Thursday, March 20, 2008

The CommonPlace Book

I was introduced to the idea of the commonplace book in Susan Wise Bauer's The Well-Educated Mind. Here is a summary I did for a homeschooling group.

A commonplace book is simply a learning journal. You could use almost anything: a spiral notebook, a three-ring binder, an actual journal, I often buy the cheap composition books, and then cover them with beautiful scrapbook paper, and add a ribbon for a marker. The point is to write down or sketch ideas, thoughts, images that touch and inspire you as you go through your learning experience. You could record in your commonplace book while reading a book, watching a great movie, studying art, going a nature walk, etc. You could have different books for different things, or use the same one continually.We have commonplace books for our scriptures. These are just empty journals that I bought at B and N. Everyday we record a Passage to Ponder, A Blessing to Claim, An Example to Follow, and an Error to Avoid from our own personal readings. The little ones just do a Passage to Ponder. My older ones and I include all of them, and I also try to record some of my notes, in mathematical notation. This is my scripture commonplace book.I also keep a commonplace books for books that I read. In here are favorite passages and lines from the books, questions that I ask myself because of reading this book, basically the highlights or my "conversation" with the author. I am amassing a personal library of all the great reading, and hard thinking that I am doing. I am teaching my children to do this also. This is the way the great thinkers, and leaders have always done it.Joyful St

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