Notebooking Fridays

I schedule a 4 day week. While we generally school 5 days a week- Fridays are reserved for catch-up, delight directed investigation, notebooking, and generally a flex day for those weeks we need to ‘drop’ a day: illness, travel, farm work, one-of-those-days 😉 , field trips….

When I pulled my kids from public school (4th and 6th grade) we began science with NOEO. It scheduled a 4 day week and there are a few notebooking type pages in the front of the syllabus. We made endless copies of these until we discovered notebooks at our state’s homeschool convention from Miller Pad and Paper Company. These eliminated making copies every day, and kept each child’s  pages bound in one book. They loved this. So, they began using the same notebooks for history, creative writing….

noeo notebook

We made endless copies of these until we discovered notebooks at our state’s homeschool convention from Miller Pad and Paper Company. These eliminated making copies every day, and kept each child’s  pages bound in one book. They loved this. So, they began using the same notebooks for history, creative writing….

note sketch miller pad

As a part of our spring meltdown one year, I re-vamped our school (incidentally we had moved on to ‘higher level’ high school curriculum- instead of  the living books studies like NOEO.) I had heard a  lot about delight-directed learning but did not have kids motivated to do that. I switched back to a wide variety of living books studies and decided that they notebooking theory was a good way to investigate.

I googled notebooking pages and read a Notebooking Queen book by Cindy Rushton. (I’m not sure which one and I no longer own it but something like this) I printed a few and put them in a 3-ring binder. General pages like we had been using but different organization.

I’d say this has been successful with my younger kids- but my older ones still prefer the notebooks from Miller. They began with different habits ;).

The 4 day week has been quite a success for us and it looks like this:

Our homeschool day begins with a-loud reading by me. Then math. These are the two things I find most important to do every single day (math and reading).  So, on Fridays we do the same thing, but at the point that they look at new assignments- they are looking at notebooking as the assignment. Sometimes they file things into their record binders, sometimes they create new notebooking pages, sometimes they complete things that have not been finished for whatever reason- but in the end we have less pressure on Friday. We’ve completed learning. We’ve investigated or recorded or caught-up. That is how we do it- until it doesn’t work 😉 then we will try something new.

MENUS and IDEAS- I collected two documents that list ideas for the kids to use in their notebooks. I’m not sure where I got them. I wish I did so that I could give credit. I printed them and put them in a page protector in the front of their notebooks.

Notebooking idea lists

now it’s been a whole year since I’ve put this binder together, and I didn’t put it together with intent on sharing it- just using it- so I’ll do my best to give you an idea of the sources I’ve used. I apologize for what I’m certain I’ll miss.

My NOTEBOOKING binder includes:

I put each page in a plastic page protector and make extra copies of a few. The page protector sheet can be copied, 3 hole punched copies can be used. This makes the notebook re-usable.


Good Luck. PLEASE share your notebooking ideas with me! I’m really quite new to this.




A day in the life of a homeschooler…

It’s a common question! What does your day look like? How do you do it? How long does it take?

I’m going to TRY to outline an ideal homeschool day in my home. This is TOUGH because life happens in my home, how about yours? 😉  We swerve a LOT.

Now- first I have to outline my specific family interruptions: I have kids duel enrolled in the public school- all take band, all high schoolers take an Ag class (it is required as a part of FFA) one is involved in speech and drama, one takes Spanish and we are involved in sports programs. This usually takes 1-2 hours a day per kid class time + sports and clubs. One more thing- we live on a farm. We have animals to feed.  We live on the farm, but not at ‘the farm’ where our equipment and livestock reside. We travel about 2 miles to take care of these chores (and the public school is only 2 1/2 miles the other direction)


I get up about 7 or 7:30. I am sending my husband out the door about then- depending on season and weather.


This is MY time. I am known to dilly dally on the computer 😉  or read. I wake the kids about 8 or 8:30, drag them out to the living room semi-sleepy in their PJ’s and read to them. This is our History program.

(depending on schedules and current livestock needs- some will leave for classes at the school or chores)


I will continue reading with the youngest- teaching reading, language lessons… while others begin their own lessons, breakfast or showers. Usually each kids list begins with math. I think it is THE MOST important one to do every single day (besides reading). Each child has a checklist/schedule and they work through it. I hang around to see if there are questions, begin making rounds to where each child has wandered to and ask ‘what did you think of….’ ‘how many did you miss in math?’ ‘have you started reading…’ also my chance to throw in a load of laundry- however the important part here is staying completely visible! If I head off to do a project? answer the phone? …. whoa. I’ve lost them. :/


My husband generally comes home for lunch between 12:30 and 1 and we eat together, sometimes discussing things we’ve learned this morning.

After lunch we finish up on anything we had set aside and some days our schedule gets busier with band or some other activity.


NOW is when each member of my family is watching for things to align- everyone is here, and everyone is ‘done’ This is our favorite part of the day! ” DONE. Mom, can we watch an episode of [Flash] together?” sometimes we watch entertainment, sometimes we watch things like ‘Brain Games’ or ‘How we got to now’ – something fun AND learning. Sometimes I only have the two youngest and we do a little drawing.

We all count it a good day when we get that down time together! (and some days we STEAL this time from school! you know those days don’t you?)

Somewhere between 3 and 5 we begin a new schedule- evening chores and evening activities and sports. we’ll meet back here again for dinner (usually in the neighborhood of 8pm!!)


-hopefully shuffle kids to bed…..then again, I said in an ideal day 😉


Please tell me what your schedule looks like!