Writing - Notebook summaries

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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2nd grade notebooking

Unread post by cbollin »

Willow wrote:I'm not sure what to expect for my 2nd grader with regards to the notebooking. She is a resistant writer ("I don't know what I want to say!") Suggestions for how to handle notebooking?
Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:04 am
I think a lot of times a 2nd grade knows what to say, but doesn't really understand it is ok to write it or might need a bit of help to get it from spoken to written form.

It's ok for a teacher/homeschooling parent to give some prompts for it so that it is not such an open ended assignment such as "summarize what you just heard me read"

*Narrow the topic with leading questions (see below in a minute)

*work with your 2nd grader. Even the well respected Andrew Pudewa teaches homeschoolers that it is ok to help your children with writing. Personally, I think a lot of the writing struggles can be "erased" when we work side by side with our children at this stage (2nd grade is kinda young and they still need some direct instruction.)

*Ask leading questions and let them answer out loud. Leading questions can be: Who was this lesson about? What did they do?
*after answer out loud, encourage them to write what they just said.
*if you have a child (like I did) with some short term memory issues..... this is what I did ---- she would say the answer and I would write it down on a dry erase board exactly as she said it. Then she'd copy it on her paper. It was her words, not mine. She just needed that visual help a bit. It doesn't stay like that forever. (hugs)

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Re: 2nd grade notebooking

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:20 pm
We have been finishing up ECC with 2nd grader. He would narrate as I would write it for him. I didn't want him to get bogged down with all the writing especially when he was also doing quite a bit of copy work for the day.

We took lots of pictures and drew lots of pictures for his notebooks.

Toward the end of his second grade now he is writing a bit more as I have also done like Crystal and written what he has narrated and have him copy it.

Need Help with Narrations? Written Summaries?

Unread post by cbollin »

I stumbled across this website/blog this morning and wanted to share it with others.

It is called Mom - The Narration Scribe
https://practicalpages.wordpress.com/20 ... on-scribe/

I think it has some good, helpful and practical tips for homeschooling moms/dads to help with the process of weaning with love from "oral language lessons" to "written narrative summaries" and shows it with the normal "classical" education feel with stages of learning.

I hope it helps someone. It says just about everything I'd want to say on the subject, and wish that someone had shared with me when my oldest was in about 2nd grade.


Re: Need Help with Narrations? Written Summaries?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Hey all,
Crystal what a great blog with so many helpful hints! This is a subject near and dear to my heart since one of my kids struggled in learning to write his own summaries.

Often children can tell you much more than they are be able to write in a summary. One of the things that I did with my son around the middle of 2nd grade is to actually limit the amount that I would allow him to dictate to me for his summary. We still did the narration first after the reading where he would share as much as he remembered about the reading, but I started helping him to summarize when he would dictate to me (for some even narration and dictation will be hard so this will not be a problem for all kids). I wanted about 2-3 good sentences from him (This is in 2nd grade). In 3rd grade I began having him copy what he had dictated to me . Not necessarily everyday, it just depended on what other writing we had going on and often he would do it over a couple of days. I also kept mentioning to him that next year he would have to do this on his own ( I know that the gal in her blog said age 10, but I never read that blog until today and I would say that depends on the student-I knew he could do it).

Now, let me say at this point I did not learn of MFW until my kids were in 2nd and 4th grade. That means I did not have any of the great instruction on how to teach kids beginning composition and summarizing skills from the First Grade. I know that even with all of that great slow progression some kids, still are not ready to write on there own at the end of first grade. It is best that students begin writing their own summaries as soon as they can. For some this may be at age 10 and others at age 7. Do not expect a summary to give the same kind of detail that a narration has given. Even as kids get older the summary will still be shorter than the narration often, that is a skill too.

So Trish with your twins do not feel you have to let them tell you everything for their summary. Maybe even using a few leading questions as the blogger suggested if needed. And remember the goal is to move them to doing this on their own. Follow the First Grade T.M. and adapt or slow it down as needed, but try to let them do it on their own and help them as needed. They are young and just beginning! Again, I know that some children are just not ready in First Grade and it will take time and even in to later years to really develop this skill.

Here are a few ideas for helping to slowly move to independence with 2nd and up:
(This list assumes that time has been spent with narrating, retelling orally what happened.)

Model a good sentence for your child and then have him copy it (you may do this for several weeks).
Then have the student begin writing one sentence on his own
When ready encourage 2 or more sentences

Other ideas:
Let your child write the first sentence and then dictate more to you
Give the child a topic sentence or come up with one together and then have him write.
Give a list of key works to pull from to write the summary (come up with the list together)
Older kids will find it easier to type a summary than write it

Remember sometimes it is about learning the skill and sometimes it is about readiness to compose and write all at the same time, while other times it is just an attitude. It will come all in due time!

I hope you will find this information both encouraging and helpful!

Re: Need Help with Narrations? Written Summaries?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

TriciaMR wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:09 pm Great link Crystal! That was so helpful. I'm going to be a busy scribe with twin boys!

Lucy, Thanks for the other ideas... I guess my main thing I was referring to about being a "busy scribe"...
One of my boys already wants to learn to spell. He wants to be able to write down songs he makes up and stories and notes. So, we're at u_e, ue sounds like /oo/, and have quite a ways to go to get there. He'll write a note like, "We wen to th stor an got kerats. " That's "We went to the store and got carrots." in case you need a translation.

Problem is, after about a sentence and a half his phonics disappears and the letters get random (as is typical with his age). So, he'll bring me a note he's written to me, and I can make out the first sentence pretty well, and most of the second sentence. But I can't read the rest. And then he can't remember exactly what he was writing and he gets kind of disappointed and frustrated and says, "Mom! You have to teach me to spell." And so he'll come to me and say, "Mom, help me write this song." And I'm in the middle of teaching oldest or making dinner or folding laundry or... well, you get the idea.

The blog post made me realize that it would be a really good thing to just stop for a couple of minutes and write a couple of sentences for him that he can go copy and reinforce what he's been learning in school. And I'm not sure how to work it in when my oldest still can't spell. Sigh...

Hey Trish,
What a great problem to have! I know it doesn't feel that way right now, but so many kids won't even attempt to write because they can't spell or they just aren't interested and many other reasons.

It sounds like you are working the best you can with it all and what a great idea to spend an extra 10 minutes or so each day (or as you have time) with him as he dictates his heart to you. (Maybe this can even be used as a reward sometimes too) I would also encourage him that as he is learning to read and write he will learn to spell some this year, but that it takes time. By the way I could read his sentence about the karets just fine :). You are right this kind of phonetic writing is perfectly alright and normal. It really is something that is just going to take time.

I am almost tearful as I think of my daughter at this age and the little notes she use to try to write me. They are really so precious and you will treasure them!

I did not know the specifics of what was going on with your family so thanks for letting me know. Happy writing to you all!


Re: Need Help with Narrations? Written Summaries?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

My Max is quite the little perfectionist ~ Lucy, we're dealing with this in the "attitude" portion of your post... ;) ~ and the creative process is verrrrrry frustrating for him. He loves to write, is a fantastic speller, and is a voracious reader...he just LOATHES creative writing. Unfortunately for him, summary writing falls into this category ~ he has to figure out what parts of the story he wants to write about & becomes easily overwhelmed. As I've evaluated my teaching style with him and focused on encouragement with Max, I'm definitely seeing an improvement. I believe some of the points in this blog will be additional helps in our situation ~ so THANK YOU! And thanks to those who followed up with other comments ~ you are a blessing!

History & Bible Notebook(s)

Unread post by cbollin »

gratitude wrote:I am wanting to understand / know more about notebooking! I had never seen this until I bought MFW Grade 1. He has taken to flipping the pages from the beginning when he sits down to do his daily assignment. It seems like such a great way to review the chronology of Bible from Genesis to Revelation that we have done. It also seems like a great way to integrate narration, writing, and drawing. I think one of the best parts is that he likes to do it! He never complains at all about this part of our work. :-)

How does the notebook do for comprehension of History and the time-line of History? How does it do for retention of the readings we do from the Bible and other sources? Do the notebooks come from Charolette Mason? Do you think they provide a good education? Is the goal long term retention or exposure?

I like notebooking, I am just wanting to understand more about it. I absolutely LOVE the Bible Notebook my ds has done for MFW 1. :-)
I love the story about the 1st grade Bible notebook that you shared. Aww. what a precious moment. thanks for sharing. Love it!

The same way it's working now. You just naturally turn back and flip through and enjoy it.In my middle gal's case, she remembers what she drew and then a story from it. Something was on TV the other night (some ad for a movie or something?) and she heard something in the title and said "hey, we learned that in ancient Egypt study. I remember that."

when the students talk about what they do, and then write or draw something, it is more likely to jog their memory when they look back at it, or when you talk about it later at the table.

Julie in MN
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Re: History & Bible Notebook(s)

Unread post by Julie in MN »

gratitude wrote:I have loved the note booking so much,
I'm so glad you posted that. It was a blessing to me :)

I am a big-time "notebooking gal." When I brought my first student home to school, it was a high schooler and I landed upon the notebooking method of learning. I was delighted about several aspects of this method, such as:
(a) It allowed my child to tailor her learning to her unique interests and abilities, while still covering the entire material
(b) She created her own "textbook" of sorts to help with review and retention, as you mentioned, especially tailored to her own learning experience.
(c) Her notebooks helped everyone see how much she really was learning -- seeing it for herself, me being encouraged by seeing her accomplishments over the years, and her dad and grandparents and others being able to see her accomplishments. I felt this was especially important when there were no classmates to clap :)
(d) Notebooking required her to absorb and own information, rather than regurgitate-and-forget that information.

Now I don't want to be unrealistic. My kids don't remember everything they learn. I don't remember things I learned. Some folks have better memories than I ever have had :~ And maybe notebooking appeals to me because I rely on things like "reference books" in order to organize my thoughts.

I have never heard that Charlotte Mason used a lot of notebooking, but maybe? She taught group school, so she might not have had time to read 30 notebooks each day. She used a lot of oral conversation, I know. She did do nature walks with drawing and labeling. I was trying to remember whether Ruth Beechick talked about notebooking, but again I don't recall anything.

I first learned about notebooking through some samples at Heart of Wisdom, Beautiful Feet, and other homeschooling sites for high schoolers (MFW didn't have high school back then). I was so happy to find MFW included a notebooking method for my youngest when I brought him home to school.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Re: History & Bible Notebook(s)

Unread post by Canoearoo »

gratitude wrote:So does the notebook idea in MFW come from Charlotte Mason? Did Charolette Mason use it a lot in her education of students?
Yes but she called it journaling. CM believe heavily in journaling especially of nature. The Bible note books are exactly how cm would describe a nature journal for younger kids. I make my kids to a nature journal as well. They LOVE there nature journals
"I am, I can, I ought, I will". -Charlotte Mason

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What Age Do You Have A Student Handwrite Notebook?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

gratitude wrote:At what age do you switch from being a scribe for note booking to the student doing the writing themselves?

My oldest ds7 that I am doing ADV with can write down a few sentences or do a list on his own. However, hand writing is his least favorite part of school, so I don't try to push it. He says it makes his hand hurt. He is at the very beginning of a typing program, so he can not type his notebooks yet. He gets enough handwriting practice from phonics & math & the letters in ADV that I am not concerned about adding more copy work, since he is getting the handwriting practice he needs.

So my question is at what age do you have a student handwrite the notebook?

I would like to have him keep narrating orally to me, and me be the scribe, through ADV like he did for grade 1. Will this detract a lot from some of the educational benefits of ADV? My other option at this point is to wait until next year to start ADV. I find myself putting off the History section due to the note booking. I dread adding more handwriting work to his day and so I procrastinate.

Should I be a scribe or wait until he is ready to do the writing himself?
Keep being a scribe until he's ready to do it himself. He'll let you know. I pushed dd too hard when she was younger, and it has taken a long time to get past double dictation. In fact, we still have days where I write as she talks.

Make sure he's holding the pencil right (use pencil grips if necessary), that his desk/table is the right height, and that he has good lighting. But I wouldn't push to have him do it now. Writing is very difficult it's not just the opposite process of reading, nor does it parallel speaking. It is more than just putting thoughts into words onto paper. You have to form the letters right, spell the words right, make sure you put in commas and other punctuation, capitalize, etc.

Of my twins, one of them loves to write, the other hates it. Today we were doing something and the one insisted on writing it himself (with me spelling the words for him), and the other let me go ahead and write.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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Re: What Age Do You Have A Student Handwrite NB?

Unread post by baileymom »

Carin -

I don't see anything wrong with writing down his History Narrations for now. I would keep 'scribing' for him, as long as he needs you to. He seems very young for ADV to me... My DS shares the notebooking with his sister (we only do one Family Notebook, dividing pages up between all students). So, he does a History Notebook page maybe once per week, rarely twice. He narrates, I write it on ruled notebook paper, he copies on the History Notebook page.

I was wondering what you meant by phonics/math/letter writing? We are doing ADV right now, and the only other writing DS, 8.5yrs, does is daily Copywork (memory verse or spelling words or LL poem) and his Spelling workbook pages twice a week. Are you doing LL? Maybe you could start doing that orally (we do it almost completely orally). Math... no writing involved (unless writing the numbers/answers count?). DS does have 2 PenPals...but he only writes to them every few months or even less.

I would just keep plugging away at ADV, doing what works for you guys. He will repeat all the info in years 4 and 5...so I wouldn't worry about him 'missing' anything. Maybe just stop Notebooking for now...color pictures, make a craft and take a pic...

OR stop ADV all together if that's what you feel is best. I'm CLASSIC at making the curriculum our own...we rarely do anything the way we're supposed to...and my kids do pretty well anyway (IMHO)...

I'll stop and let someone else (more experienced) chime in.

Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
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What is "notebooking"?

Unread post by laurelmarie »

psalm126mama wrote:I've read on a few threads ladies discussing adding in "notebooking" when their child needed or wanted more of a certain subject. I understand that it is completely optional but it sounds interesting. Could somebody tell me what is notebooking or how you go about it?
What we do for notebooking is:

-Write a narration of something learned (depending on the childs age and ability it could be dictated to me by child and I write it out, a sentence written by child or a paragraph written by child, I have also written what the child says and have the child rewrite it as copy work.) They then either draw a picture to go with the narration or get a picture to add to page.

A child's "Notebook" will contain narration pages, color pages, drawings, maps, charts, and pictures of projects with a brief description. This year I am taking pictures of each book dd reads for her history and science and then have her narrate what the book was about (I write it). If we go an a field trip that pertains to something we are studying, they add a pic from the trip with a brief description. In essence, notebooking is a scrapbook of the things they are learning about.
Laurel, HS since 1992, graduated 2 sons both in the military
Ds 15: MOH , Latin Alive, BJU Algebra, Lightning Lit, Apologia Phys. Science, Piano, Fencing
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Re: What is "notebooking"?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I look at our notebooks (MFW 3rd through 8th) as a sort of chronological textbook created by my child (except the ECC ones, which are sorted by continent).

Each notebook will be unique. My son did most of his on the computer, even if a page was provided for him. So he would find an image for the top of the page (or more places), then type his text, maybe being creative or maybe just in paragraphs, and we'd put the title and the date, and file it chronologically.

My dd did notebooking for high school (before MFW had high school) and her notebook was more artistic, with hand-drawn maps, Bible and other quotes in calligraphy, etc. But it was still filed chronologically to create a summary of what she had learned.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: What is "notebooking"?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

psalm126mama wrote:I thought it was in an actual notebook but it sounds like it can be done on pieces of paper and then put into a binder.
It can be done either way. My dd has used a spiral bound sketchpad for nature notebook, a lined spiral notepad for science . . . usually loose sheets that go in a binder. MFW student sheets have pages that we put into page protectors and save in binders for geography or history notebooks.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL


Unread post by cbollin »

MOMS wrote:Does anyone (or has anyone)notebook along with CTG?
Im just starting to notebook with my kids so if anyone has a link
to a blog or pix i could look at of some ideas~i guess it wouldn't
even need to be CTG specifically, just somewhere i could get
uhm.. do you mean in addition to the notebooking already part of the programs?

for CTG...
I did pages when the manual reminded me to. There were some that were "free style" and for pictures for that, I used Draw and Write Through History, to have the children have something to draw. just made it easy on us to do that.

sometimes the manual suggests clip art style from pictures in the internet linked Ancient World book. We did that..
sometimes, we'd trace or use the timeline pieces as models...
some of the student sheets were already with picture and then we just added lines to write.

I don't have pictures to share. sorry. I figure some day maybe MFW would put up a sample on their website of a few of the student pages, or a few really good ones from the student notebook samples at convention.

RTR, EX1850, 1850MOD - same kind of thing. plenty of the student sheets were there for notebooking...

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Re: notebooking???

Unread post by Erna »

I have considered joining notebookingpages.com in order to use some of their notebooking sheets along with CTG..
Julie in MN
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Re: notebooking???

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Agreeing that there's a lot of notebooking already built into MFW history years. We've been an extra-notebooking family, but we started before all the fancy pages were for sale, and notebooking to me is still a create-your-own type of exercise. I think of the process as an exercise in absorbing, sorting, and owning the info for yourself. (Even if they are just choosing a photo or map or interesting font.)

Here are a few of my past posts on notebooking at our house:

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: notebooking???

Unread post by cbollin »

Erna wrote:Does anyone know of some good free sites for notebooking with blank sections for children to do their own art?
donnayoung dot org... look under handwriting options on there
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Re: notebooking???

Unread post by thelapps »

Yes, I use notebookingpages.com and I love it. I have a houseful of boys and it makes it so much more fun for them to do their copywork on nice pages rather than giving them a blank white sheet or lined paper. Like yesterday the 2nd graders had their "answers to cat questions composition" and we found a paper from notebooking pages that had a cat holding a paper with lines. It didn't seem so difficult to write on there. They also have pretty papers for the old testament characters that we use for summarizing. I have first edition TM with student pages in back so I can pick and choose. There are also nice Nature Study pages from the site that we use for nature walk. So much more... I was able to get a good deal on the Treasury and figured it wasn't much more than buying student sheets would have been (I have 4 students) plus I can use it for anything and everything. If the boys know a book will be made from what they do, there's more purpose in it. I would like to purchase the binder thing also as 3 ring binders are hard to keep neatly on a shelf!
Best Wishes!
Marie Lapp
5 sons using WHL; AHL; & RTR
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