This year my son will begin the Classical Conversations Challenge program and my daughter will be starting her first year of Essentials (and her 6th year of Foundations). I’ve been busy reading articles and posts about ways that I can prepare for the new adventure ahead. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is narrowing down what has worked well, and what ideas I can do without!
One tool that has always worked well for us is notebooking. This tool can be used for ANY homeschooler (not just CC people), but it works REALLY well with CC! Notebooking allows you to engage the student in practicing their memory work, organizing ideas, using grammar, handwriting, and even art….all in one short assignment.
For the younger students, simply have them copy their memory sentence or basic facts. You can write the memory work down on the board, a piece of paper, or print it out for them (I let my daughter use the CC Memory Work Flashcards).
Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with dotted lines for beginning writers.
You can then move into dictation as the student is ready. You do this by dictating (saying) the sentence to your student slowly and they write it down. This way, they will have to think of proper spelling and grammar usage on their own.
Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with wide ruled lines.
The older 5-6th graders can use notebooking as a research tool. I did this with my son by utilizing the Key Word Outlining techniques taught in Essentials using IEW Structure and Style curriculum. He would read the back of a timeline card or a brief section from the Kingfisher Encyclopedia and write a Key Word Outline. Then using his own words, he would re-write his outline into his own words.
Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with narrow lines.
The upper part of the paper can be used to draw or cut and paste a picture that goes with the topic being studied! This is a great opportunity to practice drawing skills, so I usually require that most of their notebooking pages be drawn by hand, and occasionally I allow them to print something and glue it onto their page.
I hope you enjoy using these notebooking pages! Doing these every week with subjects like History & Science make for a wonderful portfolio or keepsake at the end of the year!
Here are some examples of ours in the past: