Tuesday 10 September 2013

Journals in Homeschool

This is rather an interesting topic.  My first question was "What's the difference between a journal and a notebook ?" Over the years I've heard both terms used interchangeably and wondered if they were the same thing or not.

notebook [ˈnəʊtˌbʊk] n
  1. a book for recording notes or memoranda 
  2. (Economics, Accounting & Finance / Banking & Finance) a book for registering promissory notes
  3. a book of or for notes, esp. a book or binder of blank, often ruled pages for recording notes
  4. a small, lightweight laptop computer.

jour·nal (jûrnl) n.
  1. Personal. A personal record of occurrences, experiences, and reflections kept on a regular basis;
    a diary.
    b. An official record of daily proceedings, as of a legislative body.
    c. Nautical A ship's log. 
  2. Accounting
    a. A day book.
    b. A book of original entry in a double-entry system, listing all transactions and indicating the accounts to which they belong. 
  3. A newspaper. 
  4. A periodical presenting articles on a particular subject: a medical journal. 
  5. Engineering / Mechanical Engineering
    The part of a machine shaft or axle supported by a bearing. 
  6. Government, Politics & Diplomacy
    an official record of the proceedings of a legislative body 
  7. a periodical or magazine, esp. one published for a group, learned society, or profession.
After having a good look at the definitions I discovered that it depends of the use of the book as to the correct term used.  You would keep a personal journal in a lined notebook or you could use a lined notebook to keep an official journal. It really does become a play on words.

Homeschool Notebooking
Within the home education community however notebooking refers to a school folder in which a student records what they have learned.  There are some amazingly creative home educators who create some rather impressive notebook pages for a variety of educational topics.  You don't need a fancy page however you can simply used lined paper and write out your thoughts.

Notebook Page Resources
Homeschool Journal
Journaling with in the homeschool community often refers to a more intimate and decorated book.  Although some homeschoolers will journal along a notebooking style. More often than not however they would use journaling in Nature Study.

For the last couple of years I have been journaling here about my week in the Homeschool Mother's Journal. This is a great link up to meet like minded homeschoolers and a relaxed way to keep a diary journal of what you've been up to. I have always intended on starting a Nature journal/notebook and recently Sir N and I started one as spring is upon us.

Journal inspiration

If you are after an inspirational book on Journaling I highly recommend books from the author Gwen Diehn.  In particular try to get her book The Decorated Journal {Creating Beautifully Expressive Journal Pages}. This book is full of inspiration.  She shares a multitude of ways to do a journal and how to personalise a journal as well as the educational benefits of different types of journals.

Do you use journaling or notebooking and what are your favourite resources ?

This post is part of the Homeschool Help series brought to you by a group of homeschool Mom's from around the globe.  Do not forget to visit and read their inspirational insight.

This week


  1. Great post. We love notebooking as it really engages the learner with whatever we are studying. We have never journaled before...but I am intrigued by perhaps blending the concepts...getting a little more of "them" into the engagement. :)

  2. What a great article about the difference between Journals & Notebooks! We love them both...sometimes the terminology can be confusing...Thanks:)

  3. Wow you pulled together some brilliant resources, Chareen - thank you!
    I love looking at definitions in the way you have. There's almost always some new idea or other sparked!

  4. Interesting. I always thought journaling was a record of personal thoughts, but after reading some math journal, art journal and nature journal ideas from other educators, I now think it's more of a personal record book.


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