Notebooking for High Schoolers
Using Notebook Pages in High School - Some Ideas to Inspire
Homeschooling for High Schoolers? Need a fresh idea? Notebooking! This flexible method of documenting learning is a great tool for high schoolers. This lens will help you glean some ideas from our experiences using premade and custom made notebook pages in high school subjects. These are more than fill in the blanks exercises and each page will give your child a great way to document their learning in a way that is meaningful to them.
We use notebook pages as a follow-up to our Charlotte Mason Style homeschooling and they are perfect for using with Tapestry of Grace homeschool plans. It gives us another tool to use to encourage writing and an attractive way to record our narrations that have become a part of our everyday homeschooling life.
There are plenty of pre-made notebooking pages that are appropriate for high school age students. The good news is that once you invest in the pages you have started to build a library of topics and styles to choose from year to year. I am pretty sure that I purchased our history set three years ago and we are still using it even in our high school years. Watch for great deals from CurrClick.com and NotebookingPages.com because they offer special deals a few times a year.
If you are new to notebooking, there are a couple of links listed for you to find out how to get started as well. One page at a time your children will find they get better and better at notebooking.
Notebooking is a flexible tool that you can use with high school age students. Personalized learning with their own words, sketches, and ideas can all be organized in a way that makes sense to them.
How Do I Remember to Actually Do the Notebooking Pages?
One tip I have for making sure you remember to use your notebooking pages is to print out the table of contents once you receive your download. I have been known to download a set of pages and then forget that they are on my computer. Printing out the table of contents gives me a visual reminder of what I have available.
I slip them into a clear sheet protector and put them into my subject planner binder. On Monday mornings when we have our Tapestry of Grace planning meeting and we are planning our science for the week, I check for notebook pages that might apply to our week's study. I then print out the pages and my boys insert them into their weekly work. Many times we will forget to check the lists and will miss a great notebooking page opportunity.
Decide on Notebook Topics
At the beginning of each school year I sit down to decide which subjects we will need notebook pages for as we work through our courses. This is a step you will use even if you don't use Tapestry of Grace. Some subjects we keep notebook pages for include the following: History, Biographies, Literature/Authors/Literary Terms, Geography, Artists/Composers, Presidents, Timeline, Bible/Religions, Government. Since we do not have quizzes at all and very few tests in our high school courses, I use the notebook pages as a personalized record of each boys' work each term
I wrote about high school notebooking and how my son picks many of his own topics on my blog: Notebooking on the Fly.
High School History Notebooking
One subject that I use notebooking pages for on a regular basis is history. History seems to lend itself to a good notebook page with a map, a scene from history, or a portrait of a historical figure. These are the pages where I let the boys record their summary of a daily reading, a short biography of an important person, the results of a research point that came up during their daily reading, or anything else they feel is worthy of remembering from their study of history. We do not use quizzes in our homeschool, but I can tell by reading their notebook pages whether they are gaining a real understanding of the material we cover. I highly recommend the Ancient Times Notebooking Pages from NotebookingPages.com. Click the link below to see samples and a table of contents.
We also have started using the Book of Centuries pages for our history timeline and narration notebooking. Don't miss this excellent set of pages from NotebookingPages.com
I also use the History Scholar sets of notebooking pages every week with my boys for history, literature, world religions, and their blank pages at the end of every set. Click the notebook page below or there is a link further down the page as well.
We also have the Geo-Scribe pages on hand to pull up for current events or to go along with our history plans.
Timeline and History Pages From Notebooking.com
Notebook Examples - Click the images to see them larger and to read the captions.Click thumbnail to view full-size
End of the Year Organization
What do you do with all those notebook pages?
You can read how I organize our binders at the end of the year on my Harmony Art Mom blog.
Modern History Notebook Pages-History Scholar and Geo Scribe
World Religions Set-History Scholar
Narration and Notebook Pages
In high school you can use notebook pages to record a variety of types of narration. Words, quotes, sketches, poetry, and so much more give you an insight into what your child is learning...much more so than a quiz or test. Click over to read my blog entry Narration in High School Using Variety
Ancient History Notebook Pages
High School Literature with Notebooking Pages
Notebook pages give us a great place to put down all of our thoughts, quotes, and summaries as we work through our weekly literature assignments. We don't worksheets or preplanned questions with our literature using the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling so notebook pages are a great way to organize points we want to share at the end of the week.
My boys also use the notebook pages to record special quotes and for writing short biographies of the authors we study. These become personal records of what they thought were important points or things that they thought were interesting about their reading. Occasionally I will give them a literary term to focus on during their reading and they use notebook pages to record the examples from their reading.
We use these for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and our Shakespeare reading assignments.
Government Notebook Pages-History Scholar
Quotes Recorded On Notebook Pages
Notebook Pages Can Lead to Formal Essays
Going From Notebook Pages to an Essay
Simple Steps for High Schoolers
Using notebook pages as a way to gather information for more formal essays makes writing much easier. As the student reads their text or source material, they sit with pencil and notebook page to note the main ideas and thoughts from the material. Quotes can be written on the notebook page as well, noting the page and source. Notes are written in the student's own words and will become the basic outline for a more formal essay. If you are familiar with using the IEW system of writing, your student can use the notebook page to write their key work outline.
Notebook pages are a tool to gather material from more than one source or topic. Simply make a separate notebook page for each source. For example, if your student is going to write a formal five paragraph essay on Greek Thinkers, keep one notebook page for each person they will feature. Each notebook page will then become the basis for one paragraph in the essay.
Read more about the step by step method that we use in our homeschool: How to Use Notebook Pages to Write More Formal Essays using the Institute for Excellence in Writing System.
High School Science with Notebook Pages
Science is a great place for adding in some notebook work for high schoolers. We use notebook pages for lab write-ups with sketches and notes and for our extra reading in biographies and related topics. This year we are using notebook pages to record our work with the periodic table, creating notebook pages about the elements.
We also have used notebook pages in our biology work for notes, summaries, labs, and nature journal records.
When you are finished, you have a complete record of your work with personal flavor. This is much more meaningful than a stack of worksheets and questions and answers.
Science Labs Go On Notebook Pages With Notes
High School Art Appreciation with Notebook Pages
Art appreciation is such a personal process and keeping notebook pages for individual artists as well as their artwork is a wonderful record of your study. In our home, art appreciation is a seamless study from year to year following a chronological study of art history. Notebook pages are added to the binders every year and now that my one son is a twelfth grader, his binder is full of memories and inspirations that he has collected throughout his high school years.
High School Music Appreciation
Completing a notebook page is an easy way to follow up composer study. We use the pages to record a short biography, a list of pieces we listened to over the course of our study, and then also to have a place to narrate the emotions that the composer's music brings up inside us. It is a living record of our study and not just dry facts.
Notebooking Pages for Visual-Spatial Learners
Some Kids Just Need to Doodle
One more thought about notebooking pages in general. My boys are big time doodlers. They doodle as they work on their math, they doodle in their science notebook, and they doodle just for fun. Notebooking pages give them a place to doodle, color in images or titles, and to make their own sketches as a way of narration. I like to encourage their creative outlets as much as I can since it seems to make them more balanced and happy students.
I keep a few sets of colored pencils and a set of thin Crayola markers within reach of our workspace. We organize our notebooking pages into binders. We have used subject binders for many, many years and it works well with our style of homeschooling. Binders with tabs provide a great way to store all those pages until you are ready to bind them up at the end of the year.
My Favorite Source for Notebook Pages
Free Pages in Every Category
The great part about using a pre-made set is that you can easily pull up the pages and print whatever you need as you go along. Sure I could make my own pages, but sometimes a completed notebook page would not happen if the pre-made pages were not sitting in a folder on my desktop. I definitely save time and use more pages when I have them all ready to print.
Also you can sign up to receive the CurrClick newsletter to find out about their free and very low cost notebook page deals as they become available.
Note: I am affiliate for both NotebookingPages.com and CurrClick and if you click and purchase, I will receive a very small commission. I always recommend products I have actually used in my homeschool and would never suggest you purchase something if I don't personally recommend it.
Sources for Free Notebook Pages - Free Resources
- DonnaYoung.Org Free Lab Sheets for Science Notebooks
A nice variety of lab sheets to include in your science notebook.
- Free Notebook Pages - Famous People
Both pre-titled and blank notebook pages to use with your history lessons or literature.
- Free Notebook Pages - History Timelines
Several styles of free timelines and notebook pages for your high school history study.
- Notebooking Fairy
This is a newer site and Jimmie is building up quite a few notebooking pages you can use for high school. She does simple pages that I am going to be using with my boys as the year goes on.
- Practical Pages Notebook Pages
A fellow homeschooling mom has generously offered up numerous notebook pages that could be used with high school age students.
- My Freebies!
You will find many notebook pages available along with my freebies!
- Betsy Stout's Homeschool Launch Page
This is a treasure trove if you are studying the topics she offers. There is a little of everything at this link.
- Samutsari's Homeschool Launch Page
Dig around here and will be sure to find lots of notebook pages to use in your high school studies.