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Let’s Try Notebooking…For History!

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by Cindy Rushton

Ed Note:  You can grab a ticket to The Ultimate Homeschool Expo Here.

Yes! Notebooking for History Studies! Notebooking for our History Timelines!

What great literature does to feed the mind, Notebooking does to deepen the studies, teach research skills, and record the real education that your children are receiving. Old path? Yep! But not a path that has been overgrown.

Notebooking goes as far back as eternity.

In Scripture, we find that the kings were trained and prepared for leadership by copying the law and keeping it in a book (isn’t that too cute??).

Want to know something even better? We find that EVEN God has a Book of Remembrance that He is keeping until that day that we join Him in heaven for that "Heavenly read aloud time" we will enjoy some day soon. Oh. Don’t worry! We will ENJOY this time. His Book of Remembrance does not contain a list of sins and transgressions that we have committed that He wants to be sure not to forget. Instead, it is filled to overflowing with precious quotes of praises that His servants speak to one another (My PERSONAL goal is for Him to have PLENTY to quote from my life!).

Up until about a hundred years ago, Notebooking was used in the education of every child. But, something called textbooks and "progressive" education eliminated them from the education of children today. With that elimination, we find the need for more and more artificial methods of education. Well, until we find this old path.

My friend, of all the ideas I could share with you as you homeschool your children, this one is certain to change the atmosphere of your home while equipping your children to learn more deeply now AND more voraciously for the rest of their lives.

Although I cannot begin to do justice explaining Notebooking in one simple article, I have to tell you a few perks (if you want more help in this area, take a look at my book Notebooking! YES! You Can Be A Binder Queen Too!). You have to know that this is a WONDERFUL way to teach more than just the historical facts that we want for our children to learn. There are LOTS of perks!

First of all, Notebooking encourages deeper research on topics of study. As my children have found a "place" to keep their special "finds" along the way, they have had more interest in hunting for more information on every topic they run across. They may think of this as a treasure hunt, but while they are having a blast finding great ideas, facts, and heirlooms, they are learning the skills of researching that will serve them all of their life. That is not all! While our children are building notebooks on topics as they study, they are also learning how to record what they are really learning. Besides relieving mom of the pressure of keeping records of every minute of their day, this teaches them the skill of record keeping and keeps a more accurate account of what is being done each and every day. Oh, and need I mention, Notebooking also teaches our children Language Arts skills and techniques the EASY WAY!

So, how do you use this old path as you teach History the easy way?

First, find great resources that can be used for building notebooks.
I am constantly on the lookout for great resources with neat Copywork. My children began using Copywork when they were very little and STILL use Copywork for building their notebooks in High School. There are many, many great resources. The very first thing we used was a large print edition of the Bible. It was easier for my young readers/writers to copy from. I also look for books with poems, quotes, narratives, songs, speeches, etc. As we travel, my children also look for special mementos to add to their notebooks. Anything from art prints to recipes to maps to pictures of the people and events from History are game for their notebooks. The key is in having a "place" to keep the information that contributes to each and every study. That place is our notebooks!

Second, encourage your children to USE those notebooks every day.

It is so easy to put projects on the shelf only to collect dust. It is also easy for us to let the children do work that we pile away in a box to put away later for them. Notebooking is NOT another thing for YOU TO DO! Well, unless you are going to keep a notebook for your own studies.

My dear friend, the greatest benefits come from our children doing the work for themselves. Sure, you may have gone to every local Scrapbooking crop in your city and state. But, this is not a contest for the most creative memory book. It is a discipline that we can pass on to our children so they can learn the skills of writing, researching, recording their own education, and collecting information in a logical and understandable way. Simply find some great resources for them to copy from…buy just ONE NOTEBOOK (3-ring binder) and sheet protectors (to keep their work stored nicely in each day)…and turn them loose! The fruit you gather along this old path is simply too good to miss!

Happy Homeschooling...the easy way


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