Notebooks Revised At Our House For 2015/16

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(from my vantage point on the couch during a school day , an actual notebook, left open in mid-use 🙂 )

Last year, (in June actually)- I shared about how we were using notebooks to help guide our homeschool days.

This year, I very quickly fell underwater trying to keep up with handwriting six students’ personal notebooks each night. It just wasn’t happening and the results were sorrowful.

I didn’t want to lose the notebook.

The notebook is so concrete. It is hard to lose. Each child has his/her own unique color. It is tangible. We had tried clipboards in the past. We had utilized index cards. I love the notebook!

And… I can’t help but mention…one of my children- creatively “built” a paper pocket on the front of his notebook for his pencil. He stores it there in the most handy way. 🙂

Todd suggested I type a master sheet out and print it each Sunday night. He was quite firm that there was no way I was able to hand write each book each night or even for a whole week. Not enough time. I talk about master sheets in that prior post (and why I didn’t want to use them!) He even mentioned the dread clipboard.  I pondered a bit on how I could generate a typed chart for the kids yet still maintain the simplicity and power of the notebook in our school days.

Then, I remembered!

When I was in 7th grade (in public school), I had a very interesting Science teacher ( I think it was 7th grade… anyone who shared those classes with me who remembers- feel free to correct me!) This science teacher asked us to tape our worksheets- I think maybe they were lab sheets- into our  spiral notebooks. Folding them in half, and taping them with scotch tape , so that they could flip open inside the book.

Voila! This is what I decided to do to transform our notebooks.

My second concern was how to overcome the stagnancy (and redundancy) or the master chart. Seeing the same thing each week, and then starting to ignore those same things!

I quickly overcame the stagnancy of the master chart by editing it each week with my calendar in hand. I update each one day by day with what the week holds. I also feel free to write on the plans throughout the week as needed- updating as we go along.

I just (tonight) finished entering assignments for our third week using this plan. The first week, it took me so much time to create a sheet for everyone, I became exhausted and ended up accidentally deleting a whole student’s plans. 😦 Ugh. I pressed on, recreated it, and away we went.  I don’t recommend that approach! The moral of that little story- is that perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to attempt so much in one night! Spacing it over a weekend, two at a time, might have been better. But I have my scheduled planning/school time on Sunday evenings, and that is when I had the time and focus to work on it. So that is what I did.

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Some links for your pondering:

(The original post on spiral notebooks!)

http://amongstlovelythings.com/spiral-notebooks/

(I found the notecard post!)

http://livinglearningandlovingsimply.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-guiding-children-with-notecards.html

(my first post on how we use notebooks!)

https://rlfb.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/notebooks-post-3-homeschool-planning-mini-series/