Monday, August 29, 2011

The Many Faces of Notebooking: Science

My two oldest boys will be doing Apologia's Chemistry this year and my 13 year old daughter will be doing Physical Science. Since both of the boys plan to go into science related fields, we place a lot of emphasis on this subject. I splurged a little and purchased each of them one of the slightly more expensive Avory binders with the clear cover that you can slide an insert into. Then I designed a cover page for them to decorate. Here is the binder belonging to my 15 year old "mad chemist":



The boys will be using the notebooking and lab pages from Knowledge Box Central's Chemistry Lapbook Journal and their sister will be using pages I printed from the Apologia Yahoo Group files section. I really like the KBC lab forms, but the other pages have waaaaay too many lines for answering the questions and take a lot more paper than the free pages I found in the Yahoo Group files. The grading form you see in the picture below is one that I created. 

Knowledge Box Central Notebook Journal

On Your Own Questions for Physical Science


I believe hands-on experience is the best way to learn, so experimentation and observation have always been a big part of our science education. Several years ago we even devoted an entire month to studying slime. We've been using Apologia textbooks for six years, and my children absolutely love them because of all the experiments that are included. I love how the elementary texts have notebooking worked right into them. However, I've decided to do something a little different with my younger group this year.

I had downloaded the free Elementary Life Science text some time ago from Scott McQuerry's website. I liked his fun approach and his emphasis on experiments, but we had already covered most of the Life Science material. However, when he introduced his Earth Science text, I figured it would be the perfect way to cover some topics that none of the Apologia elementary books address. I also had a copy of Ann Voskamp' A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth (which covers a lot of the same things) and being inclined to overkill, decided to add that in too. We will be notebooking through both of these texts and filing these pages in simple 3-prong folders.

The Many Faces of Notebooking: Math

Math notebooking is a little bit more difficult than notebooking a subject like science or history. I do tend to rely on textbooks and workbooks more often than not. But we do still sneak in some notebooking and living math on occasion.

This year my 6 older children will be using The Life of Fred textbooks for mathematics. We really enjoy the way the author uses a storyline in these books to bring math "into the real world."

Lessons will be completed in simple, inexpensive spiral notebooks. The August Notebooking Round-Up at The Notebooking Fairy mentioned some new Dinah Zike products which are kind of a mix between lapbooking and notebooking. I plan to have the children create something similar to include additional notes and formulas in their notebooks for future reference.




My 6 year old will be using a combination of the free math curriculum made available online by the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching  and living math activities.  She will also be doing some math notebooking along with the 11, 10, and 8 year old. We completed my Geometry Notebook Pages in the Spring, and will be doing the Counting & Numbers pages this Fall.


Math notebook pages are stored in plastic 3-prong folders.

The Many Faces of Notebooking: Bible

Notebooking has always played a large part in our homeschooling. I love how something so simple can still be versatile enough to work with a variety of curiculums and subjects. Notebooking gives me the flexibility I need to accomodate the various learning styles and personalities of my  large brood, without spending a fortune on curriculum and workbooks. Notebooking allows my children to exercise their creativity, while maintaining enough uniformity that I don't go crazy trying to keep up with what everyone is supposed to be doing. Notebooking is never boring because there are so many options available. Here are a few of the different types of Bible notebooks that we will be using this school year.


The older children (15, 14, & 13) will using Foundations In Romans, an inductive Bible study that I purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason. They will also be beginning to hand scribe their own copy of the Bible. This idea comes from Deuteronomy 17:18 where the king was commanded to make his own copy of the law. When I was in highschool, one of my homeschool friends was working on this project. I had forgotten about it, until I saw a product called Journibles in one of my catalogs. After careful consideration ($$$), I decided to go ahead and let the children created their own altered notebooks for this project instead of purchasing the journals.

Altered notebook made from composition book, Dodge ad, and duct tape.


The Bible notebooks for the middle (11, 10) and younger children (almost 8, 6) are economy 3-ring binders with a decorated cover page taped on the front. The three oldest will be filling out Bible character biography sheets that I copies from A Garden Patch of Reproducible Homeschooling Forms as they read through the Old Testament. I printed some fancy borders on the backs of these pages so they could draw a picture from the life of each Bible character. The 6 year old will be using the Old Testament and New Testament Bible Scribe pages from Westvon Publishing. These have a verse at the top of the page, a place just below that to illustrate the verse, lines at the bottom to narrate the meaning of the verse, and a banner running through the middle of the page to copy the verse onto.


Bible notebooks- tabbed divider created from a colored file folder.

Example of Westvon Bible page and framed coloring page.


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