Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Catechism Notebook (in progress)

Since I've been doing lots of homeschool notebooking recently I thought I would share what I'm doing.   In this post I'll show our religion pages so far.  This is a work in progress.

One of the things I like about lapbooks/notebooks is that you can build them slowly.  You can have an overview of the basic material on the first page, and then put details on later pages.  OR you can start with a detail and then build up to the overview.  There are so many ways to go!

I tried making a couple of regular file-folder type lapbooks and was quite happy with how they turned out.  (here is one).  However, while I was researching online and thinking about it, I decided that I preferred the notebook binder format to the file folder format. 

You can easily put any mini-book (or file folder game, or mini-office) on a card-stock page in a binder and this (to me) allows for a lot of flexibility and yet continuity.   You can rearrange the papers in the order that seems best.  You can migrate just one or two into a smaller binder.     You can use them as dividers for regular notebooking pages.  The possibilities again are endless. 

You can even use the cardstock pages as extensions in a future lapbook, if you decide you prefer that format.  

And they are compatible with regular notebooking pages. 

 So that's what this post shows.

Materials I Used:

  • Cardstock
  • Fiskar Paper Cutter (I love this thing, wow, and it is affordable too)
  • Scrapbooking paper I had around the house. 
  • Glue Sticks I had around the house.  
  • Colored and white printing paper I had around the house.  
  • Our printer (I don't have a colored printer so I go for black and white images for printables)

This is another thing I like about this craft.  You can use almost everything that comes into the house that has a visual element.  I totally am going to cut up church bulletins and wrapping paper now. 

My goal with the religious notebooking is to build pages which supplement the catechetical resources we are using.  We use a variety of resources depending on what I want my child to learn.

Some core resources:

  • Faith and Life (Ignatius PRess).   There are some downloadable scopes and sequences at this site which are useful. 
  • Living My Religion.  
  • St Joseph Baltimore Catechism.   These are probably my most-used catechisms by a long shot.  
  • ThatResourceSite  has a lot of free foldable/lapbook type resources for Catholics (they call them F3 Folders).   They also have all kinds of interesting printables.  Unless otherwise noted, the resources I link to in this post are from that site.  

What I love about notebooks is that they can be homemade customized reference books.  So even if you are using several different things, you don't have to get confused. 

I.  Liturgical Calendar Page

Materials Used:
(We printed the vestments out in small -form, then glued them to little cross booklets which I made of cardstock so we can put more information inside)

2.   Liturgical Dedication of the Months

I have always wanted to follow the dedication of the months of the year.  I found this post More on dedication of the months of the year which showed a way to do this in a lapbook format.

So here is my version.

The page I linked to has printable color pictures to put inside the little booklets.   I don't have access to a color printer, so I collected some black and white pictures (I did my best to choose public domain images but if you notice a copyrighted picture, let me know).
Dedication of the Months
Smaller Dedication of the Months

It took two pages of the notebook as you can see.   I haven't labelled the front of the booklets yet.

I made match-book style booklets.
This page shows you how to make matchbooks

Here's a picture showing the inside of a couple of the matchbooks.

On the back of the second page, I am planning to do something similar with the dedication of the days of the week.   But I haven't done this yet. 

3.  Perfections of God

For this page, I simply downloaded the F3 Folder Lesson on the Perfections of GOd.  I printed it out half-size so I could get more on a page. 

4.   The Blessed Trinity

I am not finished with this page yet.
Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't good here.   It looks better in real life.

The stained glass picture comes from this site:  Color the Bible.    You can find memory verses about the Trinity there.  I am probably going to print out the verses for a different notebook page.

You can find images of the Shield of the Trinity here
More Trinity symbols here
There is also a Holy Trinity Poster at Thatresourcesite

See the three little folded things in the picture above?  I used a T-fold which I just cut out myself, but you can see the form here at HomeschoolHelper.     I had some religious scrapbooking cardstock which turned out to be perfect (though the picture is lousy).

Here's another picture from later on.  

Inside you can see cards which I made using this Know and Go Trinity game.   You can see below how the little wallets fold out into a cross shape, and I glued the "Person of the Trinity" cards inside, but left the other ones free. 

5.  Future Plans

Salvation History.  There are lots and lots of Bible lapbooks on display online.   Just go to Pinterest!   I didn't get around to doing a Jesse Tree with my kids this year.   But all my key catechetical resources bring in the Old Testament stories and I thought that if we worked on those between Christmas and Lent, we would have notebook pages ready to review easily for next Advent.  Then in Lent, we can study the life of our Savior leading up to the events of Holy Week. 

Prayer pages.  I am going to display the prayers that my boys already know on the first pages, and then add prayers I want them to learn.

Catholic Lists.  I am fascinated by lists of things Christians should know.    When I first converted, I used to pore over these, but they are challenging to present to kids, because, you know, they are just lists of things.  But they look like great material for foldables and notebook pages. 

Since I wrote this I have made several more pages for the Catechism Notebook.   You can find them under the Catholic Notebooking label. 


  1. This is awesome!!! I believe you have just inspired our work for next year:)

  2. Wow! Thanks for this. This is very inspiring. I'm wondering if I could use something like a lap book for my 7th grade RE class.

  3. Why have I never seen this blog before?? Love it! I love this lapbook idea --what a great way t teach about the Church year.

    FYI the Liturgical Wheel graphic from Valerie Malott's blog is actually mine. I made it quite a while ago. :)

  4. Thanks Erin, Faith, and Michele! I am glad you liked the post; I was afraid it was boring while I was putting it together.

    Michele,I think Valerie mentioned the wheel was your design in her post but I forgot when I was writing this one. I edited to reflect the attribution. Thanks for commenting, nice to hear from you!

  5. This is a great resource thank you. I'd like to add however, that many of your links are dead.


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