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NOTEBOOKING AND HOW TO USE IT IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL

What is notebooking? Notebooking is tool your child uses to record their own learning. There are many different approaches to it. Some people use it quite formally within the guidelines set out by Charlotte Mason. Others use it more casually. Pros of notebooking? Notebooking is a great way for your child to formulate their own thoughts based on reading they have completed and learning they have done. It's a great way to encourage independence in their thinking as they reflect, order and write down what they heard. It's a great way to meet the key learning area (kla) outcomes and it is a very easy way to collect work samples. Printables (like mine in my extensive Resource Library) can be adapted for many children according to their ages, abilities and interests. This makes for very flexible learning whilst providing some structure.

Cons of notebooking?

If you have a child who hates writing, you might think this is something you need to steer clear of. In actuality, notebooking can help develop a reluctant writer's confidence. How? Well you scaffold them into success. Firstly, you might get them to orally record (video on your phone or a recoding app on an ipad). Then you might become the scribe for your child. They see their writing has value as you read it back to them. If you continue to get them to write about their interests as a starting point for their notebooking, you are more likely to have them transition into making the move to writing their own reflections eventually. You can add in places for pictures so your child is making a note of what they recalled visually and then can describe the picture to you (which you can add to the page). If your child gets easily distracted from the task at hand, sit next to them. Giving your time to them as they begin to formulate their thoughts can again be a help in transitioning them towards independent notebooking. Having prompts on some notebooking plans (like for a book report) can be helpful if your child is overwhelmed by the blank page. Use the plan for them to make notes (again, as a scaffold) and then as they grow older, they may be able to write the report themselves without needing the prompts there.


Notebooking can become a 'busy work' activity that doesn't really feel like it has value of itself. If becomes this, think about the subject matter of the notebooking. Does your child feel inspired by the reading or learning you have just done? Can you bring it to life in some other way? Consider adding a video in for your child to watch too. Does that change how they feel about what they have read? Does it make more sense to them? Check out my freebies mini bundle HERE. And learn more about notebooking principles HERE ON THE SIMPLY CHARLOTTE MASON site. Access the entire THL Resource Library in my Membership HERE. More soon! Lusi x



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