One more aspect that this change means in our house is that we are going to focus on notebook pages and not lapbooks. Once again this is a decision based on how I personally respond to lapbooks – I love them but I tend to get caught up in filling them rather than spending time with my kids. Notebook pages though are simply a title, a picture, and a line or two of what we have learnt (the child can either write this themselves or dictate it). Of course they can be much more than this but this is the bare minimum that I expect of my children.
I find notebook pages give opportunity for writing, and creative expression. The writing is my minimal requirement – the creativity is up to each individual child generally dictated to by their own level of creativity or their focus for the day.
My requirement for a notebook page is for there to be some representation of what we have learnt. It may take form of a photo of a hands on project or inspiration, it maybe an art project or it may simply be a paragraph (or even a sentence) – all this depends on what happened during our conversation. If I have no creative thought then we simply do a narration – either written or a dictated oral.
Google is my friend when it comes to notebooking. With a computer nearby I can quickly find answers to the questions that the children ask and I can find graphics for their notebook pages without a lot of searching time. Today I quickly found an image that showed the different types of fingerprints and printed them out for the kids to include on their notebook page. I did this while they got scissors, glue and magazines for another aspect of their notebook page. Alternatively they could have helped me find keywords for the google search or they could have quietly read a book for the few minutes it took me to find the resource online I was looking for.
There are two lessons I have learnt with using google
1. 1. Think key words but you can type in a whole sentence too and google will still understand something of what you are looking for.
2. 2. Accept the first 1-3 pages your search offer you – it isn’t going to get any better. The problem with the internet is that the options, the knowledge is unlimited, we can keep on searching but is it really beneficial? I doubt it, so I limit myself to 1-3 pages, depending on how important it is to me to get just what I want, and depending on how much time I really have for this project.