Joshua Aaron's powerful Messianic worship music (I had to share this...)

Monday, November 28, 2016


Over the past few years our family has been profoundly blessed by the music of Joshua Aaron (and family).

Since the day his albums came in the mail, our family has not stopped playing and replaying them!  I was not asked in any way to do a review for these albums, I'm just sharing this because I really, really love Joshua's heart, his music, his family, his message.

Joshua is a Messianic artist who writes, plays, sings, performs all his music and it is BEAUTIFUL.  It will draw you into worship so powerfully and peacefully but also motivate you to sing, dance, and get excited about the truth of Christ's love!






If you are seeking deep, worshipful music that whispers the truth about our Hebrew roots and Christ's love - you will surely enjoy Joshua Aaron's music.



Visit Joshua Aaron on Facebook

Purchase Joshua Aaron's music here.

Listen to some of his tunes here.


Some of our family's favorite Joshua Aaron videos/songs:




Enjoy.  *smile*

Three of my FAVORITES are having Weekend Sales *smile*

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Alright, when three of your absolute favorite homeschool resources have great sales all in the one weekend... you just have to share.  Even if you really don't love sharing 'sales'.  This is kind of worth letting you in on, friends!




Our Journey Westward ( NaturExplorers) 25% off all Christmas and winter NaturExplorers and Curriculum!  

Um, I love NaturExplorers so much that I have an entire tab devoted to them... click here to read more.  *smile*  Here is my official review of Coping with the Cold (an AMAZING Winter Nature Study!!!)


Black Friday-Cyber Monday (facebook ready)

Our Journey Westward


Our Journey Westward







Brave Writer Cyber Monday Sale (November 28th starting at 9am).  This is a very rare oppotunity to save 30% on Brave Writer curriculum for 24 hours!  

Use the coupon code:  givethempie















And last, but not least, NotebookingPages.com Cyber Weekend Sale...



Cyber Weekend Membership Sale


Alright,  for those of you who know me - you know I love Notebooking!  I have really enjoyed and benefited from our Lifetime Membership at Notebooking Pages.


This weekend, memberships are on sale  for $25 off.  Just thought I would share this sale and show some of the ways we've included Notebooking in our homeschool over the past few years!  


Have a great weekend, friends.


Here are some of my past Notebooking Posts:


Simplifying and Enriching our Homeschool with Notebooking -Part 1

Simplifying and Enriching our Homeschool with Notebooking -Part 2

Spiral-bound Notebooks for Planning





Photos of our past Notebooks -

Please, please forgive me for some of the photos being fuzzy/off color.  Pieces of white paper are about the hardest things in the WORLD to get good photos of for some reason.  I did my best!


What our Notebooks looked like at the beginning of the year.


What they looked like at the end of the year.  *smile*

A Bunch of Alex's Pages (he's 7):





On the right are some of my pages that I created to go along with Charlotte Mason Geography!  I can't wait to share them with you all... now I'm motivated to get them done.






Some of Simon's Pages (he's 10/11 here):


Bible Road Trip page on the left and some home-made Proverbs copywork on the right.  I used the Web-App on NotebookingPages.com to create them.





One of the things my son EXCELS at is Lego.  I mean, this boy can build.  He mostly creates things completely out of his imagination or using pictures and then completely creating the Lego design on his own.  (Like his Taj Mahal and other famous bits of architecture on the right.)  We decided to take photos of his Lego creations and add them to his Notebook.






A Bunch of Audrey's Pages (she's 8/9):




More Notebooking Pages I created to go along with Long's Elementary Geography.








This is an example of oral narration turned into a written narration.  The child can orally narrate while you write down what they say - then they can use that as copywork for a Notebooking page.

From our Five in a Row study of The Tree Lady - page on the right is from NotebookingPages.com

Home-made poetry copywork page. These are life-savers when I have nothing prepared for copywork.




More Notebooking Pages we've created that were previously uploaded:







These Life-Cycle pages are also from NotebookingPages.com




My son's pages from the I AM CANADA series.  I absolutely LOVE these.  He orally narrated, I typed.  Then we put together visually pleasing pages to reflect his learning.





Typed oral narration.







Basic Draw Write Now lined page.  We use these like CRAZY for younger learners.






A 7-year-old's oral narration.

An example of a bit more creative oral narration - we created a newspaper article.

Home-made poetry pages.


Charlotte Mason Geography









A Couple Questions You've Asked about Notebooking:



Do I have to have a membership to NotebookingPages.com to Notebook properly?

Of course not.  You don't need a membership to anything to Notebook.  However, having access to thousands of Notebooking Pages at the click of a mouse is a HUGE benefit when you are planning to implement Notebooking on a regular basis in your home.  NotebookingPages.com is by far the BEST site I've found for Notebooking.  The insight and inspiration that Debra offers as a homeschool Mama of many is wonderful.  The pages and good quality and plentiful (I've yet to run into many things that I couldn't find a page for...!)

So, the answer is - no, you don't need any kind of membership to truly embrace Notebooking.  There are tons of free pages on Pinterest and all over the internet.  You can also create your own if you have the time/ability.

What is awesome about having a membership though is the ease.  The convenience of having access to any and everything you will likely need is worth a TON.  I always try to think of what my time is worth to me.  If I had to spend hours making out own pages or getting creative with how to Notebook different topics -I wouldn't have time for other things (like writing this post!).

Yep, it is an investment, but if you are serious about Notebooking - I think its worth it.  There are actually a bunch of sales coming up at the end of this month too... like this one -


Back-to-School Membership Sale







"Do you print out all the Notebooking Pages ahead of time?"


No.  And yes.  Ok, it depends what you mean by 'ahead of time'.  Wait - this is a loaded answer.  *sigh*

I didn't print CERTAIN Notebooking Pages much more than a week ahead. This is because I'm notorious for changing my mind about what we are doing within our homeschool and what we will Notebook.  If I were to print tons of specific Notebooking Pages at the beginning of the school year with the notion that we would certainly complete all those specific pages - I'd be probably wasting a WHOLE lot of ink and paper. (I've done this before, trust me!)

So, by this I mean, Notebooking Pages that are specific to one topic or person or idea.  So, I would probably not print out pages and pages months in advance because I'm not even sure we will get to those specific topics. You know?

But I would look at our week ahead and think about what would be great for Notebooking - then look for appropriate pages and print them out at that point.

The only exception to this is basic Notebooking sheets (generic ones that can be used for anything) and also copy work pages.  For example, I had a pile of poetry copy work pages that my daughter could choose from at any point throughout the year.  This was helpful for her, since she actually enjoys copywork and went through them rather quickly.  I also had lots of blank notebooking sheets that fit the format for Draw Write Now, that my son could grab and use whenever he was doing copywork.



"What *didn't* you include in your big Notebooks?"


Well, we didn't include Math because we use Teaching Textbooks which is done on the computer and in a pre-coiled math book.

We also didn't include dictation/spelling and grammar type work.  These were all done in separate notebooks of their own.  (Simple, cheap, 5 cent ones that I really regret using!)   In hindsight, I kind of regret this system thought because now I have all these extra notebooks kicking around that I don't feel right about throwing away but I also don't know what do to with them - but it is a bit inevitable, I think.  It would make more sense to have a binder to fit them into and keep them along with all the Notebooking Pages....

I will also talk about this with the binder vs. spiral bound notebook post. *wink*





"Did you ever notebook with a 6 year old? She doesn't know how to read or write yet.  I know my 8 year old son will eat this up I'm just wondering if a notebook will be a bit much for my 6 year old daughter. I'm picturing her notebook filled with drawings and the beginnings of words and copy work. Which excites me..."


Ok, so, the question here is - will Notebooking work for younger children and have I ever done this.? 

The answer is - YES and YES!  We have been Notebooking since the beginning of our homeschool journey when my kiddos were just 5, 3, and 2!  (Wow, seems like so long ago...!)

The way we started with Notebooking was with Lapbooks.  I will be writing a post soon about how we used Lapbooks with our preschoolers and very early Elementary-aged kids.  It was super fun and very successful. We still get out their old Lapbooks and enjoy the memories.  We often used Homeschool Share to find free, wonderful Lapbooks for all age levels.




"Do you incorporate lap book pages or other printables? If the child isn't particularly fond of or quick with cutting, do you pre-cut pages and small pieces to be used? How many pages do you use for each study? Do you incorporate the FIAR notebook builder? Do you have a different notebook for each subject or just everything in one for one child until it's full? Your notebooks have been on my mind as we try to navigate them right now. We are just starting them and I'm wondering if I'm overdoing/overthinking... "

This question makes me smile because it sounds JUST LIKE ME.  Yes, we often overthink everything as homeschool Moms.  Because there are so many of you who have littles and are starting out, I will be doing on a post specifically about starting Notebooking with Lapbooking.

As for a couple of the other questions - I can answer them now.  We used ONE Notebooking for everything that we wanted to add into the Notebook this year. There was no rhyme or reason as to how they were put in - we just inserted and tapes/glued them in as we went.  The number of pages for each study varied greatly depending on what we were doing.  For Five in a Row Notebooking, we would do maybe 5-6 pages, but for Composer Study, we would only do one page.  It just depends. 

We do incorporate Lapbooks, yes.  Though, we haven't too much this past year.  I actually hope to use Lapbooks again this coming year.  When the kids were younger, yes, I pre-cut the pages and the elements because it saved a TON of time and frustration.  (smile)  More on that in a coming post about Lapbooking!  To see a bunch of our past Lapbooks, click on the Five in a Row posts to the right of this post.  We usually did a Lapbook with every FIAR study.







Are you interested in learning more about Notebooking?  Here are some of the 'Helpful Links' I've shared in the past from NotebookingPages.com:


The Doom and Gloom of Homeschooling (Part 1)

Are you experiencing burn-out?  Has homeschooling become more of a chore than something you enjoy with your children?  I love how Debra expresses the transparent truth so many of us live - homeschooling is HARD but there is hope.


3 Homeschooling Myths that Trapped Me (Part 2)

Here Debra talks about the traps that held her - "I just need to find the right homeschool method", "I just need to find the right homeschool curriculum", and "My homeschool just needs better time management."

Can any of you relate to believing these lies?  (I can...)


Victory over Busywork, Boredom, and Burnout (Part 3)

Narrations and Notebooking are a winning combination, this post discusses the whys and hows.

Tutorial #1 - Change Your Mindset

What is busy work and how is it hindering your homeschool?  Identify the busy work and set it aside...

Tutorial #2 - The Glue that Makes it All Stick Together (Narrations)

What are narrations and how do they benefit the homeschool?  This is a super detailed post covering all things narrations.  (This site is seriously so amazing...!)


Tutorial #3 - Time for Notebooking

This is an AWESOME post that covers questions like, "What is Notebooking?" and also shows a typical day with reading, narration, and notebooking.


Copywork and Notebooking

A great post all about how to implement copywork into Notebooking.


Notebooking with a Structured Writing Plan

This article includes tips on how to approach writing within a Notebooking structure.  This is very Charlotte Mason friendly, so, of course, I love it.  This post talks about the importance of Oral Narration, how to approach Copywork and and Artwork.  It also touches on the movement from Oral Narration to Written Narration and how to develop from sentence writing to paragraph writing within the Notebooking method.


Language Arts Notebooks

Ideas for using Notebooking for Language Arts (copywork, poetry, etc.).


"Our Story" Video from Debra Reed

If you are feeling tired, burned out, exhausted of the grind of homeschool curriculums and methods that aren't really working - you need to watch this video.  (Or, rather, listen to it...)  Some super inspiring words from a Mama of 10 here...







Some snapshots of a few more of the Notebooking pages we've created in our homeschool:






























You can also follow my Notebooking Pinterest Board where I'm always trying to add helpful links to free Notebooking pages and resources:


Follow Cassandra's board Notebooking and Lapbooking on Pinterest.




{This post contains affiliate links.}


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground