Tips and Tricks: Take Notes While Reading

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If you are anything like me, you read your Babywise, Toddlerwise, Preschoolwise, etc. book quite often. I find this helpful for several reasons. One is that there is only so much information I can absorb at at time, so much of it gets left behind the first time. Then next time I read, several things are just part of my life, so I have room for more information in my brain. Another reason is that many times things don’t apply to my life at the moment–this is especially true in the toddler and older books. One example is the addiction to choices talked about. The first time I read the book, that didn’t even make it on my radar. A year later, however, that clicked because my son was experiencing that addiction.

A practice that has spilled over from my college days is to take notes while reading. I have tried different things in my Babywise readings, and the notes has been my favorite. I have marked key pages with post-it notes. It is nice, but only tells you which pages had something of interest. You could also highlight, but then you are doing the same thing as the post-its. Both of those have their value, but taking notes really takes it up a step for me.

While I read, I have a small piece of paper and a pen on hand. I summarize every point I find interesting and/or want to implement into one sentence and then add the page number I found it on. When I am done reading, that piece of paper stays in the book. That way when I think “What did it say about xyz?” I can just refer to my notes and quickly find it. I can also think, “Okay, I have that down, now what is next?” and then refer to my notes and see what else I wanted to work on. Here are some examples of my notes:

Notes from Preschoolwise

  • Do not have your child do physical organize sports before he is ready; he will likely fail and therefore be wary of new things (p. 22)
  • Do not play games beyond emotional preparedness (p. 23)
  • Play by the rules or don’t play at all (p. 23)
  • Train the child to interrupt you politely (p. 36)
  • Parent the whole child, not a single category of emotions (p. 41)
  • When child does something he shouldn’t, ask “where are you supposed to be” or “what are you supposed to be doing” (see chapter 4)

Those are a sample of some of the notes I took when I read Preschoolwise over 6 months ago. Sometimes I will just read through my notes so that I can be sure I am on track and remind myself of my goals. It really does help. Each time I read the book, I add to my notes if needed. Happy reading!

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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