What is notebooking?

Very simply, notebooking is compiling your child’s work in a notebook. This can be a three-ringed binder, a scrapbook, a three-pronged folder, or composition book.

Benefits of notebooking

In contrast to our consumer driven society, notebooking focuses on production rather than consumption. Instead of dull, boring workbooks that are thrown away at the end of the year or study, the child builds a notebook that can be kept and cherished for many years and by many generations. I have asked myself this question before, “Do I want my children to come to the end of their school years and think, ‘Wow! I really cranked out a lot workbooks.’ (workbooks that ended up in the trash) or do I want them to remember making their own unique creations that they can show their children and grandchildren?” My answer was “unique creations”.

When dad comes home from work or grandparents come to visit, children want to show what they have created. Telling about what they have been learning aids in retention and mastery of the topic.

For families living in states where they must show a portfolio or record of work done, notebooking is a great way to comply with state law because it provides a permanent record of what the child has accomplished.

Types of notebooks

Year book – This is typically a larger three-ringed binder with tabbed dividers to separate the subjects or topics studied throughout one school year or calendar year.

Theme or topical notebook – These cover one topic or related topics. An example of related topics would be including sections for deserts, Joseph, and Moses in a notebook on Ancient Egypt. A benefit of topical notebooks is they can be added to whenever the topic is studied throughout the child’s school years.

Timeline – Information on timeline notebooks can be found on the timeline page.

Notebooks for mom – The sky is the limit! Making your own notebooks will help you stay organized.

My personal notebooks include:

  • Homeschool Planner – lesson plans, attendance records, book/resource list, phone numbers, loaned/borrowed list, etc
  • Homeschool Records – state contact info, HSLDA info, achievement test results, previous years’ attendance records, yearly physical records, etc
  • Timeline figures
  • Coloring pages found on the internet
  • Recipes
  • Crochet and Sewing Patterns
  • Christmas – shopping lists for presents & food, baking & candy making list, present list, receipts, recipes, company party planning, etc

Notebooking Supplies

The only item you must have is the notebook. If you are using a three-ringed binder or a three-pronged folder, a three-hole punch comes in really handy.

Other supplies that come in handy are:

  • Tabbed dividers to separate subjects. I prefer the dividers with pockets because they allow for easy storage of books and projects.
  • Page protectors for pressed flowers, leaves, or anything you want to protect or don’t want to punch holes in

Supplies to make the notebooks prettier/more artistic/more interesting:

  • Colored paper
  • Colored pens & pencils
  • Stickers
  • Rubber stamps
  • Pictures cut from magazines

What goes in notebooks?

  • Writing assignments
  • Copy work
  • Narrations
  • Essays
  • Dictations
  • Journal entries
  • Coloring pages
  • Drawings
  • Bible verses on the topic
  • Field trip memorabilia
  • Timelines
  • Pictures of projects with explanation of what was done
  • Pictures of people that they meet with explanation
  • Maps
  • Diagrams, charts, graphs
  • Vocabulary
  • Pressed flowers, leaves
  • Lab reports
  • Biography reports
  • Animal reports
  • Book reports
  • Country reports
  • State reports
  • Book lists
  • Interviews
  • Outlines
  • Song Lyrics
  • Poems
  • Recipes
  • Newspaper or magazine articles