3 Reasons We Love Notebooking


Are you a fellow notebooker?  I love it!  If you are new to notebooking, you can watch a neat video explaining it here at Notebooking Pages. com.  Instead of completing worksheets and tests to show me what they’ve learned, my children tell me on a notebooking page.  They may record our results from a science experiment, write about a Biblical event, plot paths on maps, or even illustrate a hymn or psalm we are learning.  We keep maps and pamphlets from our field trips and save examples of copywork.  Everything goes in our notebooks as a beautiful record of what we are learning.

some notebooking pages from the beginning of the school year

some notebooking pages from the beginning of the school year

Our notebooking journey began as we studied science this year following a Simply Charlotte Mason course entitled 106 Days of Creation Studies.  The children were to record our findings and studies in a Creation Notebook.  I noticed that they loved this time in our day.  After a long morning of workbooks, worksheets, answering questions, matching, and multiple choice, the kids were thrilled to do science in the afternoons!  I also noticed that they wanted to show family members their Creation Notebooks.  They were so excited about what they’d learned and how they had recorded it!  We didn’t have real “notebooking pages” then but instead used plain white computer paper…

first notebooking pages

some notebooking before we found notebooking pages

I did some Googling and found there is a whole notebooking world out there!

Notebooking is not the same as lapbooking.  Lapbooks just didn’t work for my big kids.  They proved to be too time consuming and more work for me than the children!  (And really, are there many 8-year-old boys who enjoy cutting and pasting?)  However, we do sometimes include 3D mini books on our notebooking pages.

3d nb pages

These are my top 3 reasons for notebooking:

3.  Creativity!  Multiple choice worksheets don’t exactly foster creativity… or deep thought.  Fill in the blank tests don’t show what interests my children.  Notebooking allows them to express their interests in the topics we study and write about what was most meaningful to them.  They can dig deeper into specific topics, and they have to really think in order to write.  They get to draw!  🙂  When the big kids make notebooking pages about the same topics, the pages never look the same!  (Do worksheets and workbooks still have a place in our homeschool?  You bet!  We still use them for math, grammar, and spelling.)

2.  A Record of Progress  Do you ever have a day when you wonder if you’ve really taught your children much of anything?  I go to the notebooks!  They are a beautiful, physical representation of what we’ve accomplished this year– and not only of what we’ve learned and accomplished, but also how much the children have progressed and improved in their schoolwork.  When we began notebooking back in the fall, the kids wrote one or two sentences.  Now, they are running out of room for all of their thoughts and asking me for more pages!

changing notebooks

Our notebooks were so full, that we had to move everything into larger binders!

1.  Joy! I feel like notebooking brought joy into our homeschool!  Before notebooking, things we studied that were supposed to be interesting and enjoyable just weren’t!  Now the kids want to work… if notebooking is involved!  😉  Notebooking is fun!

more notebooking

more notebooking 2

You can find a notebooking page for almost any topic… from character qualities to nature studies, from states to composers… anything!  And there are many blank templates, too!

These are great notebooking resources, and there are many more out there!

Notebooking Pages. com

The Notebooking Fairy

Happy Notebooking!


24 thoughts on “3 Reasons We Love Notebooking

  1. daddystractor

    Thanks for the resource ideas. Right now Brett loves his lap books (I try to make them games or interactive) but I agree, he will outgrow cutting and gluing 😉 I think notebooking would be the natural next step. And I’m going to check out the Charlotte Mason link as soon as I get time!!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      I think lap books are so cute, and I wanted to like them! 😉 There was just no way I could come up with one or two a week for the big kids as a way for them to show what they’d learned. (I know other people can and do!) I tried letting them make a few at the beginning of our school year, and they weren’t pretty! Ha ha. It was just so time consuming for a not-so-good output. The notebooking is good for them now that they are able to write more, and it doesn’t involve much work from me! However, I do like lap books and folder games that I’ve made for the littles. The Notebooking Nook has lots of lap books for bigger kids… maybe I’ll give it another try! The crafty mom in me wants to!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Yes, Leven likes doing notebooking pages. I’ve given him choices between worksheets and those, and he always chooses to make a page for his NB. There are free ones you could print and try. Your blog is such a beautiful record of all you have studied this year! I will miss it! I don’t know how much your boys have liked using the computer, but there is also an app at notebookingpages.com that you can use to make your pages on the computer. You can type your content and add your own clip art. We haven’t tried it yet.

  2. prairiepaisley.jodi

    Oh my gosh soo awesome! We did a notebook long time ago and it was fun then we got into lap booking but were finding the process of physically creating it is a lot of work and takes joy out of our project. Sounds weird as we’re all pretty creative. We’ve brought in a lot of art this year and I think I’m going to research the note booking for next year as we’re doing American History and that would be super fun….we’ve started smash books with our memory verses and that’s been fun! I looooove your new blog look, I have to admit I get super frusterated with the blogging set up stuff so I love your creativity:) I love your energy and creativity-yeahhh for homeschooling!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Smash books?! I don’t know about that! Sounds interesting. I have changed my blog from one free theme to another several times. I just pick one that can have a custom header and then upload my own. I used to have my own art as a header & you could design an awesome one! I just painted it, scanned it, saved it, and then uploaded! I used scrapbook paper for a background. I wish I could have cuter fonts, etc, but I don’t like the ones you can buy enough to upgrade. I bought a cuter theme from somewhere else, but I think you have to change to wordpress.org to use it. Sounds too complicated for me to figure out! I’ve read a lot about it, but decided against it. I get frustrated, too! Can you tell?! Sorry 😦

      1. prairiepaisley.jodi

        Hello, oh my gosh SMASH books are great, you can find them at Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and I’m not sure about Joanne’s. They are fun whimsical books that are spiral bound with fun papers and then they have tons of add ons like notes, washi tape, page tabs, quote cards just a bunch of fun stuff in themes and colors. The idea is to have your vacation pictures or whatever you want to scrapbook or record and “smash” it all in there! We love them and we are using them to record our Bible verses for memory and our devotions!
        Have a great day!

  3. terrikenworthy

    I’m so glad you posted about this – I’d never heard of it, but I’m a scrapbooker myself and I can see why you love notebooking so much! I’m going to have to see how I can incorporate this into our school year next fall, at least for my first-grader-to-be.

  4. terrikenworthy

    I just checked out the 106 Days of Creation – I think that would be a good place to start with notebooking because it gives instructions for what to include in the notebook and everything seems to be laid out quite simply. Thank you for the great suggestion 🙂

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      We have really enjoyed it for a first year science course. It is a gentle overview. I was excited that it was so affordable! I did not purchase all of the books suggested, but instead looked for similar library books! I think I probably bought around 5? I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Happily Occupied Homebodies

    Wow! Your kids really excel at this — I can tell from your wonderful pictures! I like the idea of notebooking. . . .just wondering how it might fit in with our CM style curriculum. Do you do a page after every reading in each subject? Most of our narrations are oral, so they don’t take much time. My 7th grader types a narration everyday, though, so I really like the idea of that notebooking app! I’ll have to look into it!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Well, we use a history that goes very slowly. We do one event a week. We may read a different book each day for 3 days (with oral narrations) and do a NB page on Thursday. (We don’t usually have school on Fridays.) By slowly I mean that we have been in Genesis and Ancient Egypt ALL school year and only just started Exodus. For example, we spent a whole week on the Tower of Babel or a certain pharaoh, etc. One NB page per week fits in well there. I also try to do one page a week for science and one per week for Latin- just write our vocab words. So no, we do not do one everyday. I even try not to do multiple pages on any given day, but space them out if possible. If we are reading a chapter book, we may do several throughout the book, but not each time we read. We have dividers this year labeled for hymns, literature, creation science, Old Testament / Ancient Egypt, and extras. In the extras section we include unit studies, field trips, and nature studies (I did buy journals after reading your post!). My oldest 2 kiddos are 7 and 8. Hope that helps a bit!

        1. i have no greater joy Post author

          Oh, we have a writing section, as well. We put copywork or writing samples. We might eventually move all of history from multiple years into one notebook. Okay, now no more from me! Sorry! 🙂

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