Although we are only on our second year of homeschooling we are on our third homeschool writing curriculum.  I’m not sure that we’ve found the perfect fit even yet.  History programs; we’ve seen two.  You get the idea….what we do is fluid.  (That’s fancy talk for I change my mind.  A lot.)

One of my very favorite homeschool supplies has remained no matter how many curriculum changes or schedule tweaks we go through.  It’s so simple and can be used in virtually any subject.

The blank book is at the top of my “can’t live without”  homeschool supplies!

Something about making marks in a real, bound book makes anything feel a little extra special. There is a special spot on my bookshelves reserved for when we need to pick out the perfect blank book.

 There is an assortment of sizes, colors, and price points to choose from depending on how long we will be working in each book.

I actually kept a supply of these on hand even before I became a homeschooling mama.  They are just plain fun.

This is our “Super special, long term, gonna keep it forever” kind of book.

This hardbound Studio Series Blank Book (8 1/2 x 11) is the one we break out when it’s a project were going to be working on for awhile & something I know I will keep literally forever.  The same book also comes with a black cover which looks pretty swanky.

When my kids were in public school I would find myself saving piles of work that didn’t really reflect them as little people.  It might show their skills at a specific benchmark or sometimes even be super cute.  But with that many projects being done at one time there is only so much room for individuality.

These are so affordable and bring such a special air to projects.  Brave writer fairy tales, free writes, invention journals, summertime journals, winter break journals all take place in these hardbound books.

Whose idea is this anyways?

What I really love about using these blank books, as opposed to a workbook or a notebook is that it feels less like “school.”  Maybe its because my kids were in public school for so long but they still get hung up on what counts as “real school” and what’s for fun.

We’re still trying to get to the ideal place where they realize they can enjoy something that is learning.  In the meantime, I’m not above tricking them.  (Haha, really.)  These books blur the line a bit for my kids.  It seems more like their idea, their project.

Our first year of homeschool we used Apologia Science and the accompanying workbook.  I won’t lie.  It was a lot.  Year number two brought some changes in how we do things.  But we stuck with Apologia.  I have been more selective about how and what portion of it we do.  We also ditched the workbook and added in their own “science book.”  It was more fun, took less convincing, and I think their work was more intentional.

To top off the deal, it was cheaper!

Paperback blank books come in all sizes and colors are just so darn fun.

(And cheap.)

I also have a basket of books that my kids can pick from at any time for projects of their choice.  (Check out this post on why I leave baskets of “stuff” all over my house.  It’s a strategy called “strewing” not laziness!)  They get used for a lot of the same purposes I’m just not stingy with them because they are so inexpensive.

I’ve got white books, neon books, board books, mini books, you name it.  They are up for grabs.  My six year old writes his own stories in them.  The eight year old makes them gifts.  My eleven year old makes comic books in them.

I also keep a stash of these tiny colorful envelopes to add to book pages.  My kids use these more when they’re making a journal type book.  Sometimes they stick something special in there that they want to keep (clippings, stubs, etc.) or a secret note or drawing.  Along the same lines these little self adhesive library pockets can be added to pages for extra science diagrams or personal goodies.

Although these supplies are reminiscent of scrapbooking I’ve never made a scrapbook page in my life.   However, I love how offering these supplies inspire my kids to keep “making” which usually includes writing, reflecting, and learning!

It all counts as learning, but don’t tell them.

 If you enjoyed this post and are maybe on your way to go start mass producing treasures from blank books please share it and pass along the fun!