Tuesday, July 15, 2008

High School Narration Journal- Can you help us?

My tenth grader kept a narration journal last year. We were not completely satisfied with how we organized her work and were wondering if anyone could help us with new ideas.

We didn't want to use loose leaf paper, so we took a nice journal and divided it these sections

History and Biography
Govt and Current Events
Bible and Apologetics

She wrote all her narrations in this one journal under the appropriate section. However, this made it impossible to write the narrations for a particular book in order, one right after the other, so we had to rummage through a section to find it.

I am wondering if anyone has a better idea?


  1. Kristie15.7.08

    I'll chime in with one suggestion. If she were to type her narrations and save them first in a folder according to subject and then individually according to book, at the end of the year you could print these out and have them comb bound at a copy store. I have done this for my children's original poetry creations & their writing and we title it "Composition Book". We find a nice photo or drawing for the cover & it becomes a keepsake of the year. I like doing this, especially for my high schooler, because it makes a nice addition to her Homeschool portfolio. HTH! Blessings, Kristie

  2. Maybe some sort of scrapbooking journal where the pages can be rearranged or saved and then handsewn together at the end of the year.

  3. Another solution is to leave several pages at the beginning of the journal for a Table of Contents. You could divide that into the different subject sections, and each time she does a narration on a particular book she could enter it in the Table of Contents under the appropriate subject, and note the page number.

    Or else what about a double coding system? Have all her narrations on one book arranged together, but mark them with different colours according to subject - perhaps using coloured tabs sticking out at the edges of the page so you can locate them immediately? It won't look as pretty but it would make searching through them much more easy.

  4. Anonymous15.7.08

    I use a zip binding machine, the Pro Click 50 - I think it is, that I got on sale. I am able to bind together things in whatever order and rearrange them as needed. The final product looks like a spiral notebook, but personalized however you like.

  5. I like the table of contents idea.

    A more high-tech solution: If she were to type up the narrations on a private, family-only blog using a blogging software that allowed her to tag each entry with keywords, then she could tag entries both with the title of the book and with one or more keywords. So for example, one narration could be labeled as literature, history, and geography or any combination of topics. She could also then tag it with names of specific historic figures, geographical locations, books of the Bible, etc. That way it would be very easy to find narrations not only by main subject but by minor subjects or sub-headings as well.

    You could password protect it so it couldn't be seen by anyone to whom you didn't want to grant access.

  6. She's writing them by hand?

  7. I love beautiful journals so that's my suggestion. Group the like classes
    together and get a couple of journals. I love hand written work except for essays or thesis papers!


  8. PS....I always have a special
    very lovely or very manly spiritual
    journal for studying the Word.


  9. Lorri17.7.08

    One option that you might like is a Circa notebook system from Levenger.com. They come in a variety of sizes. I invested in the special hole punch and now I make notebooks for everything. I have one for my every day notes and thoughts, with dividers. I can move pages around as needed and sometimes a section will grow so much that I make a new notebook just for that topic. I recently made a notebook for our upcoming Disney vacation. I can't say enough for Cira!

  10. Tammy19.7.08

    This may be a disorganized thought, but my daughter's narration notebook from last year was a composition book, and the narrations were simply chronological, labeled neatly by subject and book. I liked seeing how her thoughts from one subject's readings informed and flowed into other subjects, so I think we'll do it the same way this year. But I really liked Patience's idea of a table of contents with page numbers, for sorting them back out again.

  11. We use hardcover lined journals for this, one for each subject. commonplacing each book and writing up a narration/essay at the end. When starting a new book, I suggest leaving 5-10 pages for each novel. If it's a science book or some other such thing, I leave that much space for each chapter. Depending on how prolifically the child writes, the subject journal might last for 2 years, sometimes not. I've also just used one journal for everything not leaving space. But I journal/commonplace/narrate as I go in fits and starts. I like this approach for me as an adult, since I don't have to turn in some sort of portfolio. But as you say, they are not in any order.