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Notebooking Discovery Blog




 Welcome to Homeschooling with Notebooks!

What is notebooking? It's creatively collecting information in a notebook. Notebooking allows a child to have fun while progressing in every area of learning. The topics are limitless!

I am so pleased we have the internet and the fast-paced exchange of ideas about homeschooling that are shared in this community. We now have the capability of creating our own school materials using an online service and a printer.

When I first started to homeschool my mindset was still one of a classroom. Now that I have homeschooled 15 years I have much to reflect on. My first son didn't mind doing workbooks and answering endless questions, but the next two children learned differently and in hindsight I truly wish I had implemented some of the "Lifestyle of Learning" that Marilyn Howshall wrote about in her magazine. Marilyn was the first person I read about who was doing notebooks. If I had been able to see homeschooling as a lifestyle of continual learning and how this learning can be placed in notebooks, I may have implemented notebooking much earlier.

My hope for this website is to provide everything you need to create your own notebooks without spending a lot of money. I will try to add links to sites that offer visuals so you can see how notebooking can make learning enjoyable.

Notebooking supplies will include a 3-ring binder with clear page protectors and subject dividers. Add some scissors, paints, glue, colored paper and a craft bin or shoe box to keep it in and you have just about everything you need to make a great notebook. is a great search engine that allows you to perform extensive research on the web. Place the name of any topic you are studying in Google's form box and you are on the path to millions of electronic resources. Search for images as well by clicking on the Image button after entering a topic. You will be given loads of images, coloring pages and often beautiful old artwork you can print out to place in your notebook. (See for more ways to search.)

Notebook covers can be as simple or complex as the child desires. Some children may design a simple cover with a title on it or a coloring page easily found on (Example: "Ancient Egypt coloring page"). Craft books from particular time periods can be helpful in coming up with ideas for covers. For Ancient Egypt you could make Egyptian sandals out of cardboard and twine. A map of Africa could serve as a background for homemade paper dolls dressed in Egyptian clothing. These are just a few ideas but the options are endless when it comes to the cover of your notebook. We'll explore these ideas in more detail in each of the catagories.

Collecting the "scraps" in color coded folders or crates is one way to help organize notebooking materials. I like the idea of allowing each child to pick a special color of pen that they can use for their work. You can buy lined paper in different colors as well or just use your printer and make your own. If you use hanging-folders you can place all of your child's work in a color-coded folder and then take the best work to put in the notebook. You could buy each child a different color dishpan to keep all of their supplies in. These containers can store paints, pencils, glue or other school items such as flashcards or toys. A decorated shoe box works just as well.

Finding lesson plans is as easy as punching in a google search. If your child is younger you should probably start with general references and outlines, not getting into the details too deeply. Resources are available for every age group online - it's just a matter of searching them out. The following links from The Well Trained Mind" website will help give you ideas for topics to study as well as good recommendations for resources:

The Well Trained Mind - Complete Article and Resource Index

Using History at the Center of the Curriculum

Creating Notebooks in Grades K-4

Grades 5-8

Grades 9-12


Need a form for recording library books read or scheduling daily lesson plans? Donna Young's Printables and Resources for Homeschooling and Classrooms will have it along with lots of other tips and tricks for the homeschooler. This site seems a bit disorganized but if you search well you'll find very helpful information.

When your notebook is complete, make a book! There are several good sites that explain how:

This is only the beginning! Please take a look at the information given within this website. You'll find many more ideas and links to sites that will be very helpful in your Notebooking adventure!

God bless,


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