such as the resources listed below. All links are found in the Nature Notebook listed out by chapter.
- Rocks, Gemstones, and Minerals Cheat Sheets and Fact Cards
- Astronomy Printables
- Earth Science Printables and Resources – Archaeology, Caves & Geology
- Learning About the Layers of the Earth
- Layers and Spheres of the Earth Notebooking Journal
- Rock Terminology Copywork Notebook
- Printables and Resources on Rocks and Fossils
- Paleontology Printables and Resources
- Learn All About Volcanoes with Printables, Unit Studies and More
- Historic Volcanoes Notebooking Research Journal
In chapter one of Farm Anatomy, you will learn about the layers of the soil, the makeup of topsoil, soil texture, crop rotation, soil conservation, weather, composting, and more.
Just this one chapter brings about so many ideas on how you can expand this to really dig in (pun intended) to learn more about soil and crops. We have listed out free resources by chapter in the Farm Notebook just like we did for the Nature Notebook. Here’s some of the resources we link to in the Farm Notebook for chapter one:
- Resources to Help Kids Learn About Soil and Composting
- Composting With Kids Printables Pack
- Herb Gardening for Kids: 5 Tips to Get Them Growing
- All About Clouds Printables And Activities
- Learning About Clouds: FREE Worksheets, Printables and More
- Types of Clouds Guided Drawing
- Resources to Teach Kids About Recycling
As you go through the Food Notebook, take the opportunity to look up recipes for dishes that sound tasty or grab living books to help you learn about the countries the food is from.
If you did this throughout the book for individual topics, you could easily stretch it a full school year and your kids would learn a ton! I dare say you may even be able to use one book for the entire year if you really get creative and incorporate research and living science books.
Q. How long will this take to get through?
A. Only you can answer this question! These are self-paced notebook companions without lesson numbers. They are intended to accompany the books by Julia Rothman as you learn. You can stretch it out as I mentioned above or go through once chapter a week – it’s up to you!
Q. Do I need to buy another book to use the notebook companions?
A. Yes, our notebooks are companions to Nature Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, Ocean Anatomy, and Food Anatomy by Julia Rothman and are sold separately.
Carrie is the owner & operator of Homeschool Giveaways. She has been homeschooling for over a decade and has successfully graduated her first homeschooler. She has two girls and works side by side at home with her awesome husband. She has been saved by grace, fails daily, but continues to strive toward the prize of the high calling of being a daughter of the Most High God.
Stay on Track With an Overall Yearly Plan
As a busy working homeschool mom, I know how important it is to plan ahead. Using an overall yearly
Easy Science Experiments for Learning About Biology
Science experiments are a great way to help science to come alive for your children. Hands-on activi
FREE Cut & Paste Fun with Fairy Tales
I think there is something in every child that is drawn to fairy tales. Your kids may imagine themse
Kitchen Science Fun for Your Littlest Learners
There is so much that your kids can learn about science right in the kitchen! Using everyday items,
FREE Resources for Learning About Smelling and Tasting
Are you learning about the five senses in your homeschool? Smelling and Tasting are two of the five
FREE Vocabulary Copywork for Learning About Cowboys
It doesn't take long when studying American history to encounter cowboys. They are a key part of our
Free Resources for Learning About the Tuskegee Airmen
Have your children ever heard of the Tuskegee Airmen? These free resources for learning about the Tu