Notebooking for Reluctant Writers

Sep 1, 2016

Guest Blogger, Kaylene, joins us today to share her experience with
notebooking for reluctant writers

child writing on notebooking page
{Disclosure: I am a paid brand ambassador for this company. Having used their products for years, and finding them worthy of promotion, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.}

Mr. C absolutely loves to learn, but he's always been a struggling writer. Well, struggling, reluctant, unmotivated, something. 

He's always been my "writing is not my favorite" kiddo. You can imagine my surprise when my struggling writer asked about notebooking. I'd been Pinteresting, and he read the blog post I found over my shoulder. 

I explained what it was and he decided he wanted to try, but only if "it was a really cool topic and the sheets looked cool."  Oh dear. I'm the farthest thing from "cool!"

I drive a minivan. How was I going to get notebooking pages "cool" enough to inspire my struggling writer to use them?

Notebooking With

My son is a science-nerd, and he's obsessed with outer space right now. So I was so excited to see that had a ton of space-themed notebooking pages available!

We decided to do a quick study on the moon, and my son had a blast! I thought I'd share with you a few ways that we made notebooking a success with my struggling writer.

Picking The Right Theme

child writing

This was huge. My son doesn't really care much for bugs, so a notebooking study on bugs wouldn't have gotten us very far at all. For our first notebooking adventure I picked a topic that I knew he was excited to learn about.

After all, isn't that why we homeschool?

When I told him that we were going to do a project about the moon, this kid was over the moon! (Pun totally intended!)


Learning about narration has been a game-changer for my son. 

He reads at a 3rd-4th grade level, and he was becoming more and more frustrated that he couldn't yet write the complex sentences he was reading, thinking, and speaking. 

Narration lets him get all of his ideas to paper with my help, and without the tears and frustration!


I didn't see the point in copywork for a long time, but it is really genius. 

How did kids learn to write originally? By copying great pieces of writing and naturally picking up the mechanics along the way. 

The physical act of writing helps us remember things better, and it gave Mr. C the chance to practice the mechanics without the frustration of transferring his own thoughts onto the paper. 

Sometimes Mr. C did copywork from books we read, other times he copied his own words that I wrote for him in the narration step above.

Including Art

child drawing on notebooking page

My kiddo loves art, so whenever we can incorporate art into a subject, I'm more likely to get cooperation. 

With one of our notebooking pages, Mr. C illustrated his story before writing it. It helped him prepare the story in his mind and helped him feel like writing could be fun and not just torture!

Age-Appropriate Notebooking Pages

It is so important to make sure that you use age-appropriate notebooking pages! If you're handing your first grader a page designed for an eighth grader, you're not going to have a very successful time with notebooking! 

Mr. C still struggles with handwriting, so he needs the larger lines separated into three. Luckily with each notebooking packet comes with a fun cover, and different pages with standard sized lines and primary grade lines. 

I also loved that it came with both because I could write on the smaller lines while Mr. C narrated, while he could do his copywork and original writing on lines that fit him. 

We had such a blast creating our moon notebook! I'm sure we'll do all of the planets in the solar system next, and then we'll start exploring all of the other topics from! 

If you're new to notebooking and looking for a simple way to get started, I'd highly recommend checking out!

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  1. My kids have always loved notebooking. It's nice when you can incorporate different subjects into one theme and pull it all together in one notebook.

    1. Yes! We're pretty unschoolish around here, but notebooking is an excellent evaluation tool and creates a great reference tool for later years.

  2. It's easy to rule out notebooking when you have a kid who doesn't like to write (or simply struggles with it). These are great tips for using notebooking pages with any child!

    1. Yes, indeed! My kids have dysgraphia, so you're right, it would be so easy to just leave the writing part alone.

  3. I have used Notebooking Pages a few times in the past and really like them. My son doesn't like writing so much so I may give these a go again.

    1. Amanda, writing stimulates parts of the brain necessary to retention. I have kids with dysgraphia, so I get it. Stay tuned, I'll be putting together a post about using notebooking pages specifically with kids who really struggle with writing.

  4. LOVE notebooking pages! They allow kids so much freedom to express themselves in their own way!

    1. Great point, Heidi. Notebooking isn't necessarily about writing all the time, is it? Kids can do so much more with their notebooks.

  5. These look really interesting! I'll have to check them out!

  6. I have a reluctant writer too! Topics that interest him have been a HUGE help. I'm going to look into these notebooking pages too.

  7. These look great!

  8. We just discovered Notebooking Pages this year and love them!

    1. Definitely one of my favorite homeschool tools.

  9. Before my dyslexic son could do his own writing he would help design pages with the publisher feature at NotebookingPages. Then he would dictate and I would type his narration. He was pleased with the lovely result. Other sons did their own typing. They seemed to prefer that to handwriting on the actual papers.


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