Recently I was given a copy of Fortunately For You Books’ “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers” notebooking pages free in exchange for my review, and I have been using them delightedly in my homeschool. My daughter is one of those typical homeschooled kids whose abilities in one area have outpaced her abilities in other areas. While she can read and comprehend almost anything I put in front of her, I have not yet taught her the finer points of note taking or outlining. Unfortunately, the higher the level of books she reads, the more desirable these skills would be.
Fortuitously, Fortunately For You Books has solved my dilemma for me. With their unique new line of notebooking pages, they have taken on the task of teaching the skills of note taking and outlining. The notebooking pages, available by the chapter for $1.50 each, are set up in a loose outline form (in that they follow the chapter) with prompts as to what a student should write down. Sometimes a specific question is asked, while other times there is a blank to be filled in or a series of points to be written down. Regardless of how the prompt is formatted, though, a student is never in doubt of what they are supposed to write down. When they have finished filling out the notebooking pages for the chapter (around ten or so pages for each chapter), your student will have a set of complete notes for that chapter. They will be able to study for a test, summarize the chapter in a paragraph or two, or merely add the pages to their existing history or civics notebooks.
Although each page of the notebooking is keyed to a specific page or pages in the text making finding the answers easy, Fortunately For You Books does not require you to take on the task of looking things up. A full set of answers is included with your purchase. One aspect of the answers I especially appreciate is that they are incorporated into the actual notebooking pages (meaning a second set of pages with the answers filled in), rather than just included as a random-looking list of words.
If you want your child to engage in pure outlining (I, II, A, B, a, b, i, ii, etc), these pages are probably not for you. If, like me, though, you look at these pages and see a representation of the exact way that you take notes yourself (writing down key phrases and ideas, listing salient points), then you will be thoroughly taken with these notebooking pages. They are the homeschool resource you would create yourself if you had the time – and that’s the highest compliment I can pay any homeschool resource. My only complaint is that they are not available for all of my daughter’s assigned books!
If you are interested in seeing an actual sample of these notebooking pages, visit the product page at http://fortunatelyforyoubooks.com/poingutofofa.html. In order to use the pages appropriately, you will need a copy of the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers.” I would recommend these pages wholeheartedly to anyone whose child is reading, or considering reading, this book, and I can’t wait to see further offerings in this series!
Product Review by Laura Delgado, Ph.D., Fortunately For You Books, LLC, July, 2011