Q: How do you notebook for kids under 8 years old.
The purpose of notebooking is to communicate what has been learnt. Before our children learn to write independently there are many other ways they can communicate what they have learnt.
- Drawing, painting
- Making things – playdough, lego, recycled boxes etc
In the early years I do a lot of narration – that is getting the kids to tell back to me what they have heard or learnt. Initially it is often word for word retell of what it is I’ve just said – this can be frustrating but I see it as a building block to being able to break it down and then retell it in their own words. I don’t want to breed parrots, I’m teaching my children to listen, to think and to communicate.
So the first step to notebooking is talking. At some stage I would start writing down what they say. This helps them see the connection between the spoken word and the written.
I also get them to draw, and then explain to me their drawing – which I would sometimes write down for them either underneath their drawing (asking for permission first), on the back or on a separate piece of paper.
The next stage is when they start to form their letters that they can copy the sentence that I have written – and even better if it is a sentence they dictated to me.
Eventually we want them writing their own sentences. But I always encourage the oral narration or discussion first as this helps clarify their thinking and they are not facing a blank piece of paper with a blank mind.
We need to remember the purpose of the things we ask of our kids. What is the purpose of notebooking? To record what has been learnt by the child (not to record what the teacher hoped would be learnt). If we keep this purpose in mind, we can then use the level of oral, or written communication that the child is up to as the method of creating a notebook page.
This post is a part of a series springing from the Q&A session at the Mum Heart Conference. I’m taking time to answer these questions this week as I think they are helpful questions for most homeschooling mums at some time in their journey….