If you have been homeschooling for a while, you have probably heard someone mention lapbooks. But exactly what IS a lapbook?
Have you ever had to smile and nod along when other homeschool moms are raving about something called a lapbook, and you just sit there silently wondering, “What in the world is a lapbook?” Find out what they are and why you should be using them in your homeschool.
A lapbook is just a regular file folder filled with mini books (little booklets made of different shapes and sizes).
Your children cut out, fold, and write inside each differently shaped mini-book about a topic and glue the min books inside the file folder.
This is how to make a lapbook:
Open up the file folder, and fold in each side to meet in the middle. You can also add a flip up extension or another file folder to make multiple pages. You will find instructions with pictures on how to fold a lapbook and add lapbook extensions here.
The mini books are the meat of your lapbook. Mini books are little booklets cut into a wide variety of shapes, folds, and sizes.
You can print lapbook templates or you can design your own.
But, what do we do with the Mini Books?
Let’s say you are studying George Washington. You might decide your children need to know about his family tree, his time in the Revolutionary War, his time as President, and something about Mount Vernon.
You choose a different style of mini book for each topic and write about the topic inside the book. You will then glue the mini books onto the inside of the file folder.
You can check out our version of the George Washington lapbook here.
Finishing Your Lapbook
You can add decorations anywhere on the lapbook – the front, back, or in any empty space. These could be clip art, coloring pages, or freehand drawings.
It is nice to have a title on the front to help you find it later for review or to add to it in the future with more in-depth facts.
Now You Know What a Lapbook Is
That covers the basic elements lapbooking, although there are many different variations on the types of mini books that can be used and the ways you put them together.
Whether you design your own lapbook from scratch, or use one of the many lapbooks available online, your kids will enjoy this type of writing, coloring, cutting and drawing to show what they’ve learned about the selected subject.
There is a real appeal for kids to complete lapbooks. Maybe it’s the just the added fun of coloring and cutting?
I’m not sure, but I do know that all six of my kids have loved making lapbooks, even into high school. My older girls even did year-long lapbooks that coordinated with their Apologia science and it really seemed to help “solidify” the memorization needed for those courses.
Now, the next time you hear someone talk about their child’s great baseball lapbook, you can smile with understanding and join in the conversation.