Do you have little notes and drawings from your children’s younger years? Aren’t they so precious? I’m glad I have some of my son’s from over the years. One of the reasons I love them so much (apart from just the sentimental value) is because they remind me of his personality and growth over the years. When I see those block letters his left-handedness struggled to manage as a 6-year-old turn into legible cursive writing as a teen, and the stick figures he drew for his timeline, with the perfect little tick marks to denote emotion and how they have developed into well-defined faces today, I am amazed. Remembering our Five in a Row unit studies of The Story About Ping, The Glorious Flight, and The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge through his lapbooks still makes me smile.
For these reasons, and so much more, I’m super glad that we have used notebooking in our homeschool for the past 6 or 7 years. Because, just like those sweet little notes and drawings of our early homeschool lapbook days, notebooking has provided a way to keep a ton of memories to cherish from my son’s learning journey.
If you don’t use notebooking in your homeschool, let’s see if I can persuade you to start.
5 Ways Notebooking Will Greatly Benefit Your Homeschool
Notebooking Helps the Memory
As you probably know, I love to refer to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary to define words. So, here’s what he has to say about a note-book:
“NO’TE-BOOK, noun. 1. A book in which memorandums are written. 2. A book in which notes of hand are registered.”
To be clear, let’s define memorandum:
“MEMORAND’UM, noun plural memorandums or memoranda. [Latin]. A note to help the memory.”
And according to the article 3 Scientific Links Between Handwriting Your Notes and Memory, research today backs up the idea that the handwriting-brain connection makes a huge difference in the health of the brain. In part, it’s because the brain is exercising when having to think how to reword information vs. taking notes verbatim. If a student attempts to take notes word-for-word, they’ll struggle to keep up with the information being presented. Therefore, it’s necessary for the brain to filter the information in order for notes to be a summary and reflect the heart of what’s being taught.
Notebooking Helps Students Process Information with More Depth
Why Using Pen and Paper, Not Laptops, Boosts Memory: Writing Notes Helps Recall Concepts, Ability to Understand, is a helpful article. In it, we learn that writing notes helps students with the ability to recall concepts. The article shares about a study on two groups of college students. One group takes handwritten notes from a lecture. While the other group takes notes with their laptops. And the results reveal that students who take notes on a laptop perform worse when testing on ideas.
The same article gives reference to a similar study in Intech. Handwriting allows the brain to receive feedback from an individual’s motor actions which ties to motor memory, resulting in different connections and results than when an individual types notes. In effect, handwriting notes leads to a quality of learning that is higher.
Notebooking Makes For a Healthier Brain
The article How Handwriting Trains the Brain expresses that handwriting keeps the brain sharp throughout life.
The more individuals use the neural pathways, the better the overall brain health for anyone at any age, especially if a student is trying to retain and learn complex material.
Speaking of complex material, there are several different kinds of graphic organizers to help students organize information. As they utilize these, they help students retain and retrieve information. Compiling a notebook of handwritten notes allows the brain to exercise by “mind mapping” information.
When considering that God has intentionally wired hands and the brain to function in a relationship together, we can reason the importance of handwriting in connection to brain health.
Notebooking Keeps Students Organized
All of the notes help students organize their thoughts. But they also keep those thoughts organized. Additionally, they help students to practice the skill of organization.
Plus, all of those memories throughout the school year are nicely stored together to look back on as a family. How special to reflect on the school years together and to see the growth that has taken place with the ability to reason.
Notebooks Are Student Focused
Because students take notes and are also processing the lesson content, they’re engaging in their learning. Rather than predetermined fill-in-the-blank questions, your student is thinking critically and creatively while developing his notebook. This not only helps him focus on fleshing out what he has learned, it adds his own personality to the equation. This is a priceless benefit to notebooking and one he will carry with him into adulthood. Not to mention that it’s helping him take steps toward owning his education.
Notebooking Can Be Easy on You
I know you may be wondering where to start with notebooking. You (or your student) may be envisioning a 3-ring binder filled with plain notebook paper. Boring, uninteresting, uninspiring. And if that’s where you wish to begin to really push the creativity card, it’s perfectly fine. However, it can be so much more than that. And if you’d like a little help, I’d love to introduce you to our very favorite resource for homeschooling — Productive Homeschooling (formerly NotebookingPagesdotcom)
It doesn’t matter what curriculum you use, what method you follow, or how many children you have, a membership to Productive Homeschooling will greatly benefit your homeschool by giving your students an extra tool for creative learning and critical thinking.
And the really great news? You can join Productive Homeschooling for free and download their sample pack of notebooking pages in a range of subjects. If you decide you like what you see, you can join the paid ProSchool Membership which includes a library of thousands of notebooking pages, plus other printables and tools. Take a peek at the video below to understang everything included.
Check out the ProSchool Membership with Page Generator