When we first started out homeschooling, I rediscovered how non-crafty I really am! Unfortunately, my artsy daughter LOVED all things crafty, decorating paper, and making art pieces out of her worksheets. It wasn’t long before I learned about lapbooking.
In the early years of homeschooling, like most new homeschoolers, I didn’t venture out of the box much. I wasn’t a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler at all. We did worksheets…and lots of them! After we incorporated lapbooking into our homeschool, we both felt a sense of accomplishment at our wonderful masterpieces. The easy to find, free lapbook templates made it appear as if I had a crafty bone in my body after all.
As my daughter got older, we moved from lapbooking to notebooking. This was a perfect match for us! So, what is notebooking exactly? Notebooking is many things, and anything you want it to be! We use it as a form of written narration for whatever subject or book she is studying. When she was a bit younger, we would glue lapbooking components to our notebooking pages to make them 3D. She also loved having a box above the text lines to sketch about what she had learned.
Now that she is headed for eighth grade, we still utilize notebooking with our Charlotte Mason style curriculum. She reads living books and will journal about what she learned. For history we have used Queen Homeschool Supplies’ “A Living History of Our World,” which actually comes with a notebooking journal! This year we are excited about the new Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science Notebooking Journal!
Notebooking is a great way to utilize written narration, dictation, picture study, poetry, outlining, journaling, and sketching. There are no limits and there is no right and wrong. It assists you in the Charlotte Mason type of schooling by being a relaxed outlet for your children to illustrate in text and drawings what they are learning!
Although notebooking and lapbooking are not necessarily Charlotte Mason inspired (I don’t want to steer you wrong if you are a die-hard, follow-the-exact-plan type of homeschooler), these methods are popular with those who enjoy living books and gentle methods of teaching and learning. Your child may love to decorate their pages, cut and paste embellishments, sketch about everything, and that is fine. As they get older, don’t expect much more than narration and doodling, though.
We love Notebookingpages.com’s Notebooking Publisher. You can create your very own notebooking and copywork pages to go with ANYTHING you are studying. You can also find a lot of free notebooking pages on just about anything through Google or Pinterest.
Do you use notebooking in your homeschool?