10 HomesCool Ways of Taking Notes!

It’s good to encourage young children to take notes even if they are homeschooled. Note taking via notebooks or journaling is good tool  that has been proven to be essential in learning.   It is so easy to take this simple task for granted when we homeschool our children. How can we be prone to rush or skip note taking?

  1. Note taking takes more time. If we do dictation, we may have to spell certain words and repeat sentences.
  2. Younger kids will need guidance in proper note taking.
  3. Those who don’t have tests or quizzes at home may scrap note taking if they think that the only benefit of note taking is for better test scores.” Why take notes, if we don’t let the kids take tests? “

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Proper note taking is a valuable life skill. Our children will surely find themselves in countless situations in the future where it would be truly beneficial if they knew how to take notes.

Taking down notes is not simply an act of the “hearing and writing”. It is considered an intricate, step by step, complex process of decoding and encoding information. It is described as a “the ability to take in information and make it one’s own by processing it, restructuring it, and then presenting it in a form so that it can be understood by others (or by oneself at a later point).”*

For instance, you say , “The Philippines is an archipelago.”   A child taking notes can copy this word for word from the whiteboard/blackboard. Another student may abbreviate and use the word “Phils.” Another may put, “our country”.  Different students may have different ways of “owning” the same information. Owning it is a KEY to better learning and easier retrieval.   An older student may draw a simplified version of the Philippine map and write the word “archipelago” under it.

Children develop in stages. So do their note-taking skills. We cannot expect a preschooler to take notes by “dictation” when he can barely spell commonly used words . We cannot spoon feed older students by making them copy word for word from long written texts from a white board. In fact, some experts have argued that effective note taking is a good way to prevent students from plagiarizing. They say, many students plagiarize because they do not know how to write, how to summarize, how to argue a point and how to connect ideas in a sensible way.

If you still need to be convinced regarding the value of note taking in the classroom, you may read these articles:

http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/students-taking-notes/

http://www.circusponies.com/blog/5-reasons-you-should-always-take-notes-in-class

The web is full of guidelines on proper note taking. Check these links out.

http://kidshealth.org/teen/homework/tips/take_notes.html

http://www.metrokids.com/MetroKids/January-2010/How-To-Take-Great-Notes/

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson322.shtml

This is a very cool note taking tutorial. You can watch this with your primary or middle school students. It’s only five minutes .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAhRf3U50lM

What’s cool about homescooling is how you can somehow stretch “note-taking” to limitless possibilities. Well written notes can be spring boards for projects. Notes can be “converted” to projects!

Here are some examples of our children’s notes:)

1. Allow them to draw and illustrate their notes.

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Can you feel the “note taker’s” astonishment with this lesson? Pay attention the the details of his drawings.
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My daughter even found humor in the lesson. “I can’t see a thing!” Can you feel how she was try to imagining what it was like?

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2.  Using Comics:

On building a strong foundation:

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3. Using charts:

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Did you learn something new about King Henry VIII’s 6 wives? Did you notice the details on the womens’ faces to show their age/ character?

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4. Using journals

Some curricula provide notebooking journals like Apologia which the children can use. Apologia provides mini books to fill up, cut outs and other creative ways to take down notes.

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5. Using Art Materials- Don’t you love taking notes with colored pens?

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6. Recreating your notes into projects:

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Using a toilet paper roll and paper with different shades of brown to illustrate parts of a tree’s bark.

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7. Posters based on your Notes

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You can create “templates” for the student to fill up
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Using reproducibles from teaching aids
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Summary of a quarter’s worth of lessons on Energy
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Summarizing our unit study on the Praying Mantis ( We caught it as a pet for 3 weeks!)

8. Creative “Notes”

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For Music, using a staff as a timeline
For Music, using a staff as a timeline

9. Using Venn Diagrams:

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10.  Brain/ Mind Mapping

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Mapping of the story, “Henry Huggins” by Beverly Cleary
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Global Warming!

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So there, I hope our examples got your  “homescool” excited to start taking notes!  Remember, the more the students “own” their notes, and the more fun they have in making the notes, and add to that, the more links the form with past lessons and other lessons from other subjects, the BETTER the learning experience!

Happy Note Taking!

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.

 

 

**qoute came from: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/students-taking-notes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “10 HomesCool Ways of Taking Notes!

  1. Amazing note-taking facts and examples! Amazing mom donnal Amazing kids! Glory to our Amazing Lord Jesus who grants wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Thank you mom Donna for this amazing tips. We will surely do these with our children (Sophia 6years old and Josiah 5 years old). God bless your generous heart mom Donna for sharing note-taking tips.

    Alma Miranda Roxas Reply

    1. Hallelujah!!!!!! Thanks for your encouraging message!

      donnasimpao Reply

  2. “Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out_ and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?”

    Jere Schoneck Reply

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