Notebooking: Digesting, Extracting Joy, and Collecting Gems

Notebooking provides a way for digesting what we are learning, collecting gems, and extracting joy.  My notebook is quickly becoming a priceless treasure to me.  And I hope my kids’ notebooks become invaluable to them as well. 

What is notebooking?

Notebooking is for extracting joy and collecting gems.

“I see notebooking as a way to hold on to all that I am loving learning about.  They are scrapbooks of favorite things.  I’ve talked about a book of favorite art prints for a young child; a collection of favorite poems; creating a page of favorite gems that you pull from books of literature as well as illustrations when possible; and nature journaling is a form of notebooking.

One of my favorite notebooks is my book of great lives which is really a study of history.  I load mine with fine art prints and illustrations because it saves me from writing a lot of words.  And as I look through it I am reminded of many things instantly. 

I don’t load mine up with lots of facts because facts are so easily accessible now.  There may be some facts that are meaningful to you that you want to hold on to, but I don’t see a need to create notebooks full of facts and information, which is what typical notebooking activities look like. 

Rather I use my notebook to jot down a story I want to remember and where I can find it again.  Or a quote, or a question that comes to my mind, or an idea that I want to remember…

Out of sight, out of mind is a real thing.  Notebooking keeps our learning refreshed.  There’s no right or wrong way to do this…

What I do know is that I am so sad for the times I didn’t take time to notebook a story or a person that I learned about and I cannot for the life of me find it again.  Also I’m amazed at all I forget as I go along and when I go back through my notebooks I’m reminded of wonderful people and lessons that would have been lost if I hadn’t notebooked them.”  (Marlene Peterson)

 

Notebooking is also for mental, emotional, and spiritual digestion.  

 

“Your bodies need to eat food every single day and your heart has the same requirement.  Overeating or eating too fast causes indigestion.  So allow yourself the time to reflect on what you’re learning. … Taking time to write down thoughts or copy quotes also allows time for ‘digesting’ and processing.” (Marlene Peterson)

 

 

Right now, we have all of the sections (poetry, art, music, literature gems, memory gems, books, nature, story of the world, and around the world) in one binder (for each of us).  But over time, as we notebook more and more, we will end up splitting up the sections into multiple binders.

 

Poetry: Poems that we find enjoyable or meaningful to us personally and individually

 

Me
Porter
Evelyn

 

 

Art/Music:  This is where we keep the paintings and songs that used to be part of our Morning Menus.  We also include any other art/music that speaks to us personally/individually and we want to keep.

 

Literature Gems:  This is where we copy the gems we mine from our reading.  If something stands out to us in a book or story, and we want to hold onto it, we make a notebook page about it.

 

Me
Me
Me
Landon
Porter
Porter
Evelyn

Memory Gems:  This is where we keep the things that we have memorized or would like to memorize

 

Landon

 

Books:  It’s fun to keep a list of the books that we read.  I keep a list of books that I have read to the kids and the kids keep a list of the books they have read by themselves.  I also want to start keeping track of the books that I read by myself.

Me
Landon
Porter

 

Nature:  When we have experiences with nature that we want to remember, we make a notebook page about it.  We also use this section to put our nature journal pages in.

Me

Landon

 

Porter
Evelyn
Evelyn
Roxanne

 

Story of the World:  This section is for real people and real events.  If there is someone that we are learning about from history and we want to remember them and what they did, we make a notebook page about them.  This section can also be for recording about ancestors we’ve learned about and important world events.

Roxanne
Pilgrims
Porter
Me
Me
Me
Landon

 

 

Around the World:  This section is for notebooking pages that have to do with cultures around the world, recipes, folk music, crafts, etc.  We can also include a list or individual pages of places that we would like to visit someday and why.  This section can include maps as well.

 

Roxanne
Evelyn
Me
Me

 

If you want even more details and ideas, check out this video where Marlene explains notebooking…

 

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