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Notebooking – End of The Year Organization

Notebook End of Year Organization
A little filing of notebook pages for the year’s end.

This is our official last week of school for the year and that means cleaning out binders and organizing papers. I know if we had really been organized, completing it each week as we worked through the year, this would have been all done. The reality is that Mr. B has a big stack of papers left to file before we can wrap-up this year’s work and start our summer break.

Using a notebooking style of learning, complements our Tapestry of Grace work and our Charlotte Mason living books homeschool. It also makes end of the year organization super easy. Mr. B’s high school binders are kept from year to year, adding pages as he goes along.

Art work in Notebook in sheet protectors
Notebook pages and artwork in sheet protectors keeps the work organized from year to year.

For example, we don’t clean out his Art and Music binder but leave all his notebooking pages, coloring pages, and artwork in place. He studies approximately eight artists and eight composers each year, creating a biography page, a summary page, and a few additional pages on style and personal opinion for each one.

It seems pointless to pull out his work at the end of each year and now that he is half way through his senior year it is enjoyable to page back through and see the chronological study he has completed so far.

In addition to his subject binders, he has his timeline binder. This also makes sense to keep from year to year, adding events and additional notebook pages as he moves from time period to time period. He creates 3-6 pages a week so this binder may need to get a little larger before we are finished (perhaps a 3″ binder).

So you know what I am doing with Mr. B this afternoon…a little filing, a little reminiscing, and then sighing a big sigh of relief that this school year is at an end.

Next year we are planning on using‘s new Notebooking Publisher program to create unique and personalized notebook pages on the computer. Mr. B watched the Demo Video that shows how the system is going to work and he is excited to give it a try. He doesn’t mind writing with pencil or pen but the new Notebooking Publisher will allow him to perhaps make even more sophisticated notebook pages as he finishes his senior year of high school. Of course, these will be printed and filed away in his notebook binders.
Free Notebooking Pages Sampler
Please note that I am an affiliate for and highly recommend this from our personal experience.

History Timeline with Notebook Pages in High School

Ready for an update on our timeline? It is really turning into a great “book of centuries” project where Mr. B is pulling from literature, history, art, science, and whatever else strikes his fancy each week.

Timeline - High School
Book of Centuries Timeline Pages Entry

This is a totally open-ended project where I am leaving the how’s and what’s up to him. He prefers to pull images from the internet to print out and then attach to the pages. I require three entries per week but there really is no reason to monitor it since he enjoys this project and it is one of the first things he works on each Monday.

Timeline -Notebook page follow up
Notebook Pages for Elaboration

High school narration can take many forms and the timeline is a great starting point. I take a look at it each week and have him narrate to me why he picked an event or person, what was the significance, and how the items relate to each other (if they do at all). I do not read everything that is assigned to him so having him recap his week in this way makes it simple and interesting for both of us. I love seeing his enthusiasm and leaving the assignment open-ended gives him a measure of control and input into the angle he takes when doing his reading and follow-up.

Timeline -Essay follow-up
Notebooking Pages Lead To Formal Writing

From there, he is asked to elaborate on timeline entries in the form of notebooking pages. The notebook pages will build on the topics he chose for the timeline. Now for the great part! The notebook pages can be then used to make a more formal writing piece. High school level timelines now are the spark for oral discussion, informal, and formal writing. It doesn’t get much more personalized that this and my son seamlessly ties his reading and written work together using this sequence. If you want to learn more about our notebooking, you can click over to my Notebooking in High School lens on Squidoo.
We are using’s Book of Centuries pages for our timeline and history follow-up. This set is part of the Treasury Membership so take a look if you own the Treasury already or download it to your computer so you will have it to pull up as the arises. (I am an affiliate for
History Timeline / Book of Centuries Notebooking Pages

Weekly Wrap-Up: Better to Think or to Know?

Bike Ride American River Trail 2

Don’t look now but he is using his planner and checklist. I am trying to contain my joy at this new stage in Mr. B’s homeschooling and life. He is getting organized. As the youngest child, he seems to have cruised through school so far coasting on behind his older brothers. He hasn’t had too many times where he is the only child at home or had me all to himself. Our school has a whole new feel to it and he seems to be thriving. It isn’t like I haven’t paid attention to him but things just have always gone smoothly for Mr. B. He grew into homeschooling as I worked with his older three siblings. He blended in well.

Now the two of us are really getting to know each other and to learn how much I need to interact with him to keep him moving along with his studies. Homeschooling is now more like unschooling and it feels right for us. Yes, there is a checklist but it was mutually agreed upon to include subjects and materials we thought would work for Mr. B. He is really owning his learning.

“In other words, they think that it’s more important for a child to think than it is for him to know. But I say that a child can’t know without having thought, and that he can’t think if he doesn’t have a regular, abundant supply of various materials of knowledge. All of us know how reading a passage can stimulate us to think, wonder, and make inferences, which all result in getting us some additional knowledge.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 3 page 242

He is in taking more control of his learning but he still has a great amount of reading and narration that he is expected to accomplish. Yesterday he told me at the end of the day that he did “a whole lot of writing”. He was working on some written narrations from this week’s reading assignments, including a five paragraph story summary for Tell-Tale Heart (using IEW Unit 3). He was not complaining because he really does enjoy writing his thoughts out after reading and digesting. I think that his love of writing is because a Charlotte Mason style education gives a certain amount of freedom to the student to show what he took away from their reading, placing emphasis where they focused and making those connections between subjects as they arise. There are no real “right” and “wrong” answers.

Here are some additional highlights from the week.

We took an afternoon bike ride at the river (photo above.)
We shared some Edna St. Vincent Millay poetry: Recuerdo (read by the poet herself).
We enjoyed some Matisse paintings and I found a new favorite. Luxembourg Gardens.

Timeline and History Notebook Pages
Mr. B completed notebooking pages for William Taft, the Triple Alliance, and the Titanic. He also added to his timeline, opting to print images instead of sketch this week. (All pages from
Week three is done and we will be taking next week off for some volunteer work and for some real unschooling time. This is part of our three weeks of school and one week off routine (taking two years to complete his senior year of high school). He will be doing some reading and a few other small tasks all at his leisure as the week goes by but it will be very informal.

Yosemite Wildflowers

We will be getting outdoors while the weather is still good and working on our Outdoor Hour Challenges from the newsletter. Join us!

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