What we hate about lapbooking
From the first moment I learned about lapbooking, I was completely enamored. I envisioned epiphanies in our learning coming down like manna from heaven. Sigh. Isn’t that the way it always is when we discover a new approach to learning? I wish I could say that our first lapbooks lead to epiphanies but it didn’t. Instead it was a complete flop…that is until I changed how I was using them. When we first started out using lapbooks, I thought my children would looooove the cutting, pasting, and assembling part of it. You know…hands on. I thought, “they’ve been cutting and pasting in preschool and kindergarten for years now, surely this will be right up their alley.” But, I soon came to realize that although they may have liked these kind of projects in a school setting (or simply completed them as a necessity of adapting to their environment) they much preferred open ended activities when it came to art expression. Assembling a lapbook was just too rigid of an activity for my youngsters, my oldest being in second grade. I can see how assembling lapbooks will work really well when they get a little bit older and actually want to organize their ideas. This certainly is a great way to do it. However, they’re just not ready for it yet.
I’m learning that just because I saw it on a blog, read it in a book, or heard it from a speaker it doesn’t mean that I can do it with my children. I’ve got to keep their needs at the center of all my teaching decisions.
What we love about lapbooking
Even though my kids weren’t ready for the whole process of assembling lapbooks yet, they did love the finished product. When the lapbooks were completed, for days and weeks afterwards my boys would open and close the flaps reviewing the information under the folds, and laugh out loud at the memorable facts that filled the minibooks. I couldn’t believe the interaction my kids were getting around the content that we covered. This would never happen with a worksheet! In addition to the review of the content, it also became an great to way to collect their narrations and visually display an entire unit of learning.
Finding a happy solution
So we came to a happy medium. I handle the assembly process (the cutting, pasting, and most of the writing.) They handle the content. My son will read an excerpt aloud from his science book that we use as a spine for our studies, and follow with a simple narration. I write the narration down. If you’re interested, I go into a little bit more detail on how we teach science and what books we use in this video (don’t forget to subscribe!) In conclusion, I’d have to say that I’m definitely a lapbooking convert. Joy of the content has replaced test taking in our science curriculum which in my book is true learning. Even though it was a rocky start, I found that I could easily adapt this approach to fit our children’s needs and I see it staying around for a long time. It’s a process they can grow with. If you’d like to try lapbooking in your homeschool you can download a free Mammals Lapbook to get started with. Just head here. Hope you enjoy. Stay inspired!
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