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What Does Notebooking Look Like?
You've heard about notebooking. You know it's a flexible tool that can be used with most any curriculum or homeschooling style. You've read a bit about it, but you're still not quite sure.
- What is notebooking?
- What does it actually look like, and how does it work?
- What can you put inside a notebook?
- What subjects can you use with notebooking?
- Do you need special notebooking pages to create notebooks?
You've landed on the right page. This Notebooking Exhibit has lots of photos and explanations to help you understand notebooking. If you still have questions, feel free to ask in the guestbook at the bottom of the page.
Notebooking Exhibit #1 - the standard notebooking page
This is what many people think of when they hear "notebooking page."
In fact, this is what I first think of as well: a black and white page with lots of lines and a graphic or two. The student writes what he learned on the lines and may color in the graphics or draw his own.
These kinds of notebooking pages are easy to find for free online. You can also buy sets of themed notebooking pages.
Free Online Notebooking Pages
- The Notebooking Fairy offers free printable notebooking pages plus how-tos and tips.
- Homeschool Launch is a place where homeschool parents can upload files they have created. This link will take you to all files tagged "notebooking."
- Teacher Printables (look for writing paper, border paper, and background paper)
- Christian Home School Hub's Notebooking Downloads
Here is a Thomas Jefferson page that I created.
Commercial Notebooking Sites (that also offer freebies)
CurrClick is a great resource for finding affordable notebooking pages. Many of the publishers are ordinary homeschool moms who offer sets of pages at very minimal cost. And many of the bigger companies (like Notebooking Pages, History Scribe, and Notebooking Nook listed below) sell through CurrClick as well.
Notebooking Pages offer individual sets as well as a lifetime treasury membership.
Exhibit #2 - a notebook page with drawings
Another type of notebooking page would have text already printed on the page. The student illustrates the page with his own drawings. The examples given are from Winter Promise American Story 1 curriculum. This style of notebooking is especially good for younger students for whom writing is a real chore.
History Scribe pages (from Westvon Products) have room for both pictures and text. In fact, all they have at top is a topic and short introductory blurb. You can see the example below. I printed it onto colored paper for more variety.
Currclick has the best prices on History Scribe sets. The best deals are the bundles.
Exhibit #3 - a notebooking page with photographs
Another kind of notebooking page is one that documents a 3D craft. Most children love making paper crafts and other messy projects. But long-term storage is always an issue. A great solution is to photograph the product and put the pictures onto a notebooking page.
a notebooking page with a minibook
Sometimes you may have some elements of lapbooking in a noteboook. Here is a minibook about Zuni pots. Instead of putting it into a lapbook, we mounted it onto a piece of cardstock for our Native American Indian notebook.
Any minibook can be mounted into a notebook in this way. In fact, the entire lapbook could be put into a notebook.
Exhibit #5 - transform a 3D craft into a 2D notebooking page
Some 3D crafts can actually be reassembled to fit into a notebook. This diorama (pictured below) is a great example. After enjoying the project for a week or so, I give my daughter a piece of cardstock for mounting the craft. The now 2D images can be neatly filed away in the three ring binder.
one page printables -- maps and coloring pages
Other really easy things to add to a notebook are coloring pages and maps.
A really great coloring page site is EduPics. Most of the coloring pages there are high quality and of great educational value.
World Atlas is my favorite map site because it has almost any type of map you could want!
realia -- real things
You can use real things in your notebooks too; it will make your notebook more similar to an old fashioned scrapbook.
- feathers or hair from animals
- pictures cut from magazines
- photographs from field trips
Postcards from an Indian Village field trip.
Here are pages my daughter created after a visit to the US Mint in Philadelphia. She used postcards and coins that we got on the field trip.
Here are brochures from a Greek Festival we attended.
For mounting these things in your notebooks, you need a method that will hold things in place without damaging them and allow them to be taken in and out.
We have used
- page protectors
- clear zipper top bags
- photo corners
A "Wanted Poster" for Robin Hood.
A paragraph about Jamestown, VA.
This shows a cartoon styled diagram that my daughter drew to help us keep track of all the different names used during the American Revolution -- Torries, Whigs, Rebels, Yankees, Redcoats, etc.
What Subjects Can You Notebook?
Of course you know you can make history notebooking pages:
Reproducible Books - Perfect for Notebooking
You will find lots of easy notebooking, lapbooking, and project ideas in books in the series linked below. I also have some tips for Managing Reproducible Books like these.