Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grammar Stage Notebooking with Spirals

coversheet for science
"We suggest each child should maintan his own history notebook" Harvey & Laurie Buledorn Teaching the Trivium 

We use Mystery of History and God's Design for Science in our 4 year rotation and most of my classical kiddos are in the grammar stage. Although I have one who is 10 and ready for some Logic level studies. Nonetheless, this year we are focusing on getting the grammar of subjects down pat for all the students in our homeschool.

Why Notebook...
We focus to help the children to retain the information they are learning.  We are simply trying to create hooks so the second and thrid time we come around to the material the children will have a foundation to build on.

"True education should not be like filling an empty bucket.  It should be like the lighting of a fire." WB Yeats from -Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn, Teaching the Trivium
Bingo card glued into spiral

How do we Notebook...
I try to keep it simple and provide a concrete learning experience for the children, so we do not do anything elaborate.
  •  I make a cover sheet for the notebook. 
  • We keep a record of our ongoing studies: We do a very simple kind of notebooking that I call spiraling, because we use a spiral notebook and glue all of our individual worksheets into it.
  • They write a narration on each lesson we cover (my younger students do this orally). Now this narration may be oral, 1 sentence or a picture from my 3rd grader or it might be 5-6 sentences with a picture from the 5th grader.
  •  For the most part I do not use elaborate pre-printed notebooking or lapbooking materials instead their notebook is mostly original content. The exception to that is the work they do from History in the Wood's Project Passport  Middle Ages  which we use as a supplement to Mystery of History. This has pre-printed lapbook/notebook pages that the children complete and glue in and we go over.

  • I give them homemade "Vocabulary Windows" which is a sheet of paper folded like a hotdog bun with 3-4 flaps. On one side is their vocabulary word (pre-printed) and they write their definition under the flap.This is glued into the notebook.

  • MOH on the left, History in the Woods on the right
  • I also incorporated bingo game into their science notebook for a review. They glued it into their notebook so now we know where it is at all times. We play bingo with vocabulary words a couple times per week. This was an idea that I got from pintrest  from a public school teacher who also uses spirals for notebooking and it works for me!

"Before the ate of ten, the child is at the Early Knowledge Level, where he is mostly dependent upon his concrete sensory experiences for learning" Teaching the Trivium by Bludorns

What do we Notebook...
Vocabulary Windows
Our notebook is simply a record of the work we have done in school a place to record their concrete learning experiences.We are mostly in grammar stage so we focus on vocabulary acquisition and the simply recording facts.

 Here are some of the things we notebook...
  • Mystery of history worksheets
  • Homeschool in the Woods Projects
  • MOH 12 Key Events
  • AIG Heaven & Earth Worksheets
  • Vocabulary
  • Copywork
  • Lesson Narrations
  • MOH & AIG Quizes/Tests
  • Games (such as bingo)
Normally, I would include a timeline but we do our timeline (Using Simply Charlotte Mason's free Book of Centuries) and Homeschool in the Woods Complete Collection Time Line pieces at our co-op so it a separate from our history Notebook.

How does your family provide concrete sensory experiences for your children in the grammar stage?

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  1. Love your ideas! I love to notebook too! Great getting and seeing other ideas. Love the Bingo idea at the back of the notebook!! :) Thanks for sharing. www.homeschoolstory.com

    1. Thank you. Simple notebooking has made a huge difference in our homeschool this year.

  2. I don't think I've ever seen anyone use a plain spiral notebook like that. Great, simple idea. I made spiral notebooks for the kids this year with copywork, narration, and activity pages all bound together. Thanks for sharing what works for you! I'll have to remember it if I end up not liking what we are doing this year =)

  3. Thanks for describing how your family notebooks. Techniques can vary dramatically and it's great to hear how you manage as it give new ideas.

    1. That is true and we have tried several and this is what works for us :)


Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

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