10 Ways to Use Notebooking: Tips for Getting Started

We love notebooking!  What is more inspiring than a child creating his own booklet, or a student compiling his research into his own notebook? Before we provide you with five tips for getting started, let’s take a look at what notebooking has to offer.

Notebooking gives our children an opportunity:

  • To create — instead of consume.
  • To think — instead of recall facts.
  • To produce a reference work or keepsake — instead of filling out a workbook to store or toss.

Like most things that offer freedom, there is a learning curve:

  • Where do I start?
  • What do I put in it?
  • How am I going to fill all of these lines?

Yes, a blank “artist’s canvas” can be intimidating.  But once you are over the curve, the rewards are definitely worth it!

Tips For Getting Started

Start small.

Appreciate the fact that a blank page can be intimidating, especially to a young child unaccustomed to writing.

Begin with a simple booklet or lapbook where less writing is required.

Graduate to a simple form with a large space at the top for illustrating and not so many lines below.  Eventually your child will be ready for a blank piece of paper!

8 Writing Activities for the Younger Student

8 Writing Activities for the Younger Student
You’ll find a few ideas and resources here.

Introduce notebooking gradually.

It may be a hard hill to climb if you suddenly switch from workbooks to notebooks in every activity or subject area.

Notebooking requires more from the student.  Switch over one area of study at a time.

Begin with an interest.

Something has to go in for something to come out.  And it is easier to get something in when it is something of interest to the student!

Let him pursue his interest and create a notebook on his subject.  We’ll offer you ideas on how to do this later in the series.

6 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Pursue Their Interests

6 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Pursue Their Interests
What to do when your child isn’t interested!

Don’t expect perfection.

Remember, this is a personal endeavor on the part of the student.  We will only short-circuit the process if we overwhelm the him by expecting more than he is capable of at the time.

We do not want to red-line everything and dampen his enthusiasm!  Pick one skill area or area of improvement to work on at a time.

Don’t Expect Perfection — At First
How to grow at a child’s pace.

Walk one step at a time.

One day, if all goes well, your older student will grab a notebook or binder off of the shelf and begin filling in the blank pages with his new project.

In the meantime, gradually increase the difficulty of your child’s notebooking assignments only as he increases in skill and is ready to move on.

Setting the Pace
And walking one step at a time.

Additional Resources

Interactive Stapleless Booklet Maker {Free}
Interactive booklet maker at ReadWriteThink.org.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
A step up with lots of room to draw at the top and space for writing below.

Tons of notebooking resources!

Enjoy the entire series!
10 Ways to Use Notebooking
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: Complete Series


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