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Homeschooling Notebooking

Updated on May 6, 2014

What Is Notebooking?

Homeschool notebooking is a popular way for students to create a special notebook that includes all of their research on a particular subject. These notebooks contain all of the details from a research project, including photos, news clippings, Internet research and book lists. The scope of the project is only limited by the age of the student and the amount of time devoted to each subject. Many homeschool students start a notebook for a subject that will last the entire school year, while others will create one that is completed within a specific time period, such as a semester.

The purpose of creating the notebooks is to help children learn how to do research and to develop reading skills using the various media available to them. 

Child Notebooking

Children of all ages can have fun with notebooking.
Children of all ages can have fun with notebooking.

Notebooking Ideas

Since notebooking can be done on just about any subject your child can imagine, coming up with ideas is relatively easy. Children can self-direct the subject matter, or they can be given suggestions to get them started.

Some basic notebooking ideas include:

4-H projects - pets, science, forestry, journalism, photography and bird watching

Science - rocks and gemstones, oceanography, the metamorphosis of a butterfly, spiders, dinosaurs

Literature - fiction, non-fiction, Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, favorite authors, science fiction

History - Civil War, space shuttle, presidents, Middle Ages, famous explorers

Collecting - teddy bears, stamps, U.S. coins, toy trains


Getting Started Notebooking

Notebooking can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Think of notebooking as scrapbooking with a learning purpose. The concept of journaling, as it is known in scrapbooking, will be done frequently throughout the notebooks. Students should write information as they come across it, providing information such as:

  • Book title or website address (older students may also include library location information if the item may be needed later)
  • Basic outline of the information included
  • Short synopsis of the information contained

An entry may also include the following:

  • Print out of photos from the Internet
  • Clippings from a newspaper or magazine
  • Personal photos of the subject

The purpose of notebooking is to learn more about a particular subject, locate information for research papers and to teach children how to take accurate notes. Learning how to take good notes will help them in the future as their subject matter becomes progressively difficult.

Notebooking Supplies

Notebooking doesn't have to cost a fortune; after all, it is just a book that has been created for research purposes. However, making it as neat and usable as possible is also a goal, especially if you meet with school principles or administrators to show what your homeschooling students are doing.

The basic supplies include:

  • A notebook
  • Glue sticks
  • Pens, pencils, colored pencils and sometimes crayons or markers

For more serious notebookers:

  • Notebooking kits
  • Spiral book punches
  • Special papers, like those used in scrapbooking

... the sky (and your child's creativity) are the limit!


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    dhadzs 6 years ago

    Lapbooking and notebooking are powerful and effective homeschooling learning techniques for children. Pocket Lapbooks™ Kit will make these learning methods more affordable for you to incorporate in your homeschool.

    You will no longer have to fold the folders. All folders are prefolded and come in a variety of colors. PLUS, you get cardstock as well as construction paper that comes in 28 beautiful colors. So, don't delay your child's fun-filled journey to learning. Order your kits, now! Go to:

    This is free shipping in USA area only. Buy now!

  • Gerber Ink profile image

    Charlotte Gerber 6 years ago from upstate New York

    Hi JimmieWriter - nice to "meet" you too! Good luck with your new school year - we're actually just finishing up ours since we school year 'round.

  • JimmieWriter profile image

    Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

    I'm a fellow notebooking homeschool mom. Nice to "meet" you here at Hubpages.

  • profile image

    Doodlebird 7 years ago

    I'm inspired to do a lot of notebooking next school year so the kids can be more actively involved in their education. They were most joyful about their learning when they were doing their science research projects this year.