Can we use Notebooking for Math?

I had my annual eye doctor appointment last week.

I wear glasses with special lenses to address a minor astigmatism, double-vision, and the ever-persistent presbyopia (aka I’m over 40 and can’t see the fine print anymore). The lenses don’t come cheap, so I baby them to avoid any scratches.

For that reason, I was shocked a couple of months ago to find a tiny crack on one lens. It was summer. We were busy. So, I put off going to the eye doctor knowing my annual visit was coming up soon.

When the time came for the visit, that small crack had grown into a significant one, with several more growing around the edges.

The culprit? A poorly fitted lens in the frame.

Thankfully, it was covered under warranty!🤓

In our homeschooling journey, there have been times when I’ve ignored small cracks that turned into larger cracks or even full-blown fractures.

More often than not, these cracks stemmed from ME trying to fit something (or someone) into a mold that wasn’t the right shape for a particular child or our family.

Our Math Meltdown

After last week’s eye appointment, I came to realize I was doing this to my dyslexic son with his math lessons. I’ve been doing all I can to avoid meltdowns just like I avoided the scratches in my glasses. I patiently explained, re-explained, taught, and re-taught lessons and concepts, as many times as needed, but they just weren’t sticking.

He was growing more and more discouraged. I was trying to force him to learn in a way that just wasn’t working for him. The crack was starting. On some days, there were tears.

Long story short…
This week, we tried something different. I stopped explaining and instead drew some simple pictures to illustrate the math concepts.

And it worked! The very next day, he went back to his math and didn’t need me to explain or re-explain these concepts. He was quite proud of himself… and so was I!

Math Notebooking - Factors
Math Notebooking - Multiples
Math Notebooking - GCF
GCF (Greatest Common Factor)
Math Notebooking - Perimeter and Area
Perimeter & Area

Over the years, many moms have asked me if we do notebooking for math and I’ve always replied, “Not really.” Most of our notebooking for the past 17 years has been for content subjects like Bible, history, science, etc. Guess that’s going to change. 🙂

This is my 24th year of homeschooling and if I’ve learned anything valuable to pass along, it’s this… homeschooling is a dynamic and evolving experience. We HAVE to be flexible.

When you see a crack, don’t ignore it. You might need to flex the shape of the frame to better FIT your child or family.

Links for Notebooking with Math

These links will take you away from our site.

Check out this hub page about Math Notebooking:

And here’s a great Pinterest board with ideas for Math Notebooking:

4 thoughts on “Can we use Notebooking for Math?”

  1. What a great post! It always amazes me what an expert on our kids we must be to homeschool each of them effectively. A written explanation of how to solve math problems can also be helpful in providing clues about where a student is going wrong in their thinking. Thank you for sharing this, Debra. Notebooking is the best!

    • So true! Each of us was uniquely and intricately “knitted together” in our mother’s womb. I’m always amazed at how differently my youngest learns compared to the nine siblings who came before him.

  2. I home schooled my son for 1st grade and loved it as did he. I second guessed myself because he us an only child and I thought ” school” would bring on the friends he needed. We are in a small private school and he loves it but when I volunteer in his class, I’m not so sure I love it. Bad influences, chaos, teaching methods that I don’t agree with. My son hates math! So….we will homeschool for math for the rest of this year. Love your notebook ing concept and the pictures will really help my son to “get it” . I pray that he will love home schooling again and will beg me to home school him next year!

    • That’s tough, Linda. Although I have 10 children, my youngest has been the only one still at home since ~ age 10. He feels like an only child. It takes effort to find time for friends and social time beyond our church involvement. I hope you find wisdom and peace in your future decisions for his education.

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How much notebooking do you do each day in your homeschool?

How much notebooking do you do each day in your homeschool?

We use notebooking to capture what we are learning and to practice our writing skills. Notebooking begins with engaging books, oral narration, and open-ended Socratic discussion. After all, you must have something to write before you can put pen (or ...
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Basic Lined Notebooking Pages

100 unique notebooking layouts using a variety of borders and clip-art. Also includes 25 color border pages.

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Notebooking pages with over 150 different border options and a wide variety of portrait and landscape layouts plus 3 line options for each lined page.

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All-Purpose Notebooking Pages

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