Notebooking is not a homeschool philosophy, but rather a popular method for students to reinforce their learning through journaling. Journaling is an ageless discipline that not only records the journey of learning but develops a child’s writing voice and creative talents. Written narrations, copywork, timelines, reports, lists, observations, drawings, maps, and photographs are some of the items that could be included in student notebooks.
Lapbooking is a similar process except a file folder that contains a variety of mini books, foldables, and other materials is used to present detailed information about a single topic or unit of study. The use of notebooking or lapbooking can be used to anecdotally evaluate a child’s learning in place of tests.
Homeschooling with the notebooking method includes activities such as: reading; watching or visiting any variety of sources on a subject; oral narration of what has been read or observed; doing some copywork; writing (narration, list, poem, quote, etc.); drawing a picture or colouring a map or timeline figure; and, showing grandparents or friends their growing notebook or lapbook collection.
- Multi-disciplinary aspects of notebooking reinforces many skills such as listening, narrating, summarizing, organizing, penmanship, and drawing;
- Easily adaptable to various ages in a family;
- Expressing knowledge the students have absorbed helps them commit the learning to memory;
- Usable with or without curriculum and is compatible with most homeschool styles;
- Lifelong learning is encouraged through notebooking or journaling and gives the child a feeling of owning their knowledge.
Points to consider
- Students who struggle with written work may not enjoy this as much;
- This method can involve considerable parental time for planning and tracking down resources, depending on what is included in the notebooks.
- The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook by Tammy Duby and Cyndy Regeling
* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.