Thursday, June 21, 2012

How To Organize Your Notgrass World History Notebook

This is a picture of the inside of my son's Bible
& history notebook last year. There were 3 tabs
 for the Notgrass study & 2 for other things.
 I put a lot of time into preparing my children's notebooks to use Notgrass Exploring World History last year. The first section of the notebook was for unit writing assignments, the next for literature reviews, the third for Bible study questions, the final for quizzes and tests. (Behind those was a separate study of Roman's that we did and a folder to store additional essays that they wrote.) I even made up a literature reading log to record hours spent reading, and nice title pages to glue to the front of the notebook tab pages. However, if I had put a little more time into actually looking at the program, I could have saved myself a lot of work. Here is what I discovered:

The unit writing division worked really nicely. These are essay type assignments that are graded by the teacher, not using the answer book. They take up a lot of space, so it is nice for them to have their own spot. My kids were pretty bad about forgetting to file them, so a folder might have worked better. [To add a folder to your notebook, use a regular no-prong folder. Place a piece of 3-hole punched paper on the front of it (because the folder is too long to fit in a 3-hole puncher) and use a paper punch to make holes.]


lesson quizzes
The second section (for literature reviews) was pretty much useless. I had planned to have my kids write something like a book report for each of the book selections they read. However, since the curriculum includes questions to answer on each book, and since the answers to these questions were included in the test & quiz answer book, and since my kids were a bit overloaded with work this year (OK, I was waaaay too ambitious in the lesson planning), we didn't end up doing this. Plan B was for them to store the answers to the literature questions in this file, but the answers to these were listed along with text and quiz answers in the order they came in the textbook, so it made more sense to file them with tests and quizzes. The literature reading logs, while a good idea in theory, also didn't work out well. My kids kept forgetting to time themselves when reading.

The third section for Bible study questions was unnecessary for the same reasons as the literature reviews section- answers in the quiz book along with answers for tests and quizzes in the order they were completed.

The final section, for quizzes and tests is where most of their papers ended up getting filed. There are questions for each lesson, a bible study question each week (after the fifth lesson), and occasional literature questions (after a book is finished). I had the kids fill out the answers to these on notebook paper and file them in order as they completed them. There are also tests for each unit, and four quarterly tests. These could also be filled out on notebook paper and filed in order as they are taken. However, I wanted to have these all in one place for easier grading, so I made up a form that the kids could use for taking the tests.

In hindsight, I think we would have been better off with a notebook full of lined paper with a folder in the back instead of all the fancy forms and divisions. The Notgrass History curriculum is well designed and is set up for ease of use. You really don't have to over think things.

410371: Exploring World History Curriculum PackageExploring World History Curriculum Package

By Ray Notgrass / Notgrass Company


Integrative and faith-based, Exploring World History presents a God-oriented view of history that combines biblical studies, word history and English (literature & composition). Two textbooks contain history lessons that are generally followed by studying grammar points, completing writing assignments, reading assignments in In Their Words as well as the required reading, and Bible study questions. Moving from creation all the way to the 21st century, your students will have a comprehensive overview of the events, concepts and culture of humanity. 2 Student Texts and Reading Book In Their Words, 1095 pages total, softcover.



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