Posted in Charlotte Mason, Keeping

Some of Our Year 3 Keeping

This year, I incorporated a bit more of Charlotte Mason style notebook keeping. I even started some myself! My daughter did drawings in her science/nature notebook to go along with some of the readings. She also keeps an American History notebook. We did some map work as well as drawing lessons. In term 3, she began a Copywork Journal which is an idea I got from Celeste’s blog which she calls a Prose and Poetry Journal. Once a week, my daughter chose something from her readings for copywork and put it in her Copywork Journal. I gave her a really pretty journal for this. She surprised me in that sometimes she chose really long passages to copy….such as a poem she chose to memorize. She copied the whole poem in her journal in one sitting!

Here’s a look at some of my daughter’s keeping from this year.

Pea Plant Drawing
She observed an actual pea plant and then drew it, labeling the pistel, stamen, and pea eggs. Unfortunately, you can’t really see her labeling lines very clearly. Sorry…..


This is one of the entries in her American History notebook. She wanted lots of windows on her drawing of Harvard College. 🙂


One of her science notebook entries


Her drawing from an abstract art lesson utilizing shapes for the drawing


And a little bit of my keeping that I began…….

My Map Tracing 2

My Map Tracing 1
I started VERY basic with map drawing by tracing some maps. I am not very good at free hand drawing of maps!


My Squirrel Drawing
My drawing from our art lesson on how to draw squirrels.



My Owl Drawing
My drawing from our art lesson on how to draw owls.


I do also keep a Commonplace Notebook as well. I’m looking forward to doing more of my own keeping in this upcoming year. I’ve already begun some with my pre-reading for Year 4. 🙂


8 thoughts on “Some of Our Year 3 Keeping

  1. I have a logistical question. I’ve seen a couple posts where people indicate that they “traced an outline in”. I’m trying to wrap my head around this. Are you use tracing paper as your geography notebook? Or tracing AROUND a template that has been cut out. A silly question, but I was to incorporate a “truer” mapping experience for my kids. This starting point has me confused!


    1. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, we do use tracing paper sometimes. We actually don’t keep a separate geography notebook. I just keep completed maps in a big binder where I keep completed school work from many subjects. My daughter does have a general school binder that she uses daily. It has her schedule, any maps we are using, memory work, etc.

      As far as tracing maps go, sometimes we trace maps, sometimes we just label an outline map. For example, my daughter will be reading “Minn of the Mississippi” this coming year. At least to start with, she will follow Minn’s journey down the Mississippi River as she reads the book. I have an outline map of the Mississippi River (which includes the surrounding areas) that she will use.

      When we trace maps, we generally use tracing paper and put it over a copy of the map we are drawing. Outline maps work great for this. Color maps *can* be a bit harder to trace because it can sometimes be hard to see some of things you want to trace because of all the color. Is that helpful?


  2. Oh, I forgot to add that with maps we are learning, I often put a copy of a blank map in a sheet protector. Then she will practice tracing the map and labeling it with a dry erase marker. This is great for repeated map drill practice because it can be used over and over again. She simply erases the marker when we’re done with the map practice.


    1. Yes, this is helpful! Celeste from Joyous Lessons linked to your blog, which is how I came across it. I just noticed this is for a year 3 student. My son is going to be in YR 2. Do you plan to transition from an all inclusive binder, to separate notebooks, as you did with Poetry and Prose this year? At what point do you think you will make that change? Thank you!


      1. I love Celeste’s blog! My big binder that I keep completed work in is just where I keep all loose papers and things like that. It helps to just start a big binder at the beginning of the year and add the papers each week. Then at the end of the year it’s already done for me! Yay! So that binder stays back in the office on the bookshelf and I pull it out as needed to add completed papers. We have lots of loose papers between dictation, extra math worksheets, maps, drawing, etc.

        My daughter keeps a separate copywork notebook, math notebook, the copywork journal, American history notebook, and science notebook (this is both nature journal and science journal combined). I think that’s all. Hopefully I’m not leaving anything out. 🙂 Then she has her general binder that I mentioned before.

        We will be adding a Book of Centuries this year which is new. I haven’t decided how we’re going to do that just yet. 🙂 And I think I’m going to start keeping poetry she memorizes in a separate binder. I like Celeste’s idea of having them illustrate the poem after it’s memorized and keeping them all in a binder. I’m just now beginning to work on the planning part of Year 4 (I’ve been pre-reading Year 4 books for the last few weeks).

        As far as Year 2 goes, let’s see…we started the copywork notebook and the American History notebook in Year 2. I think that’s when we started the math notebook too. But we are using Life of Fred math, so you have to do your work in a notebook or on loose leaf paper. So I chose to just have her keep a separate notebook just for math.


  3. Freehand map drawing is a skill I would love to get better at! But for now, I just do tracing also. 🙂 Your daughter’s notebooks are lovely! The pea plant and bird are both so delightfully colorful.


  4. Hi Karen, I had a read through some of your posts but I couldn’t find where the comment sections were. I just found this spot – just wanted to say that your daughter’s notebook pages are lovely. Enjoyed reading through what you’re reading. Funny that! What home schooler doesn’t love book lists & ideas of yet more books!!?
    Also liked the quote from Essex Cholmondley at the top of your blog. I’ve heard some good things about that book.


    1. Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you click on the post you are reading, you should be able to scroll down to the bottom and find the comment section. Hope that helps! Yes….love those book lists!!! I love hearing about what other people are reading. And of course, my to-read list just continues to grow and grow and grow….LOL


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