So if you are new to homeschooling, you may be wondering, “What is a lapbook?” Don’t let that term scare you away. It’s really quite simple and fun! A lapbook is where you use manila folders (we use both regular and legal size in our projects). Most lapbooks come in the e-file format though I have seen ones pre-printed. You cut out the different information sections, fill them out as you read books, the information provided with the lapbook, watch videos on the web, and add whatever else you like! Really quite simple.
We were introduce to lapbooks about 3 years ago through another review program. At first it seems intimidating, but it really is quite easy to do. The Library becomes your best friend (if it isn’t already). We really love lapbooking. It’s such a creative way to do a unit study. You can make the amount of time spent on it as short or as long as you want. I try to spend at least 2 – 3 weeks on a lapbook. This way I feel like my children are learning about the topic studied. The AJTL lapbooks can take 2-4 weeks. But really how much time you want to spend on it is what you determine.
I love the vast amount of topics that are offered in lapbooks. It seems that there is one for everything! A Journey Through Learning offers SO many different ones! They have lapbooks for Apologia Science curriculum you may be using. There are also ones for holidays, history, Classical Conversations and so much more!
We worked on the lapbook for The Earth. It is for 1st – 4th grades. Now, you may be thinking, “your kids are in 5th and k grades”. This is very true. But by using books appropriate for their level of understanding I made it more for their grade level.
In the lapbook is a list of suggested books for you to read with your children or them to read alone if they are able to do so. I chose a few of the ones listed in the lapbook and also chose a few others that were grade appropriate for my boys.
Most of the books were read aloud and because there was a good bit of information already put into the lapbook so we read that aloud as well. We learned about the layers of the earth, seasons, days and how time is calculated, the layers of atmosphere, topographical features (though I didn’t use that term with the kids). We really covered quite a bit. So much so that I spread it out over several days for the boys.
We also have a set of mini encyclopedia style books that we use to help in our Earth research. Since Jonathan is in 5th grade, I felt it appropriate for him to do some more research on his own. I really try to use the internet for research. This is because he could spend HOURS on there. I prefer him to use books and use the skills of research in the Library.
Now I am one of those moms who makes sure all the reading is done first and then we work on the lapbook. I get too discombobulated when I try to work on the lapbook and do the reading at the same time. So we worked on our lapbook and got it put together in a day. Now, that did not include Jonathan filling in all of the information.
One thing I didn’t think about till afterward was that I should have had him at least filling out the pages as I was reading the books/lapbook pages or researching. Instead he did all that afterward and while it worked out, he got frustrated at points cause he had to go back and find the answers again. So maybe take that little bit of info as a tip for what not to do and what might be best.
Also, in this lapbook they had poetry and songs to go along with the Earth topic. That was so nice to incorporate into our learning experience.
Overall we really enjoyed our Journey Through Learning Lapbook experience. It is nice to see the quality and information provided by AJTL in their lapbooks. I can’t wait to try more. We currently use Apologia Science so I am going to get the one that corresponds to the program we are working through. 🙂
The lapbooks vary in price, but here is the pricing for The Earth.
Instant Download – $13.00
Printed – $21.00
You can get your other materials at office supply stores. Something else I plan on doing with my next one is to use some of my scrapbooking supplies in making the lapbook! I think that will add even more creative elements to the lapbooking experience.