5 Ways to Use Notebooking in Your Homeschool

5 Ways to Use Notebooking in Your Homeschool

Notebooking is one of my children's favorite ways to learn. 

We began years ago, and have been notebooking (in one way or another) for the past six years. 

Why do I love notebooking so much? 

  • It allows us to keep a TANGIBLE RECORD of student learning
  • It allows for great CREATIVITY
  • It can serve as an ASSESSMENT tool
  • It is CHILD LED -- not parent led
  • It keeps LITTLE (and big) HANDS BUSY
  • It can be done ACROSS ALL SUBJECTS

( Don't know what notebooking is all about? Getting Started With Notebooking is an excellent overview! )

*This post contains affiliate links. 

The following 5 ways to use notebooking your homeschool will hopefully inspire you and encourage you! No matter what your homeschool style or age of your children, notebooking can be an effective and fun tool to incorporate into your homeschool

Notebook by Interest Led Subject

When my kids were younger, we followed their interests quite a bit. 

One particular spring, the kids were just enamored with BIRDS. We learned everything we could about different birds, and they decided they wanted to learn about Cuckoos! 


I printed some Cuckoo Notebooking Pages (from my subscription to Notebooking Pages) and away they went. 

You can take ANY subject, find notebooking pages about that subject, do a lot of research, and then have your children document their learning with words, pictures, artifacts, and more.  The sky is the limit! 

Notebook Through Literature

We have used notebooking to work our way through pieces of literature. 

Notebooking while mom is reading aloud keeps hands busy and keeps your children engaged while listening. 

We've participated in literature fairs where we used notebooking pages as integral parts of our display boards.

One of my favorite memories is how my daughter notebooked through Calico Bush. 

We did a state study of Maine (using the beautiful 50 state notebooking pages from our Notebooking Pages membership) and included that on the literature fair display board. 

For a highly creative type like my then 9 year old daughter, getting out all of her favorite colored pencils, watercolors, and twisty crayons was BLISS. She would spend hours coloring her notebooking pages while I read aloud. 

Not only did she have a beautiful finished product, but we also made a wonderful memory!

(You might also enjoy a free notebooking download I created to go along with the Harry Potter books -- MUCH fun!)


Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Memberships

Notebook Through History

We have notebooked extensively through our favorite history curriculum, The Story of the World. 

GIANT notebooks sit in our bookshelf upstairs because we can't bear to pack them away. 

These noteooks were created as I read through the lessons in each volume of SOTW. 

To learn how we did this, you can read How We Use The Story of The World, and/or you can watch the vlog below -- and my goodness, I cannot believe this video was recorded three years ago! 

Notebook Foundations Memory Work

Now that we participate in Classical Conversations, my son has greatly enjoyed notebooking through the memory work in Foundations.

This not only helps cement the facts he is learning, but it also serves as a great review tool. 

It also keeps him busy -- and digging deeper - while I am sometimes assisting his Challenge age sister!

You can see how I create a history notebook (the summer before school starts so I'm not scrambling during the year), because my son LOVES to expand upon the history sentences. 

Notebooking is the perfect way to do that. 

Between our membership to CC Connected and Notebooking Pages, creating this notebook is very easy. 

It might also be helpful to see the notebook in action:



Create Your Own Notebooking Pages

This is something we will be pursuing during the coming school year. 

Included in every Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership is access to the Notebooking Publisher Web Application.

This AMAZING feature lets you (or your STUDENT) create their OWN notebooking pages. Not only does this allow for practice with computer skills, but it also lets your child pull resources from the internet to create their very own custom notebooking pages

Grant will be able to choose from hundreds of pre-made notebooking pages in his study of the Ancients next year -- and then type in his own information and add his own pictures.

I'm VERY excited about this! 


Notebooking Pages Birthday Sale

This once a year sales event is only good until THIS FRIDAY -- take advantage of a LIFETIME membership for just $50. 

That's a GOOD deal! 9th Birthday Sale-a-Bration

Do you see how notebooking is so VERSATILE, FUN, and PRACTICAL?

I hope so!  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below. Or, just feel free to tell me how YOU use notebooking in your homeschool! 

Homeschool Made Simple: A Resource to Inspire & Equip

Homeschool Made Simple: A Resource to Inspire & Equip Homeschoolers

Moms, are you ensuring YOUR education is continuing, too?  Are you spending time to make yourself a better teacher and parent? 

Continuing education for the homeschooling mom is VERY important.

Learning about homeschooling isn't just for the new homeschooler. As parents, we should always seek out the best resources to enrich our hearts and minds. 

Recently I have stumbled upon a GEM of a resource - Homeschool Made Simple, from Compass Classroom.

Oh how I wish this DVD series had been around when I first started homeschooling - it would have given me such simple direction and guidance, and a huge dose of INSPIRATION, along with practical ideas for our homeschool.

 (I'm just thankful I found it now, because I'm gaining so much from these videos.)


*This post contains affiliate links. The opinions in this post are ENTIRELY my own. I received compensation for this review, but am not obligated to post a positive review. What a pleasant surprise the review of this product has been! 


About Homeschool Made Simple

Homeschool Made Simple is a set of seven videos, designed to encourage and equip homeschooling families.

It is for the NEW homeschooler. It is for the VETERAN homeschooler.

The hostess of these videos is Carole Joy Seid - a veteran homeschooler, educator, and workshop presenter.

From Compass Classroom:

"We are pleased to introduce a new series designed especially for homeschool parents. Carole Joy Seid has over 30 years experience teaching thousands of moms and dads a literature-based approach to homeschooling. Her heartfelt desire is to make homeschooling simple, enjoyable and affordable. This is the first time she has put her material onto video: we think you’ll love it."

Whatever homeschool method you subscribe to, Carole's videos will resonate with you and inspire you. They are full of practical tips, wisdom, and just GOODNESS.

Topics include:

  • Children and Reading

  • Choosing Books

  • Building Character in Children

  • Math, Writing, Science, Art & Music

  • Bible, Creativity, & a Typical Day

  • Children & Media

  • Teaching History & Literature

Why I Recommend Homeschool Made Simple

In a world of information overload (especially online!), it's been so nice to come across a resource that is peaceful, concise, and well done.

Each video is pleasantly done by Carole, as if we are sitting in her living room with her. She speaks quite plainly to us (many times using personal stories) about her recommendations for books, authors, structuring your days, character training, children & media, and MUCH more. 

Carole is FIRM in her beliefs and I felt very comfortable in her knowledge and wisdom. 

(I especially love that Carole tells us children and media is the hill she will die on -- it is the make or break in our homeschool, and I feel the same way!) 

The videos are each approximately 30 minutes, so they can be watched while you are folding laundry, during your morning quiet time, or after the little ones are in bed for the night. 

We owe it to our children to be the most well prepared, informed, and equipped moms possible. 

Homeschool Made Simple is an investment in YOUR education. It is a resource I will be watching again and again as each homeschool year approaches. 

Special Offer: Homeschool Made Simple

Why don't you give yourself a Mother's Day present?  

Using the code HOMEGROWN, you can receive 40% off the digital download or physical DVDs of  Homeschool Made Simple

( This makes the ENTIRE set of videos a little less than $19!  )

This offer is only good May 6-9, 2015, so take advantage of it now!  


Are you investing in YOUR continuing education?  Tell me about it!  

Have any questions about the videos? Leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them! 

Homeschool: So Much More Than "School"

When our family went from public school to homeschool, I saw educating my children at home as just that: a way to teach them at home.

Homeschool: So Much More Than "School"

I naively thought I would teach them 6 hours each day and we would call that "school". 

I printed the attendance roster from the state, stuck it on the refrigerator, and checked off the days.  I wrote lesson plans and checked to see if my objectives lined up with the state department of education's objectives. I bought the "What Every Child Needs to Know in XYZ Grade" books for each of my children's grade levels. 

You can stop shaking your head and laughing now. 

I was a new homeschooling mom. All I had ever known was public school. I was a public school teacher with a degree in educational administration. 

It took me about 6 months to realize that homeschool is SO MUCH MORE than SCHOOL! 

Homeschool is a lifestyle of learning and inquiry that cannot be confined to space or time. 

Homeschool is giving our children the gift of unlimited possibilities, opening of every little door they want to walk through, and affording them ample time to contemplate things of beauty and importance. Homeschool is so much more than SCHOOL.

This week, as I recap our week (as I've done for nearly four years every Collage Friday), it struck me just what a gift homeschool is, and how it is so much more than memorizing facts, writing papers, completing math lessons, and diagramming sentences.  

*This post contains affiliate links. 

Give Them Time & Freedom

Homeschool is So Much More than "School"

Because Anna is in her very last week of Challenge B  (working hard to finish Mock Trial, short stories, and prepping for a blue book exam), Grant has been a bit more free this week, and it's glorious! 

Our weather has been perfect, friends have shown up in abundance, and there have been very few demands on our time.  As a result, Grant has learned A LOT on his own, read books, created with LEGOS, and much more!

Grant's week -- going left to right, top to bottom:

  • The boy saved his money for a remote control Mustang. He has been drawing courses in the driveway, creating rock race tracks, and parallel parking between cans of tennis balls! He has very few toys (aside from LEGOS), so it did my heart good to see him get himself a "toy" that he just loves. 
  • We did have one rainy day. Grant got a lazy start to that day and laid in bed to finish Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.  He loved this book, and I love that he chose to read. (I'm trying to be intentional about picking quality literature from our local library and then giving him a choice of what he would like to read. He's not my "reader", but he is enjoying reading much more these days!)
  • We've been listening to Treasure Island on audio and completing a study guide to go with the book -- I blogged about that this week in case you're interested. 
  • Lots of LEGO building was done this week - I thought this zipline was pretty creative!
  • Grant also started a homeschool tennis class this week! We are taking a break from organized team sports, but my athletic guy was really needing an outlet. This class is perfect because it meets once a week. We were invited by a friend and it's such a nice collection of children, too. 

Perseverance Pays Off

I'm a super proud mama right now -- I know "pride" isn't such a great thing, so maybe I should say I'm just so pleased for Anna and what she has accomplished this year. Yes, there has been a huge amount of "schoolwork" completed, but she has grown so much as a person, as well.

Challenge B is a demanding year, and Anna has persevered to complete so VERY BIG projects. She has also been on a personal journey of faith and will be confirmed this Sunday. 

Homeschool is so much more than "School"

This has been a BIG WEEK in her life!

  • Mock Trial is this Friday. She's been prepping A LOT, and even dad is getting in on the preparations.  My husband and I get to attend mock trial and see all of the hard work first hand. I'm so excited!
  • Anna and I sat down with her chemistry lessons on the weekend. We both didn't quite understand the last lesson in Discovering Atomos, but I have learned (thanks to the Challenge philosophy) that if we sat down together, read and reread the lesson, then TALKED through our questions together, we could tackle the challenge together. And, contrary to the world's "school" mindset, success is not about getting the answers RIGHT... it is about tackling a problem, exercising your brain, and not giving up. The learning comes in the struggle. 
  • One of Anna's closest friends came to spend the evening with us this week - she will be out of town for Anna's confirmation and helped us with some party favors and also brought her the most beautiful cross -- which was HAND MADE from horseshoes. These girls have such a wonderful friendship... they have been friends through church since they were little - and even though one is homeschooled and the other goes to private school, they have remained friends. They each take such an interest in the other's life (and they only intersect at church) and are just faithful friends. This is a blessing. 
  • I cannot leave out the near completion of Saxon Algebra 1/2! We are Saxon fans here. The math growth I have witnessed in Anna in the past three years is phenomenal. We had tried two other programs before settling on Saxon, and I wish I would have just LISTENED to people when they told me to try Saxon! 

As I start to look back on our year, I see that this year (more than any year before) was a year of FAMILY LEARNING. 

Each member in our family has grown in their quest for knowledge, interests, and relationships. 

The longer I homeschool, the more I see that it is a mindset, not simply a way to educate children. 

Homeschooling is SO much more than just SCHOOL... it's LIFE. 

Notebooking Pages Sale

Our favorite resource is on sale until May 8. A Lifetime Membership to Notebooking Pages is just $50 -- you will have thousands of notebooking pages at your fingertips for the rest of your homeschooling life. That's a good deal!

Join Me For Collage Friday

Feel free to grab this graphic (right click and save to your computer) and include it with your photo collage post. Use the widget below to add your post with photo collages for the week. Visit other bloggers in the link-up to gain ideas and offer encouragement and support.

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Collage Friday