"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Keeping - My Children's Commonplace Books

For one of this month's prompts, Celeste is asking for a look into our children's commonplace books.
The children, in their different ways, are enjoying their keeping. And I enjoy seeing their face light up during a reading as they write down something they want to remember for later.

 When I started keeping again, I explained the aspect of keeping to them. I had been a keeper in days past, but it was a somewhat of a new concept to them. And even though they had seen me jotting down quotes here and there, they needed to know the hows and whys of keeping. 

After a thorough explanation, I bought each of the children a spiral notebook, and encouraged them to write in it - whatever strikes them from their readings, whether it's a Bible verse, poem, or  something from one of their AO books, or even something from their free reads.

They were a little reluctant at first; it was new to them. But with a little encouragement, they took off with it. And are now enjoying it as much as I am.

So what do they write? Some of what they write is from their AO readings, and some is from other readings. And until the habit is established, I am requiring at least one entry per day

And how do they write? My children like variety, so I let them choose the type of pen/pencils they want to use.  Some of them use pencils, and some use colored ink pens.And printing or cursive? It makes no matter to me.

And where do they write? Wherever they are reading...at the dining room table, on the couch, on their bed, etc.

And when do they write? Whenever they read, they have their commonplace book close by to write down the things that strike them the most from their readings.

Now, here's a peek into their commonplace books..

Natalie writes in hers several times aday - without being reminded. No surprise there - she loves to write; always has.
On this particular page, she jotted down quotes from John Adams, George Washington, Pericles, and John Bunyan (Pilgrim's Progress), from readings that she is doing in her free time.


Asher writes in his without being prodded, too. He, like Natalie, has always loved to write.

 This page includes quotes from the books of Proverbs, Job, Psalms, and a quote from Socrates. Notice that the quote from Socrates is embellished. I like that.  :)


Aaron needs occasional reminding to write in his, but that's ok with me. When he does write in it, his entries are wonderful.

 On this page, Aaron wrote from the books of Acts, Psalms, Job, and he also jotted down quotes from Archimedes, and a poem by Carl Sandburg. As you can see, Aaron uses the colored ink when writing his entries.


And Ian has taken off with his keeping. I often hear him say (under his breath) while he is reading one of his AO books, "Ahh....this quote is going in my commonplace!" And that makes me smile.  :)
This page includes some quotes from Thomas Paine, Winston Churchill, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Cromwell,  and poet William Cowper.

Naomi, at age 7, is still a little young for a commonplace book, but she sees her older siblings writing in theirs and has a little notebook she occasionally writes in.

I have noticed that keeping really does help my children remember. It makes them think, too, and I love hearing their thoughts about the person they wrote about. We often discuss the authors and their quotes; it makes for wonderful discussion.  

"It is very helpful to read with a commonplace book or reading-diary, in which to put down any striking thought in your author, or your own impression of the work, or of any part of it; but not summaries of facts. Such a diary, carefully kept through life, should be exceedingly interesting as containing the intellectual history of the writer; besides, we never forget the book that we have made extracts from, and of which we have taken the trouble to write a short review."  -Charlotte Mason

Sharing this post with Celeste.





22 comments:

  1. These are fantastic! I'm excited about seeing ow my children enjoy keeping as they get older. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. I am excited for my children too, Dawn. Keeping is something that they will hopefully do for a lifetime. :)

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  2. These are just marvelous. We did something similar with our kids' penmanship--keeping a composition book full of quotes, poems, Bible verses, and thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Keeping does improve penmanship! Thanks for stopping by and visiting today. :)

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  3. These are wonderful! I like the storm drawing and the selections that were made. Thanks to you and your children for sharing!

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  4. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. My oldest (8) has fantastic handwriting and seems to enjoy copywork and cursive ... all that. He has even started writing his autobiography :-) It is so adorable, misspellings and all! Although he is a bit young for a commonplace, I went ahead and got him a handful of special notebooks yesterday to begin copying into since he appears to enjoy writing. Hopefully these will work themselves into permanence!

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    1. Wow Kristyn, an autobiography at age 8? Very impressive! :)
      I am hoping for permanence with my children, too.
      Thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. This is wonderfully inspiring, Lisa. Your kids all have beautiful handwriting! And I love that they are taking ownership of the Keeping, each to his or her own degree.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Celeste. I have a thing about penmanship: it has to be neat, whether it's print or cursive. And it helps that my children love to write. :)

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  6. I am very impressed!! They all have great quotes AND great handwriting :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting me today, Laura. I am hoping that keeping will become a much-loved habit for them, and having neat handwriting will be an extra perk. :)

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  7. Thanks for stopping by, Amy! :)

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  8. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. What a blessing to enjoy these wonderful quotes together. Have a blessed Valentine's weekend.

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    1. Hope you have a blessed week-end, too! Thanks for stopping by today. :)

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  9. How lovely! I like your 'what, how, where, when' questions - they would be very helpful in keeping a continuity of Keeping. And yes, the writing is all very neat!

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    1. So nice to have you stop by today, Carol. And thank you for the kind words. :)

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  10. I love that little rain cloud! I have never heard that quote before...

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    1. There is a bit of background about that quote. According to Asher, Socrates was married to a contentious woman, who constantly criticized and ridiculed him in front of family and friends. One day while ignoring her remarks, she dumped water on his head, which is when he made the above statement. :)

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    2. HA! That is wonderful...funny guy that Socrates...
      It is a good lesson to the dc to choose thier marriage partner wisely ;)

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    3. Right. I often tell my boys to avoid a contentious woman and look for a Proverbs 31 woman...when they are old enough, that is. :)

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I love to hear from my readers, and your thoughts are welcome. And I try my best to respond to each and every comment. :)