Have you seen the work of Julia Rothman? Ms. Rothman is an author, an artist, an illustrator, and a designer. Her art has been featured in clothing, bedding, books and magazines, and more.
Not only are these books gorgeous, but Julia Rothman’s books are perfect to use in your homeschool!
I’m in love with her science book series for elementary kids and we’ve been exploring how to use Julia Rothman’s illustrated books in our homeschool by incorporating them with nature notebooks and our usual homeschool notebooking process.
While I love the inventiveness and creativity that comes from notebooking, sometimes it’s nice to have a guide to follow. I am so glad we got these Julia Rothman Companion Notebooks!
For each of the 600+ page illustrated books, you can get companion notebooks with pages that cover topics like Reading Comprehension, Narration, and Drawing in your homeschool!
Before we go into how to use Julia Rothman’s illustrated books in your homeschool (we focus on nature study), I want to tell you how these books, along with their companions can encourage learning in various styles.
The value of notebooking, narration, and drawing in your homeschool.
Notebooking is a great way for your children to reiterate what they’ve learned in their own words.
Sometimes homeschool notebooking can be through written words, other times it may be beautiful drawings, and often times it’s scribbled notes with a narration to follow.
However it is, the value that these three simple things bring to your journey is innumerable.
Studies show that when something is written down, it is easier to remember. But notebooking allows for more than just notes, it allows for creativity.
By allowing the child to creatively show what they’ve learned, or are learning, we can see what they comprehend, how they figured it out, and even where they (or we) have fallen short.
How to Use Julia Rothman Books for Notebooking, Narration, and Drawing in your homeschool.
In these books, information is presented through illustration, which helps make it all very relatable, and memorable. In fact, this is one of the benefits of narration and drawing in your homeschool.
For example, if you follow along with Farm Anatomy Companion Notebook, you can see where the child is asked to write the instructions for creating a Rag Quilt in their own words.
Instructions for creation are given in the book, but the companion notebook goes a step further by asking the child to process this. Of course, you can use narration, drawing, or notebooking to complete this.
However you choose to do it, the companion notebooks make it so easy to follow and learn along!
Simply put, when you write what you’ve learned in your own words and draw pictures of the things you’ve studied, it becomes memorable.
Combine the beauty of Julia’s illustrated books with the power of students creating their own version with the companion notebooks, and you have a very powerful combination.
This is how children learn!
Why does narration work?
Narration is the retelling of what you have learned in your own words. It forces students to process the information enough that they can turn it into a new format.
Narration is not regurgitating a lesson word-for-word. It is personal and it is unique.
Why does drawing work?
Students must hash it out, understand it, and tell it back again in an organized way without copying the original. This helps the brain organize and effectively remember the information learned.
Drawing, in this context, is really just a simpler form of narration. This is a great first step for kids who haven’t quite developed the verbal skills for narration, or kids that need a jump start to the narration process.
However, drawing isn’t just for beginners. Drawing helps cultivate creativity, encourage deep thought, and focuses on details.
The visual stimulation of drawing to represent information works in much the same way verbal narration works. Kids have to understand, organize, and be able to present information to have a successful drawing.
The end result is a stronger grasp of the information.
How Does Using Illustrated Books in Your Homeschool Help?
Julia Rothman’s Illustrated Books have simple, whimsical drawings with an artistic style that children can mimic. This makes the books a perfect springboard for drawing in a homeschool setting.
Each day you can cover a few pages of the main text, and then use the corresponding pages in the companion notebook to have your child narrate and draw about what they’ve learned. The resulting nature notebook will be a keepsake!
This is a great way to be sure that you’ve mastered concepts, and even look over for deeper dives in the years to come!
How Does Homeschool Notebooking Help?
You can print these Julia Rothman companion notebooks, which come as PDF files, and place the pages in a three-ring binder. It’s that simple. If you or your child prefers, you can bind the pages using a spiral binder.
You could also cut out the pages or parts of the pages and paste them into a notebook scrapbook-style. Each of these methods of creating a nature notebook will work great and will help your child visually organize new information.
BONUS: Combining Multiple Grades
Because these illustrated books are not grade-specific, they are perfect for teaching multiple ages of children with the same curriculum.
You can use the illustrated books for all of the elementary grades and could even use them in middle grades with a little supplementation.
Personally, even as an adult, I enjoy flipping through the books and enjoying the content. Just something about beautifully illustrated books makes me smile.
For the youngest students, you could have them only complete the drawing components. For older students, you could require both drawing and narration components.
Depending on each child’s level you might require one-word answers, answers in complete sentences, or perhaps a paragraph for each answer.
This allows you to adjust the level of difficulty for each of your children without struggling to get through three or four different science texts individually.
Everyone learns the same thing, but applies it on their own level.
How Much Prep Work will This Require?
The beauty of using Julia Rothman’s books for homeschool science is that you can literally just grab and go. Grab the illustrated book, grab the companion notebook, and you’re good to go!
Older children can work completely independently with this series and there’s no need to do prep work. You can sit at the kitchen table, sit out on the patio, or sit in a hammock and work through the material.
If you use the companion notebooks from Daily Skill Building, you won’t need extra supplies or instructions either.
What supplies will I need for notebooking with multiple children?
You will need at least one of the Julia Rothman Illustrated Books and a companion notebook for each child. (I had to have them all. They are so pretty!) Here are the current titles.
- Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World – Nature Anatomy Companion Notebook
- Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life – Farm Anatomy Companion Notebook
- Ocean Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the World Under the Sea –Ocean Anatomy Companion Notebook
- Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Our Edible World – Food Anatomy Companion Notebook
You will need a printer and printer paper and ink to start with. Unless you choose to use a printing company like Family Nest Printing.
You will also need a three-ring binder, folder, or spiral binding to store the pages. Your child will need a pencil and drawing supplies like colors, markers, paint, etc. to add information to each page.
Using these illustrated books in our homeschool has made a huge difference in how my children learn about the world around us, and these companion notebooks made that so easy!