There are many fine definitions of a commonplace book. I like the word "repository." It is a curated collection and you, oh joy!, are the curator. In your own, perhaps carefully chosen notebook, you record words phrases, maybe even whole paragraphs that have leapt out of mouths or pages and grabbed you. It is a repository of moments, images or word pictures that you don't want to forget. Sometimes you're not sure why they've seized you, but you feel yourself being nudged to remember.
Beginning September 2022 Prairie Scholé students from middle school to high school are asked to bring a commonplace book to classes. Here they can record prayers, Bible verses, Latin phrases, "a-ha moments" from teachers or classroom discussions, or even sketch. We're beginning to incorporate this practice now so we can enjoy the fruit our labors years down the road.
Here are some resources you might enjoy investigating.
The Common Place Book Project is self described as an informalities and scholarly resource for writing, teaching, collecting and studying commonplace books. Be sure to check out Lewis Carroll's stunning commonplace book
The Gentleman Stationer on commonplacing
John Milton's Commonplace Book
Katy Schaff is the owner/director of Prairie Scholé Homeschool Co-op.
Katy is a second-generation homeschooler and by her own admission "not very good at it." A desire for regular, holy interaction with other homeschoolers; to grow in restful, classical education; and to encourage her children to learn how to learn in community, especially from other parents--these all played a part in bringing Prairie Scholé to fruition.