By Jaime Gravitt

By Jaime Gravitt -

Notebooking Pages

Free Notebooking Pages

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.

Lower Elementary:

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).

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Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with dotted lines for beginning writers.

Middle Elementary:

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.

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 Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with wide ruled lines.

Upper Elementary:

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.

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Click image to download PDF of the FREE Notebooking Pages with narrow lines.

 

 

Drawing:

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:

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My Homeschool Plan – Using Classical Conversations – PART 1

I’ve recently led (or co-led) a few meetings with Classical Conversations families in our area. These meetings were held to discuss how Classical Conversations could be used at home as a full program. Many people have misconceptions when it comes to CC, and I’ve been working to help expose the myths and present the truths about using CC. I’ve come across many parents who are interested in CC but felt they still had to purchase and use a whole other curriculum for their studies at home…that CC was a “supplement” that they could add to their schooling.
Classical Education Made Approachable
To read a FAQ about Classical Conversations….click here.

CC is a very flexible program. If a family wants to join CC and use our program as a supplement only, they certainly can do it that way. However, I suggest using the Classical Model of Education and using CC the way it was intended. I admit that learning this was hard for me. I tell people all the time that it wasn’t until I was starting my 3rd year of CC that I really understood HOW to use it to the fullest. Retraining my modern education brain to understand the Classical Model of Education took some time!

Options are everywhere. Even when using CC in a “classical” way, there are lots of paths one could take. I wanted to simplify my life as much as possible, so I looked for ways that I could use what I already had on my shelves, what I was already learning at CC, and how I could combine those things to create a predictable schedule and pattern for us to use at home. With that, I also wanted to incorporate some key parts into my home: copywork, read alouds, love of literature, etc…

I can’t say what would work for everyone, but what I can say is what I found works for us. I have rising 5th and 2nd graders. If I explained each subject in detail (which is what I plan to do), it would be a very long post! So this is part one!

Copywork:

I found this definition of copywork from a website (www.homefires.com) under their “Dictionary of Homeschool Terminology for the Totally Confused

This technique is used to help students learn to write from the initial skill of forming alphabet letters, all the way through learning to write sentences, paragraphs, poetry and more. Once students have the ability to copy sentences and paragraphs, they usually copy excerpts from good/classic literature. The idea is that by copying, they learn the techniques of great writers that they can then apply to their own original writing.

I totally believe in the importance of copywork! At first, I admit, that I wasn’t sure how much of an impact copywork would make for my children! You can read all about my trials and accomplishments of copywork here.

Memory Work Review:

This part of our day is dedicated to practicing our memory work. The source for our memory work comes from our Classical Conversations program. The entire Foundations Program at CC (4-12 years old) is made up of Memory Work in each subject.

To read more about what the Classical Conversation’s Foundations Program is visit the Classical Conversations website!

We spend one day a week with our CC Community learning the memory work for each subject for that week. Even more than that, we also see the tutors model for us (the parents) how to teach the memory work in a fun, fast-paced way! Watch this video to see some clips from a CC Community.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co6CJdROEQE?rel=0]

Memory Work Review at Home

The time each day at home is spent orally reviewing, playing review games, and singing our Memory Work. I spend anywhere from 10-30 min doing this each day. Okay….okay….so I don’t do it EVERY day. Don’t tell anyone!! But…I am able to say that we do this at least 2-3 times a week at the house. To give me some credibility, we also listen to all our Memory Work on CD in the car during the week whenever we leave home! So we actually review this A LOT! I mostly just use the ideas that I saw modeled for me at CC.

Math:

I’m going to start the with the math as the first subject. I felt it was best to talk about math first just because math is one subject that is not fully incorporated into the CC program. We have math memory work to work with each week, but it’s not a math curriculum. The math memory work is awesome and should NOT be neglected no matter what! However, you will want to find a math curriculum that works for you (or if you feel confident, you can piece together your own stuff…especially for the younger years). We use Math U See. I love this program.

To see my post about Why I Love Math U See…click here.

To be continued… in my next post I will discuss Science and History!