As I mentioned in part 1 of this series (The What and Why of Notebooking), notebooking starts with a notebook. But from there, notebooking can take on many forms. One glimpse down the stationary aisles of Target will tell you that there are a plethora of different types of notebooks and journals...all of which are perfect for creating a one-of-a-kind learning treasure. In addition, there are many different ways to create your OWN notebook without having to purchase one at a store.(This post contains affiliate links.)
Here are just a few samples of different kinds of notebooking projects that we have created in our homeschool. Please know that I am not suggesting these are the ONLY ways or the BEST ways to make notebooks. These are just a few samples of the ways WE have done it. Experiment with these and others to create your own unique style of notebooking. (Quick aside: In the video, I refer to a "steno" notebook. It is actually a composition notebook. Oops!)
As I mentioned in the video, there are a few different types of notebooks. Here are some pros and cons of each as well as some links to help you create a similar project with your kids.
3-ring binder style
- Most pre-fabbed printable notebook pages are formatted for 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper which is perfect for a 3-ring binder.
- You can add pages throughout the notebooking process. So, you don't necessarily have to worry about having all the elements in place before beginning the notebook.
- You can rearrange pages to accommodate for any changes you wish to make in the notebook.
- You can remove pages if you make a mistake or just don't like an element that you had originally included.
- You are not limited to a particular amount of pages for your notebook.
- You can include pocket folders, plastic protective covers, DVD sleeves, etc.
- Often, the pages begin to tear away from the binder.
- Most people have a tendency to only include pre-fabbed notebooking pages which sometimes discourages organic journaling additions.
- They are easy to store from year-to-year because there is a standard size and thickness to them.
- Lots of lines create lots of room for organic narration of a topic.
- The book/journal will come with a pre-set number of pages that you can not add or detract from.
- Oftentimes creating a rough draft is necessary so that you can be sure to have a polished narration in the notebook. There's no really successful way to remove mistakes.
- The arrangement of the pages is set in stone. You can not rearrange the elements within the notebook.
- The binding prohibits you from adding many bulkier elements like pocket folders or collection envelopes to your notebook.
- If you create this type of notebook yourself at an office supply store, you have the benefit of looking at a year's worth/unit's worth of notebooking pages as a whole and selecting only the ones that have long-term merit.
- The spiral binding style makes it easy for you to fold the pages back and have a smooth writing surface.
- You are not limited to an 8 1/2 x 11 size. You can create a much smaller or larger notebook to fit your needs.
- A project that was not initially designed to be a notebook can be turned into one by just compiling it together and having it bound.
- You can't always add bulkier elements or keepsakes.
- Once the notebook has been made, there is no adding or detracting after the fact.
- The options for hybrid notebooking are limitless. If you have a writing portion and an illustrated portion, you can consider it notebooking.
- Smaller projects completed in a short time span can be perfect for notebooking newbies or those with a limited attention span.
- Smaller hybrid notebooks can be combined into a larger format such as a lapbook or binder at the end of the year to create a cohesive whole.
- Smaller notebooks are generally more portable and can be tucked into a purse or backpack for on-the-go learning.
- You don't have to focus on every aspect of a topic, just the one aspect that interests you.
- You can not see a lot of progression in your skill level with a short-term project.
- These types of notebooks have to be created. You rarely find these available for purchase and ready to be personalized.
- They are more difficult to store as they don't always file nicely on a shelf.
Other helpful links
More on notebooking
Over the next few weeks, I will be continuing our discussion on notebooking in homeschool. I hope you'll join me as we consider...
In the meantime, here are some other helpful notebooking resources to get you started.