For those of you who are new to homeschooling and looking into different methods to use in your homeschool, you may be considering notebooking. If so, I wanted to put together a post of questions that are often asked by those looking into notebooking for the first time. If your questions aren’t answered in this post, please feel free to add them to the comment area.
What is Notebooking?
I’ve answered this a couple times in other posts, so I’m just going to link you those below :)
What can I add to our notebooks?
You can add any subject or topic or method of learning you can think of to your notebooks. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started…
- nature journals
- scripture study
- writing assignments
Some notebooking families, like our family, enjoy adding mini-books to our notebooks. Below are illustrations of two styles of notebooking pages. The first is a traditional type of notebooking page that you might print from the internet or one you might create yourself and the second is filled with mini-books. Both allow your child to share their knowledge about a particular idea, just in different formats.
Where do I find the resources I need to add to my notebooking pages?
Most of the resources you’d use, you come in contact every day.
- the internet is a great resource
- your local library
- field trips
- nature (Pinterest board)
- your curriculum – most curriculum goes along well with notebooking
- literature you are reading with your children
The list goes on and on. There are so many learning resources all around us and many can be added to a notebook. Add a comment with your ideas.
What do I need to get started?
The basics would include the following:
- A three ring binder with page dividers or several binders, one for each subject.
- pens or pencils
- optional: clear page protectors, colored pencils, markers, paints, and/or crayons, colored paper, scissors, glue
If you want to get really elaborate you could pick up stickers, stencils, or any scrapbooking type of embellishment. But honestly, these things aren’t necessary and sometimes become distractions from learning.
For extra “perks”, but in no way necessary, you might consider the following:
- Some homeschoolers have invested in binding machines such as the ProClick. I purchased mine from Amazon for about $50 years ago. They have gone up in price since then. I have found it to be a very good investment. The spines for the ProClick open and close which allows my children to continue to add to there notebooks.
- A laminator is also a nice investment. We use ours to cover some of the pages in the kids’ books as well as their cover pages. I use the Scotch Thermal Laminator and have been very happy with it.
- I also like having a labeler. I use this to label all the spines of our binders, the dividers in our binders and it’s just a nice thing to have for our home for organizing just about anything.
How do I organize our notebooks?
We’ve used many methods of organizing our notebooks over the years. Some years we used the Proclick and the kids had a notebook for each subject. Other years we had one binder for each child divided into subjects and added their notebooking pages that way. The last method we used and my favorite was to have a binder for each subject for each child. If I know I wanted to create a book using the Proclick later, we’d put the pages in either page protectors or in sleeves, adding the newest page to the back of the stack. Once we finished our school year, we’d bind their books.
If you have a large family, like I do, you will have a lot of notebooks after a few years. I’ve found the easiest way for us to store all the binders is to move each child’s work for one or two years into one large binder. I don’t mind this once we aren’t using the binders anymore for every day and just for storing. However, binders are bulky and take up a lot of space, so this isn’t a good option for everyone. This is another time the Proclick is a nice option. Using the Proclick will condense the pages into a more manageable size. I recommend you use card stock for both the front and back covers and laminate them, if possible. This will make the notebooks more sturdy and they will stand better on the book shelf.
If there are other questions you have about getting started, please feel free to leave them in the comments.