How Homeschool Notebooking is Like Social MediaSuzanne Broadhurst
Does your family notebook? I would have been lost in the sea of homeschool learning without a throng of three-ring binders at my beck and call.
As a retired homeschooler (one in college, one graduated now in the work force), I still love my binders and use them daily. Each one is set up a little differently based on the need at hand and the goals I am working toward. It’s rather similar to how we moderns use social media.
Just as there are many platforms for creating and maintaining social connections online, there are numerous ways to set up a notebook.
Here are three options and how they relate to social media.
Notebooking the Pinterest Way
Pinterest is a data collection agency. We are its agents. Simply gathering intel, we pin an image, adding an optional caption or comment as the mood strikes.
Notebooking the Pinterest way works well for assignments such as timelines. Children can “pin” a timeline image on a timeline board or into a timeline notebook. Or children can create their own images — such as bloggers may do for their Pinterest boards — based on what they’ve learned in their history or science curriculum.
Notebooking the Twitter Way
Twitter’s platform is more about words, a limited number of words – 140 characters, with an occasional image. This form of notebooking can be related to worksheets. Children have a limited amount of space on a few lines to summarize the information they need to digest.
Although worksheets have had some bad press among homeschoolers, they have value for condensing information. Creativity can be encouraged by teaching word choice, strong adjectives. For example, the worm larva isn’t cool; it’s fascinating or moldy looking.
Like Twitter, there is no room to ramble on a worksheet.
Notebooking the Facebook Way
Facebook offers a template for individuality. Instead of giving us a blank page like an empty scrapbook page, to fill up with our thoughts, our images, our plans and our discoveries, Facebook offers a format to work within.
We aren’t allowed to scrawl anywhere on the page we’d like. We have to color with the lines, so to speak, but with plenty of ways to do just that: walls, feeds, photos, notes, events, and more.
How to Notebook the Facebook Way
Mom or dad can assign (preferably in writing) the basic elements to incorporate into the notebook design, such as sketch, graph, opinion page, article clipping, timeline entry, summary, copywork for the littles, etc. Notebooking the Facebook way is an example of creative notebooking..
If a child needs a creative lead, offer template pages in a manila folder or sorted in an accordion file. Allow the children to record the information in a manner that catches their creative eye.
Social Media Notebooking: Various Platforms for a Variety of Edu-Needs
Just as there is no right or wrong to the bones of social technology, there is no right or wrong way to notebook.
It’s how we use the platform to its fullest potential with goals in mind compatible to the platform.
How Do We Choose?
- If we want our children to absorb knowledge while being creative, we should give them a Facebook-style notebook, rather than a Pinterest-style one.
- If we expect memorization or summation of facts, then Twitter-style may be the way to go.
- If exposure to a variety of images, say of butterflies, is the goal, then set up a Pinterest-style notebook, using plastic multi-photo pages to sort index cards or magazine clippings in a 3-ring binder.
It’s Your Turn
What style of notebooking appeals to your children most?