I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

5 Days of Notebooking 101

5 Days of Notebooking 101 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

A few weeks ago, while lounging on the beach...book in hand, I watched as The Hubs helped my children create an intricate waterway in the sand.  They carved out trenches and poured bucketful after bucketful of water down their man-made path.  Their "river" was complete with tributaries, a flood plain, and a delta.  

At the time, my children had no idea that each of these small sand details added up to big learning. They were just five kids enjoying a sunny day at the beach with dad.  

5 Days of Notebooking {The Unlikely Homeschool}

On the way home from our adventures in the sun, we began to chat about their "river".  We talked of currents and channels and used BIG words like "headwaters" and "eddy."  

During lunch that day, we continued our conversation and ended up watching a short youtube video about the ever-changing landscape of a river, its vegetation, and its affect on the wildlife that it supports.  

One thing led to another and my older kids grabbed their nature notebooks to begin sketching out THEIR river using the photographs I had snapped earlier that day.  A quick Google image search of river "parts" provided inspiration and further details. 

An adventurous day at the beach. 
A river with all its intricate parts.  

Now both indelibly etched into the minds of my kids because of a simple spiral notebook.

My children will revisit those pages in their nature notebooks in the days to come...revisit them often. They will remember THEIR river and smile.

5 Days of Notebooking 101 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

They will recall all those features we discussed at the beach...and in the car...and around the table.
Because they were given space and time to catalog it all in a notebook.  They were given a chance to rehearse what they had learned in a natural way.  They were given a blank page and an invitation to fill it up!

Notebooking 101

Notebooking has become a wonderful extension to our learning over the years...a tool to organize all our thoughts, opinions, and discoveries.  

Over the next few days, I will be continuing our discussion on notebooking and how it has come to be such an integral part of our homeschool.  I hope you'll join me as we consider...

For more helpful homeschool HOW TOs, be sure to check out the other wonderful posts in the iHomeschool Network Summer Hopscotch.


  1. Thank you for sharing this series about note booking. I also have 5 children, one of whom is now in college. I still have left at home a 12th grader, a 10th grader, a 5th grader, and a 3rd grader. When my older three were little, we did note booking. I treasure those notebooks! For a variety of reasons, my younger two have NOT done any note booking, and now looking at your blog, I am inspired! I want to do this again in my homeschool. Now to figure out where to begin!
    Thanks for the instructions and the inspiration.

    1. Roan, I think it is lovely that you have carved new paths for your kids. It shows that you recognize their individuality and are seeking to provide homeschooling in a way that works with THEM and your current season of life. Kudos to you!

      I hope round 2 of notebooking brings you the same fond memories as round 1 seems to have.

  2. Your posts have really inspired me to start this in our homschool. I have some questions about notebooking though. How and where do you store all your notebooks, past and present, for multiple children? Do you have a notebook for every subject you teach? Which subjects are best to have notebooks for? What kind of general notebooks are best to stock up on (lined paper notebooks, grid paper notebooks, blank notebooks, heavy stock paper)? Are their other resources that you use for inspiration on how to help your student set up a notebook (a particular blog or book perhaps) that you personally have found helpful? Thank you so much!

    1. Great questions! I will try to tackle most of these on Friday when I share the answers to some popular notebooking FAQs. Thanks for giving me a few more. Cant' wait to share!

  3. We have enjoyed notebooking over the years, too! The kids like to press stuff from nature to add to their notebooks, too. We have kept notebooks for science topics, for historical time periods, and for nature in general.

  4. You know, I use words like that all the time, and just assume every else does too, so it's always a little surprising to me when I discover that everyone else doesn't use them.

  5. At what age do you start note booking. I would love to start it with my 4th grader but would our K-1 grader be able to join in as well?

    1. As soon as a child is old enough to dictate their thoughts to you, they are old enough to notebook. You can write their words down for them (as they say them out loud), they can add the picture, and that counts! So, most definitely, a k-1 kiddo can notebook.