Summer is the time when kids tend to slack off, especially now that school seems very distant and unrealistic for most.
Even for us homeschoolers, the current pandemic has thrown us off a bit. Yet, because we homeschool, our kids tend to lean towards their normal day schedule, even when there isn’t much to do.
This summer, we decided to keep school going. Not the entire homeschool schedule, but more of a relaxed “summer schooling” routine.
This is where notebooking comes in.
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Before I tell you how I use notebooking, let me explain to you what notebooking is.
You might already be doing it, if you use notebooks to organize your work, plan your work or school.
Notebooking is a very fun way to keep your kids engaged.
There are many ways to notebook, and either way allows your child to write their own thoughts and interest on a subject.
One of our favorite ways to notebook, is “interest lead” notebooking.
Interest lead notebooking allows kids to gain great researching skills. They can
find something out about any subject they desire. I have my kids pick a topic and write about it.
If they pick an animal, then they can write, draw, and research about animals. However, they most commonly write about princesses and castles, which leads them to research dragons, and lizards, knights, and Biblical queens. Once they get this information, they tend to write a story based off that in their same journal. See, one purpose served. Getting them to write, and to learn to research.
A good money saver for us, is having our kids use any left-over notebooks that they had for the school year, as a place to write. This depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, but it works for us!
However, when starting fresh, let your kids choose a spiral bound notebook just to get writing. To make notebooking a little extra fun, use notebooking pages, like the ones I’ve just created on Birds. It’s a Bird Unit Study that’s summer approved! It gets kids searching, writing, and aware of the many bird species outside.
We often go to the park just to get out, and we love to sit under the tress and spot out the many different birds, so that’s where this unit study was birthed. You can collect your pages in a three-ring binder, and create a bird book your family will always remember.
There are many different Unit studies available that can be used in the notebooking process, and I love to create as many as I can, they’re fun!
Once your kids have chosen their notebook, make it fun. Allow them to decorate the outside, however they want. Give them stickers, markers, pens, anything creative.
A rule of thumb for notebooking, don’t try to use them for every subject. Try to enjoy them with fun unit studies, which don’t last all year. If you are going the three-ring binder route, it’s easy to just add the page into the binder.
They can be used as a place for copy work. I might write a sentence or so for my youngsters and allow them to copy it and draw a picture after.
Free writing becomes loved with glamorized journals and notebooks. Even for boys, they can decorate the way they want too.
Notebooking is for all ages. I keep several for everything I do, especially my bible study. Make Bible study a unit of studying too! What a huge Study right? But if you break off different focuses, and use journaling pages, like the ones I’ve created above, it will allow you to Study together, with your kids, or alone as an assignment.
If you have teenagers, use the adult pages. Get a very in-depth study of the Bible, digging deeper by adding a bit of research. Take a few days or a week to really understand.
Notebooking is just that easy!
I don’t want you to forget about nature studies in notebooks, and math practice, everything you can image, in different ways you desire.
Some families even scrapbook, and this is done by using various notebooking pages, or journaling. Collect works of art, your family’s best drawings, and photos.
It’s easy to see why we love notebooking, it’s a HUGE part of our relaxed homeschool schedule. We grab them and head to the table, or outside to document our flowers.
Don’t let those kiddos do nothing this summer, get them a notebook and inspire some creativity. But let them choose, this keeps them excited.
The last and final thing, notebooking can also help you get to know your child even better. No harm in that, since they can write or draw their feelings, moods and imaginations. Studies show that people tend to write or draw how they feel.
Share and explore together. Have them do it only at a certain time of day but turn it in for a grade, or sticker.
Other ways to use notebooking:
- literature (instead of a book report)
- science experiments or research
- copy work and Bible quotations
- geography and map study
- nature studies
- historical events /current events
- mini reports
- field trips/ road trips
I hope you have enjoyed this homeschool blog. Thank you for visiting us today, God bless you!