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Some people ask me how we can maintain our notebooking activities in this 4 years. Don't you think that kids are bored in writing and making notebooks? There are some problems we have in the notebooking activities, but we still can maintain our notebooking activity until right now. Even children are familiar with the activities. There are also a lot of ways to do notebooking activities in different subjects we have. Here are some tips to maintain the notebooking activities from us:
Don't Force Them to Write
There are a lot of things that cause children don't like writing and also not every child has a talent in writing. However, those are not reasons for them not to write one day. They just need more time to accustomed themselves in writing, especially the young learners. Writing is a way to communicate, so you need to be patient and smart to find a way to get your children write. Make them comfortable with writing so that they become confident and independent.
Help Children to Focus on The Main Ideas
Writing a lot is not always the best narration. Keeping the children stick on the main ideas and include all of the main ideas are more important. When children can show what they comprehend all of the lesson's points, you will know that they have put all of the information they get and communicate them as well. Helping children to focus in the main ideas can be done as early as they learn to do oral narration. This way will help children organized in their writing so that they are not getting confused jumping from one idea to another idea or missing any of them.
Get Them Value Their Work
Your children might still not understand why notebooking activities are valuable. Maybe parents also only think that notebooking activities are only a part of the daily lessons they have. In the first year of our homeschooling with the notebooking pages, we had the same attitudes. We just follow what other homeschoolers have done with the notebooking activities without paying any attention toward the quality of children's work. We didn't aware that every single piece they work on would be a valuable masterpiece for them in the future. When the year had finished, we just felt sorry about the improper quality they showed in their notebooks. Therefore, it was a great lesson for us to give the best quality to the notebooking children work on.
- Children are expected to give the best handwriting during the notebooking activities.
- We need to check children's work to make sure they are finished properly. Unfinished work should be finalized.
- The notebooking pages are supposed to be done in a proper space and surface so that the paper won't get scrambled or folded.
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Children will be proud of themselves when they see their notebooking activity results. As a result, they will be more enthusiastic to start another activity.
Help Them to Treasure Their Work
It often happens that children abandon their notebooking pages that they have finished. Other children never finish their work. Finishing a notebook should not be considered as burden. Once you know that your children have any problem or feel reluctant in finishing their notebooking activities, please be alerted soon as some help might be needed to get them motivated. A little help or just an accompaniment from parents will usually be meaningful children to finish the notebooking activities.
Once children have finished the activities, they should be able to keep their work in a proper place. Once the works are accumulated, you will feel how lucky that you have treasured the work properly. Children will be more motivated to see their work collection.
Build A Consistent Habit in The Notebooking Activities
Notebooking activities are ongoing practices. Getting children to write might be difficult for the first time. However, when they have been used to do that in a consistent habit, there won't be any burden for them doing this activities. To get the best result, it is suggested that you need to build a consistent habit and qualities in the notebooking activities. It includes:
- The procedures in the notebooking activities
- The clear instruction that won't limit the ideas and the creativities of children
- The use of proper language and writing
- The tidy expectancy in the process
With the best result out of the notebooking activities, it is expected that children will be able to do another activity and add the collection day by day, one step at a time.
Give Models and Supervision instead of Instructions
There are many times that parents feel exhausted in accompanying their children doing the notebooking activities. They think that children have known what they need to do in the notebooking so that parents would think that notebooking can be a fully independent activity. This happens to us also. Once I let my son to do the notebooking activities without my supervision. I just gave him some clue and instruction. I thought he could do what was instructed. I didn't checked in detail as what I should have done. However, the result was very disappointing. The quality of his notebooking was unexpected.
The children's working attitude has not been stable yet. They are still not in a stable mood. Rather than giving them instruction, it is better to accompany them and model how to do the notebooking activities properly. The children will be more motivated in doing the notebooking activities. You don't have to model the activities every day, but a regular modelling and supervision will be needed.
Display The Work
Displaying the children's work will give more motivation for children to add more and more quality and quantity to their work collection. They will be proud of themselves to be able to create great work enjoyed by others. How are you going to display the work?
- Using a display board
- You take picture and put it as your mobile phone wall paper
- Make the work result into a computer wallpaper
- Upload the work picture into the social media
Get Minimal Typos
It is necessary to maintain the quality of notebooking activity result as it is mentioned previously. The most common mistake is the typos. Well, My English is far away from perfect. My Indonesian is not perfect as well. However, we try hard to minimize the typos in the notebooking activities. It is not good to correct the children writing on the notebooking pages since it will just will make the work ugly and it will make children not confident. Here are some ways to help:
- Using Layout to get the main idea focus
- Write using pencil in the draft books
- Write using erasable pens. This is the best we feel. It will show great result with minimal typos. We use Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack (31472). Children get more confident in writing using the erasable pens. They don't have any problem to change with the unerasable pen when they have been used to use proper and better writing.
- Teach grammar while you are discussing their work.
Get a Stock of Pages Stand By
Well, as you know, we always prepare our notebooking activities by stocking up some notebooking page templates in our document keepers. This is one way to avoid burnt out of notebooking activities. We believe that notebooking activities are really good for us with some reasons. Therefore, we don't want to be reluctant in doing notebooking activities with a reason that we are too busy to prepare the templates or the paper. Some sets of paper are always available with some layouts.
Involve Children to Choose The Templates
Children will be very happy when they have a chance to determine which notebooking page layout they can choose for their work. Involving the children to choose the notebooking page templates will be a great idea to get children motivated in starting, doing, and finishing the notebooking activities. Here are 2 main notebooking page templates we use right now: