Many famous people who kept journals were trained to think critically through writing in a notebook. Is notebooking right for your child? Find out!
The Reason We Notebook
When I was in school, I hated worksheets. Hated them. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy learning, or that I had a terrible work habit. No, I just found them mind-numbingly boring, repetitious and lacking in creativity.
I can remember — at the age of 7 — telling my mom, “These are busy-work. There is no other function for these. I should be reading a book!” (I’ve always been opinionated.)
When we decided to homeschool, I knew I wanted to avoid worksheets. After all, why subject my kids to something I resented so much?
But… writing about a subject increases retention. It helps us think through what we’ve read and process our thoughts.
That’s one of the reasons I included a notebooking section in the Bible Road Trip™ program.
I decided we would try keeping notebooks on each subject. There were no mindless fill-in-the-blank spaces, and there was plenty of room for sketching, note-taking, brainstorming, and dreaming. Blank notebooks created some tension for the boys, and I found that lined pages formatted for their age level were helpful.
At first, I would read aloud for a few paragraphs, then stop and help the boys decipher what information was important enough to write about.
As they’ve aged, the boys have learned to keep their own notebooks without much input from me on what to record. One thing they still enjoy is having structured pages. That’s why I created the Bible Road Trip™ Notebooking Journals to go along with the curriculum.
Famous People Who Kept Journals
There are a lot of fads in education. However, notebooking has existed for a long time and been used by many successful, creative adults.
There are dozens and dozens of famous “notebookers”, but I picked just a few for your consideration:
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Journal
(Illustration: Anatomy of the Neck, Da Vinci, Public Domain)
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
Da Vinci was a incredible artist, mathematician, scientist, and writer. He is perhaps best known for his painting The Last Supper, as well as his journal entry displaying The Vitruvian Man. Da Vinci’s notebooks are full of findings in the fields of anatomy, optics, engineering, and hydrodynamics. In fact, he diagrammed machines akin to modern-day items such as: helicopters, airplanes, an adding machine, and a tank.
Beatrix Potter’s Journals
(Photograph: by Jack1956, CC 1.0 by Public Domain)
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)
Potter is famous for her wonderful children’s books, like The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Her notebooking began early in life with watercolor sketches of animals and drawings of nature and archeological finds. Because she explored the reproduction of fungal spores through illustrations and research, Potter was know not just as an author and illustrator, but as a natural scientist as well.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
Edison invented so many items (with 1,093 patents), that it’s difficult to chose just a few. However, among his best known inventions are the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. An inventor’s notebook can be vital not only to keep track of thoughts and ideas, and failed or successful processes, but also to create a establish a patent claim. (Pages should be dated and signed by a witness.)
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
Dostoyevsky was a writer. His books, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have been translated into more than 170 languages.
(Illustration: Notes for Chapter 5 of The Brothers Karamozov, Public Domain)
More Famous People Who Kept Journals
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Primary image: Beethoven, Joseph Carl Stieler, 1819/20, Public Domain
- Thomas Jefferson
- Nikola Tesla
- John Adams
- John Quincy Adams
- Louisa May Alcott
- Lewis Carroll
- Madeline L’Engle
Notebooking is a great way for children to learn! Not only that, it’s an important creative tool that will serve them a lifetime once they learn the discipline.
Notebooking Pages and Journals & Notebooking Resources You Want to Know About!
Bible Road Trip™ Year One Bible Notebooking JournalsHow to Use Bible Notebooking Pages to Teach the BibleCobblestone Path™ Church History Research JournalsMy Sermon Notebook for KidsMy Field Trip and Travel JournalMy Book Log | A Notebooking JourneyMy Timeline Notebooking JournalFamous People Who Kept Journals – Is Notebooking Right for Your Child?What is Notebooking? And Why Notebook?How to Notebook with KidsOde to Notebooking | Why we love homeschool notebooking
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