January 8, 2015

Beginning Keeping

Within the Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason community, last year the art of "keeping" leaped into the spotlight with the release of The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason (see also here and here).  I used to be a Keeper, but when life got busy, it went to the wayside.  Some positive peer pressure on the AO forum has me taking another look at the keeping way of life, and I'm determined to make a go of it again.

As Brandy suggested, I'll be adding notebooks slowly to my life so I won't overwhelm myself, or my son, who will be tagging along for his own education.  As he nears AO year 4, his own note booking is about to begin in earnest, so I'm going to lead the way.

I already have a journal for dumping my thoughts, but don't use it very often.  That's okay, its there when I need it, and its feelings aren't hurt when I leave it in a drawer.  I also started a prayer journal last year, with the intention of writing down requests as they came to me, praying over them regularly, then putting down the dates they were answered.  Oops - that fell to the wayside as well.  I will be picking that one back up, but not posting about it here, as that is a very private notebook.

So, for 2015, I plan on adding to my private and prayer journals the following:

1. Commonplace book, for keeping direct quotes from books and what-not. Started Dec. 2014 (I'm totally counting it for 2015!)
Started out as a journal when I was much younger...

Rediscovered as an adult, with many pages ripped out...
...so I decided to make it my first commonplace, knowing it was already imperfect would help me to just. do. it.

2. Bullet Journal, for keeping lists, notes, to-dos, goal tracking, and all those things I need to remember but aren't convenient in Evernote (which I use extensively already). Below are most of the pages I'm already using, by request (I'm talking to you, Dawn Girl!)  Started January 2015

3.Price Book, for comparison shopping of grocery items, to be updated at least every 6 months and adding new items regularly (bi-weekly or monthly). Example. Start goal: February 2015

4. Nature notebook, for our weekly nature walks; to include drawings and observations. Yes, we started one a few years ago, but let it slide. Start goal: March 2015

For Jan and February, I am planning on tracking the weather, as that is the current nature subject on AO.  Here's what we've got going on there - he tells me what to write, or I tell him what to write, so he participates each time in some way.

5. Book of  Centuries, which has a goal of one entry per week of an item, person or event that strikes me as important for a particular year in history.  I'm considering one of these  for both my student and myself.  Until then, we will get in the habit of adding to our timeline. (What is a BoC?) Start goal: September 2015

Most were inspired by the ladies over at AO and/or Charlotte Mason.  The price book comes from trying to be more frugal and eat healthier simultaneously, and I've seen it suggested many places over the past few years so am not sure who to attribute that one to.

My goal is to post once or twice a month with photos of our notebook keeping efforts, and to join in the link-up here.  If this is something you'd like to start to help your mind and soul keep growing, join us!


  1. I, too, have let Keeping fall by the wayside. But I have decided to begin again this new year. I have started 2 commonplace books: 1 for Bible quotes and 1 for quotes from other books that I am reading.
    My children have taken the cue from me and are doing their own commonplace books, too. Even my 7-yr-old is writing in hers. :)
    Looking forward to participating in the link-up @ Joyous Lessons and seeing what all the other Moms and children are keeping. :)
    Thanks for sharing a peek into yours.

    1. You're welcome! Can't wait to see you in the link-up :) I will head over there now.

  2. Ha--loved what you said about starting in an already-imperfect notebook. Sometimes that is what it takes! I also really like your weather notebook. We haven't been following the HONS rotation on AO, but I really would like to--both you and another mom shared weather notebooks this week, and it has me thinking that my very fact-oriented oldest son would love to add this as part of his nature journaling... Thank you for linking up!

    1. My son loves the weather tracking - I don't have instruments yet, so we just get the info off a weather app and by looking outside. Start with what you have :) And thanks for hosting a link-up!

  3. These look like an admirable start. I'm trying to slowly, patiently add too.

  4. I like how you added the reading schedules to your bullet journal. I think I might try that too. :)

  5. I love how you have a plan for all the different areas of keeping...the bullet journal is so intriguing. I also really liked the listing of the book discussion dates and assigned readings. What a great idea. That would prevent always having to find that original thread and thinking....now how much I am suppose to be reading?

  6. Oooh, good idea to stagger the starting of these notebooks so as to not get overwhelmed. I have just been hearing about a bullet journal and really don't know what it is, but it seems like a good way to keep up with the many books I have going at a time so I don't leave one behind. Thanks for sharing the pics of your keeping!


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