Principle Approach Notebooking

Principle Approach® Notebooking

 

Notebooking is pretty popular among several homeschooling circles. If one researches it, they’ll learn of all sorts of ways that notebooking is implemented. In general, notebooking is often used to file worksheets or decorated notebook pages for note-taking.  However, that’s not the case with this philosophy or method of education. Discover how Principle Approach® notebooking is different.

 

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The Many Joys of Principle Approach® Notebooks

In our family, these are collections of treasures. From their earlier years, there are darling notebook pages of their illustrations and notes from lessons. And, as they each move upward we see more of their personal Word Studies with their conclusions put into practice. For sure, it’s a joy to see their Biblical reasoning flourish. Plus, we learn some things from our own children as they search for Biblical principles on their own.

Now, it may seem like a lot to some individuals. But, know that you can teach what you want to teach. As much as I’d like them to, our notebooks don’t follow this structure 100%. And, please note that not all of the subjects are crammed into one 3″-ring binder. Why, that would be quite the tall order. Rather, subjects are organized in groups in different notebooks in a logical way.

Also, know that greatest thing about it all is that each year your children will be compiling a record of God’s Hand in everything. To be sure, they are creating a personal record. And, they’ll creating a record of instances of His Providence in the lives of men and nations. Plus, they’re documenting His purpose. In fact, His ultimate purpose is the Gospel—Its work in and through individuals, nations, and subjects.

The Notebooking Method History

To begin with, the idea of Principle Approach® notebooking is historical in America. In fact, our Founding Era reveals notebooks by George Washington and many contemporaries of his. For example, you’ll see in his 1747: School Copy Book, Volume 1, 1745 that he copies the definition of the subject Geometry. Likewise, as explained later in this article, students do Word Studies (to master the vocabulary of their subject).

Point in fact is that these notebooks show the individual, reflective Biblical reasoning of each individual. If you research these for yourself, you will observe that there aren’t any work sheets. And, there aren’t any fill-in-the-blank or word searches in them either. In other words, there aren’t any sheets of “busy work” or “time wasters.” Definitely, there isn’t anything remotely Common Core or generic about them. Rather, there is independent thinking from research and Biblical reasoning. Furthermore, there is mastery of the subject at hand.

Purposeful Notebooking with the Principle Approach®

Basically, notebooks aren’t just a place to ‘file’ papers. In light of Founding Era notebooks, Principle Approach notebooks file reflective reasoning and learning. But, being in our modern day context we have tabs and use other tools such as the ones in the list below:

  • Classroom Constitution or Homeschool Constitution
  • Research from primary sources
  • Word Studies (the 4R Method applied)
  • Reason and relate questions for Biblical reasoning
  • Emphatic conclusions
  • Graphic organizers to help process information
  • Illustrations
  • Essays
  • Chain of Christianity® Timelines (how God moved the Gospel westward)
  • Map Work
  • Documenting God’s Providential Hand in each subject

Principle Approach® Notebooks are Divided Under Subject Tabs

Undoubtedly, most notebooks have the same kinds of tabs. But, in some of the tabbed sections we have sub tabs to break down the subjects further.

Principle Approach® Art Tabs Contain

Of course, not all art projects will fit into a 3-ring binder. Therefore, only the paper canvases cut down to size for sheet protectors are inserted in it. But, the Principle Approach® to art is much more than simply painting or drawing. Tabs for art are:

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Key Individual studies of artists
  • Word Studies with individual student’s emphatic conclusions
  • Techniques
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline including artists

Subdivisions

  • Drama
  • Music
  • Photography

Principle Approach® Bible Tabs Contain

Instead of filing notebook pages under Bible, students have a tab for Bible and Bible as a Reader.

Specifically, students may learn and file Bible notebook pages in this way:

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Foundations
  • Immediacy of Jesus Christ
  • Map Work
  • Old Testament History
  • New Testament History
  • Literature and Wisdom of the Bible
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline for adding Key Individuals and Key Events

Besides that, Bible as a Reader (BAR) teaches students how to use graphic organizers to process Scripture. Additionally, it teaches students strategies for studying the Bible. And, students will file these notebook pages in the order in which lessons are taught.

Principle Approach® English Tabs Contain

As far as English goes, it is subdivided in these categories:

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Foundations
  • Orthography (spelling)
  • Etymology (parts of words and building vocabulary)
  • Syntax (basic sentence patterns)
  • Prosody (memorizing poetry and studying literature)
  • Composition (writing)
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline and God’s Providence for the English Language and the Bible (or whatever native tongue is spoken)

Principle Approach® History Tabs Contain

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Foundations of His-Story
  • By period of history
  • Word Studies and emphatic conclusions
  • Outlines
  • Graphic Organizers
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline for adding Key Individuals
  • All things How to Study History

Principle Approach® Geography Tabs Contain

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Foundations of Geography
  • The Biblical context of the earth and its geography
  • By period of history (coinciding with History lessons)
  • All things Why Map Work is Important

Principle Approach® Field Studies Contain

In Principle Approach learning we do something more in-depth than field trips. Instead, we do field studies. In this situation, students learn the background of the setting they’ll be visiting. In addition, they learn of the history behind it and Key Individuals pertaining to the location. Furthermore, they look to see God’s Providence involved.  To be sure, the trips are for enjoyment but, they are also for experiencing.

  • Background of the setting
  • Key Individuals
  • Questions to ask interpreters
  • Information the student would like to share in conversation

Principle Approach® Literature Tabs Contain

Generally speaking, literature students learn and file literature in these ways:

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Foundations
  • Literature of the Bible
  • Individuality of nations as students read stories in various settings
  • Poets and Poetry
  • Select classics
  • Select biographies
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline for adding authors and authoresses
  • Essays/Book Reports
  • Classic Literature studies with the Principle Approach®

Principle Approach® Mathematics Tabs Contain

Since there are a plethora of math curricula out there, there is a section for students to file their math work. Indeed, there are tabs for:

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Word Studies and emphatic conclusions about the Bible principles of math
  • Key Individual studies of mathematicians
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline for adding mathematicians and advancements
  • Essays (should students write essays on math or Key Individual Mathematicians )

Principle Approach® Physical Education Tabs Contain

Admittedly, the Principle Approach® to Physical Education is somewhat different than other philosophies and method (as is to be expected)

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Internal Objectives with word Studies and emphatic conclusions about the Bible principles of this subject
  • External Objectives with word Studies and emphatic conclusions about the Bible principles of this subject

Principle Approach® Science Tabs Contain

Of course, the topics of science will vary among homeschool families. Consequently, tabs and sub tabs will vary. Let’s hear it for God’s Principle of Individuality!

  • Overviews stating the Biblical purpose for studying this subject and the outline for the school year
  • Statement of the principles students will study
  • Key Individuals per field of science being studied
  • The Chain of Christianity® Timeline for adding scientists and advancements
  • Essays (should students write essays on scientific advancements or Key Individual Scientists )
  • Notes from the science curriculum being used

In Conclusion

Eventually, notebooking with Principle Approach® scholarship produces the leaders America needs. To be clear, leaders are individuals who practice Christian self-government regardless of their station in life.

Also, considering that each homeschool is unique there may be other topics students include in their notebooks. For example, one may include a tab for Civics. But, all of the categories will pretty much be the same within the study of Civics.

Do you find this helpful? If so, please drop a line in the comments to us.

 

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