Today I have another guest post. This one is from my mom, Georgel La More. My mom is my go-to person whenever I hit a problem in our homeschool. I call her almost every day, and when we’re in school she has encouraged me or given me some great idea many, many times. When I feel like giving up on something I call my mom. Even if she doesn’t have a solution for that particular school problem she always encourages me to keep on going.
She is also involved in teaching our children. They spend a day with Grandma every other week and do their lessons with her.
I asked her to do a post on why using notebooks is better than workbooks. The main reason being for myself. I figured if I saw it in black and white it would help to cement it in my head. I’ve talked about this with my mom, but my “mommy” brain doesn’t seem to retain like it used to. I need to be able to read things over and over.
As an experienced teacher and principal of thirty-plus years I have used both notebooks and workbooks in the classroom. Notebooks, I believe, are far superior to workbooks. Although they are called WORKbooks, they really require much less work for both student and teacher. But is that our goal? To get out of work? No, we want the best method for the student academically and spiritually.
Not only are notebooks better academically, but they build character. So, here are some reasons why I prefer notebooks.
1. Notebooks teach obedience. Students must follow the teacher’s instruction on details pertaining to the notebook itself, the paper, the arrangement of material and anything else that the teacher dictates.
2. Notebooks promote order. With a notebook the order is controlled by the student and not simply given to them. Therefore, they need to have a character that comes from within rather than being controlled by a stimulus-response effect from outside of them.
3. Notebooks encourage excellence. Students can use their initiative and put as much work into the notebook as they want. They are not limited to the average. They can make their work their own and do their best. Workbooks, on the other hand, tend to bring everyone to the same level.
4. Notebooks show individuality. The notebook becomes a reflection of the student’s character, showing his work habits. It will show areas that need improvement.
5. Notebooks promote writing skills. Writing notes in the notebook should require that complete sentences are used with grammatical accuracy. This prepares the student for essay questions on tests which is the best form of testing. Students will learn to express themselves skillfully.
In my experience I have found that notebooks can be used with even the youngest of students. Even before they can write sentences of their own they can copy letters and words into a composition book and decorate it with appropriate pictures they have drawn or coloured or cut out.
Admittedly, workbooks are easier for students as well as teachers but life is not easy. Students need to learn to work hard. “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” Lamentations 3:27