Commonplace books

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  • poodlemama

    OK, I’m really the worst blogger ever because rarely have anything to say, but I do actually have a new post about our commonplace book. They were a new addition to our homeschool this year and have been a surprisingly huge success. Yay! Anyway if anyone is interested in how I’ve made commonplace books work with my 13, 10 and 7 year olds here is my post.



    I really love this idea! Somewhere along the way I kind of ‘forgot’ about doing commonplace books, but I am looking for a way to keep my older kids accountable and feeling a part of our family learning experience. I am also looking for ways to get the kids writing and narrating more. I think this would be a great way to accomplish those goals!


    Do you require an entry for every subject, each week? Do you set any limits as far as page number, etc?

    What kinds of notebooks did you use to accomodate so many subjects? I like the idea of having an entire year in one notebook, but I’m not sure how to make it all fit.



    I found this quote about commonplace books and thought it was amusing and thought provoking enough to share :-).

    “A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there. For, take this for a rule, when an author is in your books, you have the same demand upon him for his wit, as a merchant has for your money, when you are in his.”

    — Jonathan Swift

    “A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet”


    Oooh! This quote is going in my commonplace book. 🙂


    Serving with Joy

    Thanks for reading my post! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Yes, every week they are required to come to lunch on Thursday with 2 quotes, and a science article narration. The older two and I are also required to have a current events narration. I don’t require any particular length, but I have found that with practice my 10 year old narrations have naturally grown from 3 or 4 sentences to full pages in just a few months.

    The notebook I use for my 13 year old, 10 year old and myself are “Top Flight” five subject spiral notebooks. They are really sturdy and have stood up well so far. My 7year olds is a “canson mix media” sketch book. It too is really sturdy and she can use marker or watercolor without it bleeding through or ripping pages.

    I love that, along with their nature notebooks, these are becoming treasured records of the year.


    I love it. Thank you for sharing. You have a nice family and I enjoyed reading on your blog.


    Poodlemama, thank you for sharing your common place books. I love this! I want to start doing this with my family – right now!! 🙂


    Lindsey, I loved your “Lunch Boxes” idea!  Very simple, very organized, and also providing that sampling of readings.  May incorporate this idea.  Thanks!

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