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A Record of the Learning Lifestyle of _____________ Review by Christy Sensenig

Charlene Notgrass
Notgrass Company
370 S. Lowe Ave., Ste. A
PMB 211
Cookeville, TN 38501

A Record of the Learning Lifestyle of _________ is a spiral-bound notebook that includes a system of tracking activities and information about your child's day. It includes sections entitled "What I Did This Week"; "Books I Have Read This Year"; "Books That Have Been Read to Me"; "My Grades, Test Scores, and Rewards for This Year"; and "Notes."

"What I Did This Week" is a section in which the student can reflect on his day and week. The right-hand side is used for documenting the activities of the day. The left-hand side has several different categories to place the activities in. This assists the student and teacher in evaluating the breakdown of activities, and it may reveal areas that need more focus. "Books I Have Read This Year" and "Books That Have Been Read to Me" give the student a way to document his reading for the school year. "My Grades, Test Scores, and Rewards" allows the student to track progress and keep a record of accomplishments. The "Notes" section provides a place for writing down thoughts and ideas.

The creator of the notebook encourages the parent or teacher to model the first week's writing in the planning section to give the student an idea of how the process works. I have encouraged my child to use it in the evening as a reflection of his entire day. It becomes an outlet for writing down thoughts, similar to a journal. This would be best used in a homeschool setting because the parent can evaluate what may need to be changed in the daily schedule and can apply those changes in the homeschool environment. That being said, the notebook could also be used by a teacher in a classroom setting as a way to evaluate each student's progress.

I have enjoyed using this product, and my son has enjoyed using it as well. It has enabled me to evaluate how I have scheduled the day and the week. If there are changes that need to be made, I can pinpoint the area of need very quickly. My son has benefited from a routine of writing in the notebook each night and is able to evaluate for himself the areas that need more focus.

I would recommend this product to anyone, especially if you are just beginning to homeschool. It can help narrow your focus as it pertains to your schedule and will help to keep you from feeling so overwhelmed. Your child will benefit from the routine of writing a reflection of the day, and you will have another way to document the amount of learning that takes place each day. You will find that there are so many situations where learning occurs. A written record of the child's learning is a wonderful encouragement to both the parent and the child.

Product review by Christy Sensenig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2007