One of the many joys of homeschooling is that you can really take the time to customize the learning to your child’s own personal style. I have tried a lot of different methods in order to try and help my kids learn the most from each subject. Since we use an online program it is really hard to keep track of all of the printable worksheets that go along with it. We have also found that the curriculum does not go as in depth as we would like it to go. So in order to make sure we learn all that we can about a particular topic I started creating subject notebooks. Not only is it a good way to keep track of all the stuff they are learning but it is also fun to look back at the end of the year to see how much information they have actually learned. Below you will find a few ideas and suggestions on how to get started on your subject notebooks. This process is very similar to lap booking but has been adapted for older kids that are on the middle school and high school level.
1. Manilla folders needed
Start by taking the time to invest in several boxes of manilla folders. You will want to take at least four folders and open them up flat on the table. Staple the folders down the center fold line. You will basically be creating a notebook using the manilla folders.
2. Allow your child to decorate
Even teenagers still like to decorate their notebooks. If you are suing this particular notebook for a social studies subject have them create some artwork on the front that combines, the topic and their own likes and dislikes. Remember that this particular notebook is really only just for one subject or topic at a time.
3. Research the topic
Take the time to thoroughly research the topic that your children are currently studying. Try to find any additional information on the topic. You can also print out any worksheets that go along with the lesson and secure them to the file folders. Simply staple them to the top of the folder page. Any printable that goes along with the lesson you can easily secure it to the inside of the folder using glue or staples.
4. Leave pages for additional thoughts
Take the time to leave some of the pages blank so that your child will be able to fill in information on their own point of view on the topic. You can even include some questions that may be highlighted on the test. If you are not sure what information will be on the test if it is a computerized program focus on the main points. At the end of each topic you can have them write a summary of what they have learned. This is a great way for you to observe whether or not they have really taken in all of the necessary information.
5. Add a copy of the test at the end
After you have finished covering the entire topic, and your children have taken the test you can print the test and add it to the end of the notebook. This is a really nice way to close out the unit, and it also makes it easier to add up all of the grades at the end of the units as well.