Thursday, March 17, 2011

Altered Books and a New Discovery

One of the best school years we ever had were the years that we followed the outline laid out by Ambleside Online. One of the recommended suggestions is to keep a “Current Events Notebook”. I’ve always thought it was a great idea, I’ve just never been consistent about actually implementing and sticking with one.

With the many changes taking place in our world today, I’ve thought again about scheduling a few minutes a week for my children to jot down what’s going on around the world. Originally, I thought I’d go with a simple notebook page. Somewhere the kids could record local, state, region, national and world news. They could make a note of  unusual, uplifting, political, tragic and earth-shattering events as they transpire and record their feelings, thoughts, fears and hope for the future. I even began to work on a simple notebook page that would fill  our need.

Then I ran across a website that describes how to make an altered composition book and fell in love with this simple craft and I was inspired.

altered books 004The perfect Current Events Notebook! I just love the result!

The best part? This is a fun, easy and inexpensive craft that your child can complete in a matter of minutes with items found around your home. I didn’t purchase one thing—and believe me when I say that my home is not well stocked in the craft supply department! 

I enjoyed this project so much that I stopped by the author’s blog to see if she offered any other craft ideas and what I discovered made me wish my kids were younger! 

Turns out the blog owner of Spell Out Loud, Maureen Spell,  is a homeschooling mom of six, who has a real talent in the craft department! If you have little ones (baby to late elementary), you’ll love the ideas that she shares.

According to her Facebook page, she has a huge birthday bash planned for the beginning of April with lots of giveaways.

One last thing, if you have little ones, you should take a look at these step- by-step directions for creating I Spy Bottles! I can’t wait to make one for my niece and nephew next time they visit. 

Now I can’t wait for my kids to put those Current Event Notebooks to use! 





  1. My 7yo and I did this for field trip and vacation journals! In one case she drew the cover and in the other we printed photos out and made a collage cover. We used mod podge to make the cover more wear resistant. We ended up with a bunch if dollar store composition books (left over from a church youth activity) and this is a great way to cover boring or inappropriate covers!

  2. What a fantastic idea! I'm going to go take a look at her blog too.

  3. Travel journals and a field trip journal were the first thought that came to my mind and we'll be working on those soon too. My kids love the look of these books and I love that you can be as basic or elaborate as you want and they'll look good either way. :)

  4. I hope you find a lot of craft ideas to keep you busy! :)

  5. Hmmm... current events is something that we are almost 100% neglecting. I don't even read the news myself. But I love your altered composition notebooks.

  6. Thanks, Jimmie! The current event journals really turned out nicely. I can't wait to sit down with the kids and make a few more. Can't blame you for not watching the news as most of the time I find it extremely depressing.


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