Notebooking 101: Notebooking Through Textbooks

Homeschool Hacks for Textbooks

What’s your homeschool kryptonite? You know. That one thing that kind of sucks the joy out of educating your kids at home.

If there’s one homeschooling resource I tend to shy away from, it’s textbooks. While I do admit that many of them carry helpful information, to me, they just aren’t interesting. When you’re a huge proponent of interest-led learning, that’s a big turn off.


I have found a homeschool hack that can certainly help to make them a bit more palatable:


My oldest daughter (who graduated last year) was dead set on using textbooks throughout most of her high school years. Although it was her choice to learn this way, she would have been the first to tell you that she found most of her curriculum to be dreadfully boring.

What was the biggest reason, you might ask?

The end-of-the-chapter questions, vocabulary, and review. 

Unfortunately for my daughter, I came up with a solution a bit too late for her, but I’m happy to share it here with you today. 🙂

Notebooking Through Textbooks…as easy as 1-2-3!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Notebooking through textbooks

1. Here’s what you’ll need:

2. Here’s what you don’t do:

  • those boring, end-of-the-chapter questions, vocabulary, and reviews

That’s it.

I’m serious!

3. Here’s what to do instead:

Rather than having your child spend hours or even days looking up and filling out the questions and answers that inevitably always come at the end of textbook chapters, have them notebook about it instead!

Intimidated or confused? Don’t be. It’s simple! Here are some helpful getting started tips:

  • Don’t have your child notebook for every subject, every day. Notebooking will get old fast! Stick to one notebooking page per day – total. Whether that means rotating subjects for notebooking or notebooking for the same subject each day is your choice. 🙂
  • Tell your child to write about anything interesting that they read about in the text that day. Whether they write a summary, a list of facts, a fictional story pertaining to what was read, or even make a comic strip is up to them. As long as they are able to share information they learned that day, mission accomplished!
  • If your child is drawing a blank for ideas on what writing format to use, share this list of notebooking ideas with them.
  • Store all of these pages together in a notebook using one of the resources from above.

And that’s it! It really is that simple.

If you’re a textbook family but are finding that they’re losing their luster, I encourage you to try this approach if you’re uncomfortable with doing away with them altogether. I guarantee, it will change your homeschool for the better.

What are you waiting for?

Homeschooling and education are my passion. It is my fervent hope to one day devote more time to creating content for you. If you’re interested in helping to make this a reality, consider supporting me on Patreon @
Thank you so much. I appreciate each and every one of you!





Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

5 thoughts on “Notebooking 101: Notebooking Through Textbooks”

  1. I appreciate you sharing how to use notebooking in your homeschooling and with a textbook. I have never been a consistent notebooker but feel like this would be a great improvement to our day. I am wondering if you print off a wide variety of the notebooking pages ahead of time and then allow your kids to choose a design for the day? Do you keep the blank notebook pages in their notebooks for their choosing or in a central location for everyone to to get to?

    Liked by 1 person

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