I have two boys, 7 and 5, and am looking for something creative and educational that I can do with both boys at the same time. I came across lapbooking, and it sounds perfect for both their ages, allowing them each to create their own ‘book’ at their own level. I was wondering if any of you have any experience lapbooking/scrapbooking or have any suggestions on what topics to include in a book or areas of study that would be fun for their ages.
Thanks so much!
Hi everyone. My name is Donna and I am new to the group. My children have created several lapbooks and I did a workshop at the conference at the Galleria homeschooling conference. Concerning the lapbooks: the goal of lapbooking ( and it is different from scrapbooking) is to get your child writing, drawing, coloring, diagraming, labeling, defining, sequencing, comparing and contrasting, mapping, graphing and other skills with minimum resistance and maximum excitement. It is a pain-free way to learn. As your child works on his lapbook, he is learning with short, but intense lessons on your chosen topic. Your question did not ask about how to go about implementing a lapbook or how to plan one out–if you have questions concerning this please post again. Your question was about topics. The first thing that I recommend is to choose something that YOU are very interested in. What ever you are excited about, your children will become excited about. You can choose your topic from a portion of a text that you are using–perhaps you would like to go in depth a bit more than what the text is giving you. You can choose your topic based on a local exhibit. The Atlanta History Center just had an exhibit on Ben Franklin. I decided that we were all going to do a lapbook on Ben Franklin. We have a yearly pass and I wanted us to get the most bang for our buck. We visited several times and actually worked on our lapbooks at the center a few times. You can also choose a topic based on a trip that you are taking. We studied the Okefenokee Swamp this fall and capped it with a trip to the swamp. We gleaned so much more from the trip since we had studied it before going. When we got back, we assembled the book–using this process as a review. We will never forget this study. Your boys are young and I am sure are curious about many things. Go with what they are naturally drawn to–ants, frogs, castles, snow, cowboys…Don’t do a lapbook for everything that you want to study. I only do about 2 a year. Always remind yourself that you don’t want to “drive” or push them through just in order to have a pretty end result of the lap book itself. The process is absolute key.SuzqParticipant
We are working on a lapbook on ancient Rome right now. My kids are 12 and 9. I am not all that creative so we use the ideas from other sources. You can see tons of lapbooks at http://www.handsofachild.com . Also Knowledge Quest has some too. Have Fun!
Yes, Yes, Donna. I am also very interested in how to plan out and implement a lapbook. These look like so much fun to do, and I would love to know exactly how to get started and what to include in them once you have found a good topic. Thank you so much!
Thanks for the info! I’ll check out both Hands of a Child and Knowledge Quest.
Donna, very good, and practical advice. I totally agree, and I love that you only do a few since the kids will not be overwhelmed this way. I just want to mention a book called The Lapbook Handbook. Cyndy Regeling and ??? are the authors, but it is very practical and easy to follow. It also comes with a cd-rom so you could see how it’s done.
Have fun! Christine D.BlessedMamaMember
I’m interested, too! Years ago we used Dinah Zike’s Big Book of Books, and then we tried a few lapbooks, but never took off. Sounds like The Lapbook Handbook would be very helpful! I’d love to hear more about this! (I didn’t know any other hsers in my area doing lapbooks several years ago, so I didn’t have anyone to bounce things off of and see what others were doing! 😉 )
I would enjoy speaking to you about the implementing part of the lap book. I think it would be a lot easier if we schedule a phone conversation–when ever you are ready. I have not participated in a forum like this–is this a big no-no? If I must write, I will do so…..but it will be a long one!!
I would also like to read what you have to say about lapbooks! I watched some instructional videos this week on youtube which gave me the visual of how to make one but I would love more ideas of how to actually implement the inside of it. I wouldn’t mind a long post with good information!
I second that, Becca! I would love the information in a post. This way, we can all refer to it as needed, and it will benefit others who may be interested in learning the process. Thank you, Donna!!
Here you go, ladies! This website will answer all your questons and more! It’s the most amazing site on lapbooking. Word of caution…bookmark everything you like, it’s a large site and easy to get lost! http://www.squidoo.com/lapbooking/
Thanks, Cheryl! That’s a very helpful site, and you are right–it goes on and on! I do have a question, though. I’ve thought about buying a pre-packaged unit from Hands of a Child, which look great, but if I decide to create one myself instead…I was just wondering, is there a list of things you may want to include (or research) based on your chosen subject? In other words, a template, if you will, for each subject, such a science-, history-, or geography-related topics, or a breakdown of possible choices to include in each book, per subject?
So sorry that I have not been on the forum. I have much going on. I visited the web site. It is a lot. I think that it could be intimidating to some–motivating to others. One thing that I would like to emphasize–please remember that the purpose of a lap book is so that the child will have short, but intensive assignments–maneageable chunks of “brain-work.” The purpose is not to have a picture-perfect end project. Sometimes lap-booking can quickly become a scrapbook-type project where the energy is put into what the final project is going to look like. (Sometimes our egos can get in the mix! We all love the praise that comes after a finished project.) Remember that the process is what is important. I recommend doing your own lap-book versus a pre-packaged one. Concerning your question: there is no template or list of information. You decide what you want your child to know. While you are contemplating your topic simply ask yourself,” what do I want my child to know?” What you want your child to know is probably different from what I want my child to know. This is part of the beauty of homeschooling. After you have selected a topic and have a rough estimate of a time table that you are devoting to the topic, make sure that you have supplies. Different colors of cardstock, tracing paper, scissors, blue gel glue (don’t use white glue),–keep all of these in a rubbermaid devoted just to lap-booking. This will prevent much frustration. Purchase a 2 gallon zip-loc bag for each child working on a lap book. Put their name on it with a fat Sharpie. Finished and unfinished booklets or folds go in this bag. When you are finished working on a project TAKE THE BAG AWAY. Do not let your child carry it around.
There are 2 ways to do a lap-book: One is the Pre-Plan method. You decide what you want your child to know, then take that information and decide which folds to do. When you are thinking about this, think about the different skills the kids can be working on: drawing, diagraming, labeling, listing, defining, sequencing, comparing and contrasting and perhaps mapping. Once you do this, you can make the folds together to start with. Put the folds in sandwich baggies and then in the 2 gallon bag. With this way, you know what the end product is going to look like.
The other way is the existing booklet method: This is simply where you are making booklets as you go and then assemble at the end. Use the assembly process as a review/testing/narration technique. You may worry that you have too many booklets to fit in the lap book. Most of my books have extensions. Getting everything in has never been an issue.
Sometimes we set aside one day a week to work on a lap book and other times we work on one everyday.
If you like, we can go through the process together here on the forum. Share your topic and then we can all share ideas as to how to go about it. We can work on one together–so to speak.
Really hope this helped….
Yes, Donna, it did help. Thank you *so* much for not only the info but all the helpful tips, as well. I’ll give the ‘topic’ question a little thought and then let you know what I come up with. I’m really looking forward to getting started.
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