Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lapbooks 101

Have you discovered lapbooks? I heard them mentioned on websites and homeschool message boards but had no clue what they were until just a few days ago. Wow! These are little golden nuggets. I am definitely going to find as many ways as possible to integrate these into our school next year. For classical homeschoolers, they are an alternative to notebooking for younger students. I think they will be a breath of fresh air now and again to keep things from getting stale; my little guy loves to change things up!

A lapbook is "an educational learning tool made from a folder and meant to take the place of worksheets." (from Literature Amidst Roses). You can buy pre-made kits from many sellers and simply cut and paste them together. I personally like the more "organic" feel of those that are homemade.

Basically, start by taking a file folder and fold the outside flaps into a "shutter fold" creating a booklet that opens up. On the inside creatively display all the information learned about a particular subject using mini-books, flaps, photos and any other means you can contrive. These little books are fun, and the idea is that they are so engaging children will want to go back to them time and again - thus reviewing the information over and over! How often do children pull out workbook pages to proudly show grandparents and neighbors? How often will they want to pull out a booklet they researched, cut, colored and glued? That's the idea!

Here are some of my favorite places to discover more for yourself:

  • First, a wonderful YouTube video of a homeschool mom displaying her children's lapbooks.

  • Next, you can check out Tobin's lab - the group trademarking the term "lap book" - for some great how-to books and CD's. I've been told that Tammy's DVD is wonderful.
  • Literature Amidst Roses has some great information about exactly what lap books are and the difference between lapbooking and notebooking. One note: many of their links listed in the left-hand column are not current.
  • Knowledge Quest is another source of great information.
  • Creative Publishing has wonderful information including directions and print-outs for making lapbooks as well as mini-books to fill them up.
  • Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books is described as a must-have almost everywhere you see lap books mentioned. Our library system does not have this title so I think I may need to buy this one!
  • In the Hands of a Child has lots of pre-made lapbook kits you can purchase if you are in a hurry or, like me, new to the whole lapbooking world. This website is a great resource to see tons of examples as well. If you click on any of their kits it will show a photo of the finished product, and you can even download a sample on most. This website gave me tons of ideas to help get the creative juices flowing.
  • Knowledge Box Central is another site to buy ready to assemble lapbooks. This company has even created specific lapbooks to go along with TOG.
  • Live and Learn Press is yet another place for pre-made lapbooks including lapbooks to go along with Apologia Science. This company calls lapbooks "Learn 'N Folders".
I am looking forward to posting a picture of our first lapbook in the weeks to come!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information. I enjoyed the lapbook video and cant wait to check out the other links! Last summer I made a similar folder for reading and one for math. It was called a kindergarten mini-office check out this site (or just google kindergarten office)
I like the lapbooks even better!The folders I made were intended for daily reference. Lapbooks have so many possibilities if you are creative!

Momto5Minnies said...

Thanks for sharing that link to the video. I definitely think I want to try that this year with my girls!

Valerie said...

Welcome to the world of Lapbooking! LOL, they are sooooo useful, and my kids love them. Even my 2 year old makes his own "Sticker" Lapbook while I help Big sissy. He gets a sheet of fun stickers and gets to put them all over his lapbook, and he's so proud to do his own just like Sissy!

I just read your Confessions of a Homeschool Mom---That's fantastic, good to know we're not the only family with flaws! Thanks for reminding us of that!

In Christ,


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