Monday, July 21, 2008

High School Narration Journal- Here's What We're Doing

Thanks to all of you who took time from your busy day to offer suggestions for our high school journals. We liked several of the suggestions. In the end, we chose Bonnie's idea about grouping subjects. She wrote:

Group the like classes together and get a couple of journals. I love hand written work except for essays or thesis papers!

I don't know why we never thought of doing this before. Sometimes we just need to hear new input from others.

Strong Joy, my oldest, likes to write out her narrations. Plus, we only have one old laptop for all the kids and myself to share. Often, we have to turn it off so it won't overheat. This is why she doesn't type her narrations. She only types Writing Strands projects and blog posts. She also has beautiful handwriting and enjoys writing in a calligraphic form. She likes journals and doesn't want to keep up with loose leaf paper. For documentation purposes, I would like all writings from one book to be grouped together.

Therefore, this is what we have decided. We bought some thin hardbound journals for 50 cents a piece and label each according to the major subject area (History, Literature, etc...) Inside each, narrations from all the books under that subject can be written here. We divided each journal up into sections according to the name of each book being read and narrated. This is simple and exactly what we were looking for.

Thank you, Bonnie!

one step at a time...


  1. Anonymous21.7.08

    If you want a table of contents, you can leave the first two pages blank and number the rest of the pages. When the book is full, go back and made the table of contents - alphabetically or by topic and include the page numbers. It makes it quicker to find what you wrote although paging through is always fun!

    Mama Martin

  2. I'm glad you found something that will work for you. I am trying to decide how I will organize Samantha's narration notebook for junior high. I think we may just go with a big binder, paper and dividers. Boring I know but hey it is easy! LOL!

  3. Donna in Tx22.7.08

    We started using this system 2 years ago and has worked wonderfully. I printed out "pretty" pages that closely match the theme of each book. These journals just scream to be written in and sometimes dd will print out portraits or other pictures that relate to the book and add them to her journals. Now she loves to write beyond her "school subjects.
    Have fun!

  4. Where did you get the journals? I think we will go more this route also. We has been doing large spiral bound books with cardstock and added pictures. I think as they are older they should use something more age appropriate.

  5. Anonymous22.7.08

    Yes, I'd like to know where you got hard cover journals for 50 cents!

  6. I'm back from picking blueberries~~
    and checked back to your blog.
    Glad anything I said helped!!!
    Luci Shaw,poet and writer-in-resident
    at Regent College ( Vancouver) , numbers the pages in her journals.
    I don't in my personal ones, but I do put a list of the books I read within
    that journal on the very last page.
    She can alter some of the pages too ~~ make the narration in another form!


  7. another Bonnie25.7.08

    This is another Bonnie, I am in Alabama:) I would also like to know where you found the hard bound journals for .50,
    ours run from $2.99 at Walmart to a "very special" one that was $4.99 from Office Max.
    Blessings in Christ,

  8. Remember those black and white journals? Walmart sells them in various colors now for 50 cents.

    We don't need a table of contents because we put little tabs with the names of the books on each.


  9. Hi,

    Do you mind if I ask you a question? I was wondering if you have your children write rough copies to be edited before copying them into their journals, or do they write them straight into the journals. Also, do your older children write narrations on each subject area/reading? How many would they write in a week?

    Sorry so many questions but I was interested in how you go about this.


  10. Hi LindaOz,
    Narrations are written only once. We only do rough drafts when we are doing a major writing project from Writing Strands or some other formal assignment. I give the older kids their own white out pen so they can keep the journals neat.

    They give some sort of feedback for all their assigned books. My highschool students usually end up doing one oral narration, one written narration and one creative narration daily. This doesn't include Science notebooks, math, grammar etc...


  11. I have not been perusing blogs for a very long time; but now in a time of illness I have extra time on my hands and so enjoyed catching up on your blog! I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I love the idea of using hardbound journals for various subject/narrations. What a great idea! I think my daughter would love to have these types of journals. I think the Borders ones that are black go on clearance periodically for very cheap; so I will be keeping my eye out. I bet they would be easy to cover with something pretty!

    Amy B