I find homeschooling fascinating, especially since I came out of the classroom and used to be 100% against homeschooling. But I find it amusing how teaching techniques from the classroom have evolved into homeschool staples.
Take lapbooks for example. I LOVE the idea of lapbooks! And I have found a few websites (check out that page!) that I love to use for lapbooks. I’ve made a few for my preschool kids to use and I’ve shared them with other moms. When I was in the traditional classroom, they were called file folder games. Now I agree that lapbooks can be creative and more informative than just a game, but the basic idea is the same: use a file folder to teach certain objectives with interactive foldouts or game pieces.
While I love the idea of lapbooks, I find that they take up quite a bit of space. I’m not one for giving up the amount of storage space that I have. I’m also not one for having tons of spare paper floating around that usually ends up in the trash. That’s a waste of time and material. So in my homeschool journey I have gone back to one of my personal favorite classroom organizational techniques: a journal.
Now a traditional journal in the classroom would consist of a spiral or bound notebook of some sort and I had my students use them daily to write stories or journal entries. But I also had my students keep a history, math, and science journal which allowed them to keep all of their seat work, any experiments, writing, notes, and cool activities together in one place. My thought process takes my philosophy of how I used journals in my classroom and combines it with the “fun-ness” of lapbooks. Wha-la! Lapbooking Journals. The best of two worlds, in my opinion!
What I have decided to do this year for RB’s kindergarten history and science is to have him use journals. He has a spiral notebook for each subject, and as we study, we add pictures and he writes a little about what he learned. For a kindergartener, a few notes or 1 sentence at the beginning of the year is appropriate. He can choose to use inventive spelling or ask for words to be spelled correctly. And by December, when our school year ends, my hope is that he will be able to write 2-3 sentences on his own about the subject studied.
There’s also such a thing called “Notebooking” in the homeschool world. This is great as well. I find this similar to what I am doing, only there is special paper the kids can write on and everything is kept in a 3-ring binder. Have you ever tried stacking 3-ring binders? Enough said.
We’ve been at this for 2 months so far and I can already see a progression and improvement in his writing. It’s so neat to watch!
And I have it all together in 2 spiral notebooks. It works for me!