Notebook Construction: Readying Our Notebooks For Knowledge

During the last month we have focused our time on readying our notebooks for a successful homeschool year. When attempting any task in life you must lay the foundations for success with heartfelt preparation. A farmer must plow his fields to prepare for planting. Homeschooling through notebooking is no different.

Here are the 10 most important components for day-to-day sanity when using our notebooks during homeschool study:working on states notebook
{Picture by jimmiehomeschoolmom via Flickr}
  1. Student Schedule: It is crucial for each child, no matter the age, to learn effective time-management skills. Keeping their own schedule handy in their notebooks, as well as clearly posted in our homeschool area, helps my children (and myself) to stay focused on the goals of the day and week.
  2. Attendance Record and Notes: This form is important because it helps my kids to learn individual responsibility for their own record keeping and helps lesson my record keeping time (which is abundant enough that a could stand to loose a few minutes here and there). Each child has a copy for the year and they use it in the morning to “clock-in” and report for academic duty.
  3. Mentoring Time Calendar & Notes: When we schedule our mentoring time on a calendar, it not only insures that it takes place but also that we are working as a teacher and student team to stay focused on goals. I treasure this time with my children. Mentoring them communicates clearly that all that I choose is out of love and a hope to see them succeed as children in God’s kingdom. The mentoring time has been especially important in instructing my teenagers. This time communicates my willingness to listen to their opinions and hear their concerns.
  4. Reading Checklist: The weekly reading checklist helps my students to see quickly what they need to read on a daily basis in order to keep up with their instruction or to complete an assignment. Example: The Squeaker and Scout read three chapters in a novel, several varied selections for history and Bible. They would use this reading checklist to insure they are preparing for instruction and assignments by reading the specific texts that are laying the foundations for knowledge acquisition.
  5. Assignment Checklist: This form has helped us tremendously. The kids work from the assignment list that I prepare ahead of time. They complete work during class time, independently or at a later date . . . hint to the homeschoolers out there - this is called “homework”! Please do your kids a service and assign homework and projects that will be due at later dates. It is all part of helping them to learn real world skills. We all have some due date at one time or another, not just us bloggers! Winking smile
  6. English Reference Section: The kids have learned to collect grammar helps, spelling rules (& exceptions), vocabulary definitions, composition outlines and all other useful English study references over the years. This tool has truly helped them to become more independent in their studies and helps them confidently to complete everyday assignments . . . without constant questioning of the parental figure. SWEET!
  7. Individualized Divider Sheets & Tabs: We complete these at the beginning of the year and it helps give that personal flare of creativity to each students notebook. I let the kids loose for the afternoon with colorful paper, scrapbooking goodies, computer graphics and craft supplies. They have to complete a cover for each notebooking subject and dividers for each binder. It is messy but fun.
  8. Consistency: Daily organizing and reviewing of our notebooks is crucial to insure that we keep on track. When we are consistent with this, we are generally successful in our homeschooling journey.
  9. Patience: I have to stay focused and give LOTS of grace and mercy while my students are perfecting the art of notebooking. Essentially the goal is to teach them self-government and to make them lifelong learners. This requires much of me now in the way of patience, but promises a fruitful future with my students in home education.
  10. Determination: Staying determined is important for our family while notebooking. When the task is overwhelming, taking it in small chunks with notebooking skills helps us to succeed in almost any subject, project or assignment. The determination to stay the course of home education, in general, is one that requires consistent prayer, petitioning and total dependence on the Lord.
Don’t forget about Jimmie’s fabulous eBook! This will help you start your own notebooking adventures.
Happy Homeschool Planning!

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  1. That's pretty much how we do it, except for the homework. We love notebooking! Even the almost-5 year old's excited about it for kindergarten next month.

    1. I love to see the sense of accomplishment that each of my children, no matter the age, experience with notebooking. It is an amazing process! Have a super notebooking week Eddie!


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