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Why You Should Take Notes & Expect Your Children To Also

When I first started learning and teaching with the Principle Approach® method, my main source of lessons was the Noah Plan® curriculum. It’s the best Christian homeschool curriculum out there, by the way. Since the lesson content using the method was already put together, I didn’t bother much with taking notes for myself. This was well and good in the beginning of my journey because I was in the baby step stages of figuring out this method and absorbing as much as I could. As I moved from crawling to toddling, I began note taking and it made a tremendous difference for me. Now, I’m walking. While my steps are slow and steady, they allow me to soak in more because there isn’t any rush. For me in this stage, the Principle Approach® path offers the most serene view ever.

How did note taking impact my role as a home educating mother?

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Why You Should Take Notes & Expect Your Children To Also

First, let’s define “note” because I think that we can have an idea of what it is like to take notes. Usually we conjure up the idea that it looks like several paragraphs (small, medium, and large ones), but that isn’t necessarily the case…

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
note, n.
1. A mark or token; something by which a thing may be known; a visible sign.
2. A mark made in a book, indicating something worthy of a particular notice.
3. A short remark; a passage or explanation in the margin of a book.
4. A minute, memorandum or short writing intended to assist the memory.

note, verb transitive
1. To observe; to notice with particular care; to heed; to attend to.
2. To set down in writing.

We can also refer to notes as a journal:

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Journal, n.
4. A paper published daily, or other newspaper; also, the title of a book or pamphlet published at stated times, containing an account of inventions, discoveries and improvements in arts and sciences; as the journal de Savans; the journal of Science.

So, depending on one’s age or ability, notes/journals can be as much as a short remark (narration) to a visible sign (doodle) to a passage or explanation. It depends on the person and what is taking place. Parents writing up lesson content or notes from lessons established will likely have more notes written than the student (again, depending on age or ability). And it’s something we get to do daily with our children.

My personal experience has been fulfilling and as I share about it, I hope you become encouraged and inspired to begin note taking in your family if you aren’t already doing so.

Reason 1.

When you are going through your own word studies or making lesson plans for your homeschool, you are engaged as you take notes. You are owning your personal education and your leadership role as your child’s educator and mentor. When your children model you by copying notes from the board or tracing their narration that you jot down for them, they are practicing owning their education. In addition, it gives them the good habit of doing so for their future whether it be for college or business meetings. Whether they are in leadership roles our not, it shows that they are engaged and they help to set a standard of respect for the person that they are listening to.

Reason 2.

It is a means which allows you to capture ideas, insights, and to begin formulating your own questions. These all will help spur your studies into rich content and help you get back to key insights that you want to remember. Needless to say, over time,  it will do the same for your children.

Reason 3.

It helps you to keep on top of your own assignments (growing in the Word of God, writing lesson plans for your children, etc.). It’s such a simple yet effective way to guide your children in their responsibilities and accountability. Your relationship with Yahweh, their relationship with Yahweh… it grows by learning of Him, modeling after His heart, and having accountability.

Reason 4.

You begin to compile your own journal of thoughts that reflect your individuality. This is valuable for you to track your spiritual growth, to help you seek our Heavenly Father, and to build your relationship with Him. Nothing more needs to be said about how this impacts your children and their individuality.

Also, when it comes time to relate what you have learned, you can better capture your child’s interest because he or she will be drawn to your excitement about the topic. They’ll see the fruit of your love of learning. They’ll notice that you own the story you are narrating to them and you’ll hook them with it.

Reason 5.

It communicates priorities to your children. When they see you living out the example of life-long learning, of digging into God’s Word, and making the time to have the testimony of your research and learning to present to them, it says more than you know. Your example speaks volumes to your child because he or she sees you taking it seriously. It helps them to value the words you have to say.

Reason 6.

You are the leader… and they’ll follow the leader.

On Tools

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Thoughts On What To Use For Taking Notes & How To Go About It

We’re all busy people and busy in different ways. However, we can all decide to set time aside to read, listen, and take notes.

Thought 1:

I personally prefer to hand write notes. However, in my early stages, it was quicker for me to type up my word studies for blog posts. Participating in my friend Gina’s Word Study Wednesday blog posts helped motivate me and hold me accountable.

There are so many tools and options out there, I think that as long as you are taking notes from your studies, use the tools that suit you best. The point is that you and your child do it.

Thought 2:

Take notes on what interests you and what you believe the Lord is prompting you to teach your children about. There has been blessings in our family whenever I’ve followed the promptings that He has given me. It wasn’t always evident in the beginning, but later down the road we saw why He wanted us to learn something. There are some other things we don’t know the reason why, but we have faith that He knows best.

What’s really special, is that your family will have a written record among your lessons and notebook pages of what the Lord has taught you. What a priceless treasure!

Thought 3:

Make sure that your notes have structure. Outlining or mind mapping are my two favorite ways to take notes. I also… doodle.

Thought 4:

Mentioning doodles, use little graphics or symbols to help you find important points.

Thought 5:

Remember that it’s important to review your notes and to have your students review their notes from lessons you teach them.

If you prefer to take hand written notes (remember, they don’t have to be so long that you are writing your own book!), access the free download Note Taking Sheets to help guide you through writing Principle Approach® method notes for your own lesson content. You’ll find them in the free Caterpillar Member’s Club area. Not a Member? Join the free Caterpillar Member’s Club area here.

If you find this post helpful or know someone who it may bless, please share it with them. Thank you!

What are your favorite tools for taking notes? Please leave a comment below telling us.


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