Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reviving our Love for Notebooking~

Notebooking Fairy Photo Credit
I was up very early this morning and was very interested in reading a new ebook download I had gotten last evening.  It is called Notebooking Success by Jimmie Lanely.

Here is the link to be able to see how you can also get this ebook.

I really liked this ebook. Really informative especially for the novice who might be just beginning or thinking about incorporating Notebooking in their home learning.

We have been Notebooking on and off for a couple of years now.  I mention "on and off" because we haven't been as consistent as I think I would like us to be. This book sort of rekindled my reasoning for notebooking and in talking with my teen early this morning we are both anxious again to get back into using it more in our studies.

The book is very simple to understand and provides a great layout for the different styles of learning and how you can adapt Notebooking into any homeschool style.  It gives some great links too, which were great reminders for me of sites I had long forgotten about and quickly skimmed those over this morning pulling a few gems I found for us to use right now~ . ( I listed a few ideas and things we do to "tweak" notebooking to suit my special needs kiddos, see below if interested)

If you are interested in Notebooking but not quite sure where to start or how to do it I would highly recommend this inexpensive "gift" you can give yourself and your homeschool.  You will be thanking yourself later on~ Thank you Jimmie for sharing this wealth of information and experience with us~

Here are some thoughts and suggestions I have found to help us in our Notebooking at home:

* We use a combination of things for our Notebooking. I use printed copies of free notebooking pages I find on the internet, regular notebook and cardstock paper to attach lapbook folds and pictures we find to place onto a page for a particular topic ( yes, I also combine lapbooking and notebooking) and I also make my own pages when I can't seem to find something I was looking for or am feeling ambitious. :)

* I keep my pages that I print out in a big binder. I print out or copy several pages ( especially if they are generic and can be used for a variety of topics) and add the small stack to a page protector pocket so they stay nice and I keep them organized in dividers by topic in that big binder. Here is a blog post (look below for the part about the Notebooking Binder)  I had written about how I keep my pages so that I or the boys can find them when we need them in a snap~

* Notebooking to help with spelling and writing~   My younger son continues to struggle with the process of the actual mechanics of writing including spelling.  I think often children who has dysgraphia and problems with spelling often shy away from doing such tasks and we as parents can often find ourselves avoiding the dreaded tasks as well.  Well, we can't. We need to find ways they can do things and function and in thinking more about how we had gotten away from our notebooking helped me realize that this could be a powerful way to help both with spelling and writing.

Sometimes one of the best ways to learn how to spell is through writing. Just Write! as so many people say, but when they say this usually they are talking about writing/composition programs, I am not. I am talking about writing to learn how to spell. Not from a pre-made list but from ( as my teens says) "real life". Writing because it isn't a random word you have to learn ( or in our case already knows) but writing for meaning because it is saying something about something you want to say!   My younger son does great in spelling. Sounds odd doesn't it? Well its true, we have tried many, many spelling programs and he does wonderfully. He gets his list works on the words and might only miss one if that. So whats the problem?

The problem is when he goes to write something ( he has a very high-leveled vocabulary, being twice exceptional) therefore many programs even higher grades do not seem to fit his needs and abilities.  I need something more tuned into his own needs which is why we use a more "Individualized Spelling List". But again, this was seemingly separating out the lessons too much so I realized recently that what was missing was Notebooking. This can be a great tool for toward teaching with meaning for his spelling.

For us, using the writing program IEW also helps because again, it gives him "a reason" to need to write and write well so we can read the letters. This also helps in his spelling and dysgraphia.

* Using our Lifepacs differently to adapt it to Notebooking ~ We really like using Lifepacs periodically according to units we are working on in History and Science. We don't use them exactly the way they are "supposed to be used" Surprise! ( nothing new there for us right?!)  What we like to do is work through the pages and then cutting out the pictures and using them in our notebooking pages for visuals and I read out the questions and we use those for narrations that can be written on the notebooking pages :) It works great!

A few more tips for children who struggle with writing~ 

     * copywork can be a great way to help with children who struggle with using pen/paper and also with spelling.   Early on and even now and then ( for modeling purposes) I will have my son narrate to me what he learned and scribe for him on notebook paper and then he can then go back and copy the words at his own pace, saying each word as he writes. 

     * having the learner write down his thoughts and words on a separate piece of paper before adding it to the formal notebooking page helps those children who may fall into the "has to be perfect" category. So that they can work out their thoughts first before making it permanent. 

     * recording their narrations also helps so they can go back and write or we can scribe for them what they wish to add to their notebooking page.  This really helps kiddos who may have trouble with auditory processing, it can help them gather their thoughts a bit better and organize their writing verbally before starting to write. 

I bring these thoughts up because so many books and things that are recommended are geared for the typical child. So many forget about the special needs learners and set expectations by age/grade of what they should be doing and when and how that may not fit our children at all times.   For us special needs parents we need to tweak things constantly. Know that your not alone and share in this "out of the box" thinking we find ourselves in.  And realize that our successes we have with our special children are all that much sweeter! :)


Jimmie said...

I want to thank you for the positive review. It's so rewarding to know that my work has benefited someone.

And the tips you offer here are wonderful! Notebooking works with Lifepacs! See, that's the beauty of notebooking. I use a Charlotte Mason style, you use a more traditional style. But notebooking works for both of us.

I'll be linking to you for the March Round up!

Learners at Home said...

It is I who should be thanking you! I liked it so much I just had to share and write about it~ and thank you for considering me for your round up~



lakenormanprep said...

I have two kiddos with dysgraphia and both "twice exceptional." We do a type of notebooking with a Waldorf curriculum. I actually just ordered an IEW program today to use for next year. Glad to hear you like it!

You might like these~

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