Feeling that my teaching style was so opposite a lapbook, I didn’t include lapbooks in the early part of our homeschool journey. Lapbooks were for those “other” homeschoolers. You know, the crafty ones.
Too, because cutting, coloring, or crafting were not things that my boys looked forward to doing, I naturally assumed we would never take the leap to lapbooks.
Keeping an open mind about lapbooks, I decided to give one a try and that was about 10 years ago. We are still “trying” them.
Sharing five ways that lapbooks have appealed to my sons and my teaching style, I am hoping to encourage you to give lapbooks a try.
• Lapbooks can be a crafty project…or not.
Girls probably tend to be more on the crafty side than boys. Boys do have their moments, but that is just what they are – moments.
The appeal to my boys is having the flexibility to color, draw or just add clip art of projects that they are working on.
On the flip side, they also know that they don’t have to color or craft to design a lapbook. Lapbooks are very adaptable to the learning moods of any child.
• Lapbooks are bulging bundles showcasing individual interests.
Not only does the outside of a lapbook reflect individual tastes, the bulging insides are full of what specifically interests your child.
The depth of knowledge that a lapbook can contain is only inhibited by your child’s quest for information. This is probably one of the most significant reasons we do several a year.
Dynamic Interactive Tool With Mass Appeal
Learning is mastery based because there is no stopping point until my sons’ interests have been piqued. Unlike a worksheet, a lapbook is a blank slate waiting for your child to fill it with projects and pages that interests him.
• Lapbooks are not just for young children.
Another reason to try a lapbook is that we live in a visual world today.
Lapbooks are not just for young children, but they help middle and high school students learn to organize their thoughts and information in a visually appealing format.
However, visually appealing is only one advantage for an older child.
Deciding what to include and not include in a lapbook is a powerful lure to an older child who prefers independent learning.
• Lapbooks are memory retention tools.
Lapbooks are the hallmark of building memory retention skills in a natural and interactive way. In the beginning of my journey, I was one of those homeschoolers who felt like a child needed to be tested.
Quickly, I figured out that my oldest son studied only for the time needed to pass a test and not because of intrinsic value.
Because lapbooks are interactive and hands-on tools, they can be pored over anytime during the year or the next few years to be reviewed.
Learning then become a right of the child because he is learning for intrinsic value and not because he is looking for a grade on a test.
• Hands-on Learning Through Minibooks Means Engaged
By nature, all the minibooks, which can be mini maps, graphs, charts and even collections make lapbooks a hands-on experience for a child of any age.
Though hands-on learning requires more time, it’s worth it.
Hands-on learning is not just about fun and games, but means presenting challenges and applying problem solving skills.
Results of what the child learned can be visualized and recorded through a number of interactive ways depending on the age of the child.
Look at some of the ways that information can be recorded and made meaningful.
- mini bar graphs
- paper puzzles
- fold out timelines
- mini paper globes
- art cards
- flash cards
- create an ad from a time period in history like World War II
- mini maps
From Monotonous to Maybe
Far from complicating my desire to teach things once and without monotony, lapbooks have simplified my teaching and have encouraged my sons to take charge of their education.
Mini projects that appeal to a child’s desire to learn what interests him and nourishing a desire for a long attention span are unexpected benefits of using lapbooks.
Choosing to be crafty or not when doing a lapbook is completely up to the child.
Hands-on learning tools like lapbooks rekindle a love of learning and connect what a child knows to everyday life.
Learning then becomes a pleasurable lifelong experience.
Are you ready to take the leap to lapbooks?