The back-to-school clearance sales are enticing enough to stock up on those essential extra markers and crayons, but don’t forget about one very important (and versatile!) supply – the simple spiral notebook.
For about $.20 each, you can frugally stock up on 20 or more of these treasures and be set for the whole year. We use a lot of spiral notebooks and I pick them up whenever I see them. Just the plain ones. Nothing fancy. We definitely don’t need any Austin and Ally notebooks. Just the plain yellow, red, purple, green, or black, thank you.
If you’re wondering why you’d need so many, I’ll tell you 8 creative ways to use spiral notebooks in your homeschool. You can probably come up with even more on your own – this is just a start:
1. Assignment Notebooks
Starting about a year ago, I started using spiral notebooks to give my kids basically a “to-do” list every single day. I fill in one page per day with all their assignments and chores for the day. Sometimes I leave them little notes or quotes about learning and working hard too.
2. Student Journal
My kids also journal every single school day. We’ve done this from the very beginning and it’s so great to go back and read what they’ve written. A spiral notebook is perfect for journaling because the book lays flat, which is easier to write in, and there’s lots of space to add a drawing if they want to as well.
3. Spelling Notebook
I love to use plain notebooks for spelling practice. Usually I write the list in one column and fold the sheet in half to create columns for my kids to practice in the other column. We also can take the test in that notebook as well so it’s all together and I can easily find their scores when I need to.
4. Bullet Journal
So this one might be more for mama or for an older child, but I had to add it anyway. A bullet journal is basically a planner/journal/calendar/to do list that you craft yourself out of a notebook. Draw in your calendar, add your meal plans, your goals, your to-do lists. It can all go in here.
5. Scratch Paper
I know, I know…why waste a perfectly good notebook on scratch paper right? Well, for us, it’s because we never have scratch paper where we need it, when we need it. But if we have a spiral notebook that cost a whole $.20 with our math text, I’m okay if we have use one as a scratch pad.
We are always creating portfolios to go along with our science and history unit studies. Keeping a notebook is a great place to stash all the stuff you do with your study. Have your student write notes or draw pictures and sketches of what you’re studying. Glue lapbook elements to the pages. Write essays or reports. Use the front and back covers to add pockets to keep other pieces of paper you want in the portfolio. Have your kids design some beautiful covers and use rubber cement to stick them onto the fronts.
7. Timeline Book
When I started homeschooling and really got into the Charlotte Mason method, I got totally hung up on the idea of a Century Notebook. I was picturing this big, elaborate keepsake that the kids would just pour over. I tried several ways, but it never looked like that for us.
Use notebooks for a timeline book! How great is that!? Use one per year and design a cover to tell what period of time it covers. Draw a horizontal line with a ruler across the center of each page and have your child either draw pictures of the person or event and mark with a short summary and date. Boom! Timeline book.
8. Sight Word Flip Book
There are so many great phonics items out there, but sometimes you just need something perfectly tailored to your child. Flip a notebook on it’s side, fold in the covers to make it stand up like a triangle tent and write the exact words your child needs to work on. Write down sight words, spelling words, vocabulary words, or even use it for foreign language practice like we’re doing.
Spiral notebooks are so versatile!
Are you heading to the store to load your cart with them yet? Yeah, me too.
How do you use spiral notebooks in your homeschool?
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.