Notebooking is not a homeschool philosophy, but rather a popular method for students to journal and reinforce their learning. Journaling is an ageless discipline that not only records the journey of learning, but develops a child’s writing voice and creative talents. Written narrations, copywork, timelines, reports, lists, observations, drawings, maps and photographs are some of the items that could be included in their notebooks. Lapbooking is a similar process, but a file folder that contains a variety of “mini books,” foldables, and other materials is used to cover detailed information about a single topic or unit of study. The use of notebooking or lapbooking can be used to informally evaluate a child’s learning, and tests are often put aside. Homeschooling with the notebooking method includes activities such as: reading; watching or visiting any variety of sources on a subject; oral narration of what he has read or observed; doing some copywork; writing (narration, list, poem, quote, etc.); drawing a picture or colouring a map or timeline figure; and, showing grandparents or friends their growing notebook or lapbook collection.


  • the process of notebooking reinforces many skills such as listening, narrating, summarizing, organizing, penmanship and drawing
  • notebooking is easy to adapt to the different age levels in a family
  • expressing the knowledge students have absorbed helps commit the learning to memory
  • can be used with or without curriculum, and is compatible with most homeschool styles
  • keeping a notebook or journal gives a child a feeling of owning their knowledge and encourages a habit of lifelong learning


  • students who struggle with written work may not enjoy this as much
  • depending on what is included in the notebooks, this method can involve considerable parental time for planning and tracking down resources


“The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook” by Tammy Duby and Cyndy Regeling

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