Laura Delgado
Notebooking is all the rage with many homeschoolers. Perhaps you're an avid devotee of notebooking already. Perhaps you've never tried it, but have heard of it and would like to get started. Perhaps you navigated to this page by mistake, in which case simply utitlizing the "back" button on your browser should remedy the error nicely!

Now then, there are numerous sources for notebooking pages available on the Internet, and there are untold methods for engaging in the activity itself. One of notebooking's best features is that there is no right or wrong way of going about it. Another great feature is that you are almost never too young to start. It is helpful to be able to write a little, but beginning notebookers can very heavily supplement with artwork, and then grow into more advanced writing. Many companies who produce notebooking pages overlap in content (after all, the Pre-Dynastic period in Egyptian history is the Pre-Dynastic period in Egyptian history), but the style of various companies can vary quite a bit. Thus, it is helpful to examine each company's style (most companies have free samples available online) before purchasing any pages. That way, you're sure to get what you want! Alternatively, you could follow my fiscally irresponsible example, and simply buy just about one of everything. That way, you are prepared for any notebooking emergency that could arise. Hey, it could happen!

Before I share my favorite sites with you, allow me to answer the question you are probably asking? What on earth *is* notebooking? What does it look like? How do I do it? Okay, allow the great folks behind the notebooking lens on Squidoo to answer these questions for you: I dare you not to ache to notebook after spending ten minutes on this site. When you're done, though, come back to me for my recommendations!

Back so soon? Are you sure saw everything? The last time I went to that site, I forgot to make dinner! In any case, there are obviously tons of options. Most are very reasonably priced (and you can always make your own; I just can't expend that much effort on something that's already been done so well - and so many times!). I have some definite favorites, though, beginning with...

  • This company doesn't make a bad product. Each of their products is "leveled", meaning that you can use the same product with every member of your homeschool, each at her own level. There are pages with grammar lines (the ones with the dashed line in the middle, appropriate for beginning writers), with regular lines, and, my favorite, the "History Scholar" pages, which I would describe as directed notebooking. It's hard to explain, but so well worth checking out. The bonus? Their sets are an amazing half-off right now. No, I don't get a commission. Yes, I own everything they make.

  • Another great source for every kind of notebooking page you could desire. While there is some overlap in content (again, history is history as far as dates and periods and personalities go), Debra's approach is different than that of the Scribe system. The emphasis is less on drawing (although there is certainly room for it on many of her pages), and there are more pages that are appropriate exclusively for younger children. Once again, I own everything she's created. Once again, everything on her site is half-off right now!

  • Betsy's pages are similar to Debra's but different enough that, yes, I have all of them (I dearly hope no one has a calculator out at this point!). The thing I love most about Notebooking Nook is the abundance of coloring pages sprinkled throughout the regular notebooking pages. They are intricate enough to interest my "big kids", but Romula and Remus are still delighted to be able to add to their notebooks as well! Oh, and right now they're on sale!

  • This company is, I'll confess, new to me! I'm very excited by what I see on their site, though. I'll admit that I shy away from "cartoony" notebooking pages (which is why Knowledge Box Central's won't make my list, even though they have some great products), and this company's appear to be nothing but professional. I'm particularly excited about their timelines. I only have two complete timeline that really enough? We could have a timeline crisis any day now! Anyway, I'll order, and let you know what I think. Or, if you beat me to it, you order and let me know what *you* think! Deal?
As you've noticed if you spent any time on the Squidoo site, there are tons more notebooking sites out there. There are numerous free pages, and some are quite good. I am, though, an all-or-nothing girl. I like full sets. Have you noticed? I also like continuity. I truly do think that the companies listed above are the best of the best. Spend some time on their sites, look at their free samples, and decide if their products are right for your notebooking needs. Only don't spend too much time deciding - there are some great back-to-school deals right now!

Finally, you'll need something to bind all of those notebook pages together. Yes, a three-ring binder will do the job. You could even invest in a Pro-Click P50 binding system, a favorite of many notebookers.

Hmmm...looks kind of small for all of the notebooking you'll be doing. May I recommend one of the permanent residents of our schoolroom? This bad boy is a binding machine!

For its price, it does an amazing job, and it's super easy to add and remove pages. It might be just the thing for a homeschooling group to purchase together if the price exceeds the budget of your family.

Perhaps you're left wondering if lapbooks are anything like notebooks. Aaahh, there I can't help you, for lapbooks involve cutting and pasting, and that, my good friends, I do not do!

Labels: edit post
0 Responses

Post a Comment