What Are Lapbooks? And Do I Need Them In My Life?
Lapbooks: How to Use Them in Your Homeschool
If you haven’t heard of a lapbook, it is basically a folder that keeps your child’s information organized. They are usually created to look like little books that have been glued together from folders. The reason it got the name lapbook is because… you guessed it! It folds up and fits smack dab on your child’s lap and is a hands-on way to allow your student to learn and research about the specified topic.
Lapbooks are creative ways to reinforce the information that you have taught over that specific course of study and as a refresher of the curriculum. It can also accompany a unit study, elaborate on a book or serve as a guidebook or portfolio.
The possibilities with lapbooks are endless and can be used across any grade. They can be used to teach math concepts, compile science topics, study history, or any other creative way you can come up with to utilize them in your home school.
Why Use a Lapbook?
The best feature of lapbooks is that they really do help children retain the information they are learning. Because the are multi-sensory and not one-dimensional, they mesh together many learning styles into a nice bundle for your child to enjoy. Not only can you use them with your child, they are also a wonderful way to encourage your students to research the topic independently, which gives them the tools they need for larger research projects in the future.
It’s important to remember that lapbooks aren’t meant to be just a boring worksheet. Instead, they are to be a fun, creative piece that goes along with a unit of study. Allow your child the freedom to decorate their own lapbooks and help with the creative process. Not only will this lapbook help your child as a learning tool, it is also a great way to express their creative side.
Below you will find the ways we suggest to jump start your lapbook learning.
The Basics for a Busy Mom
If you are a busy mom with lots of kids, or perhaps you work outside the home, coming up with an idea for your own lapbook might be too overwhelming. Don’t worry though! Home School in the Woods has you covered. All the work is already done for you. All you have to do is print, cut out, and glue the pieces together. There is no prep or planning to do on your end, and the books are there to help you with your child’s learning. They have options for ages K-8, so take a look and explore the possibilities!
For the More Creative Mom
Not that other moms aren’t creative, but there are some moms who go above and beyond for arts and crafts. They think outside the box and are the best DIYers! If that sounds like you, you’d be a great candidate to create your own lapbook!
You will likely want to do some research to find out the different types of folds and booklets that you can create. There are a ton of great resources on YouTube to guide you, but we wanted to share our suggestions:
If you’re ready to begin, but unsure where to start with unit studies, we suggest checking Home School Share. There are dozens of free printables for every topic! After all, these lapbooks don’t have to be expensive. All it takes is a little creativity and a powerful lesson plan.
How Do I Actually Use a Lapbook?
If you are using a previously created lapbook plan, they are filled with blank mini books that you can arrange in the lapbook. You would guide your student to begin researching the topic themselves, then as they find the information they are looking for, they will add it to their lapbooks as they go.
If you are creating your own lapbook to go along side your curriculum, have your child work on their lapbook for 15-20 minutes per day, then you can continue the lesson together and discuss what they found in their studies.
Lapbooks are a great way to have your child learn valuable research and study skills, while allowing them to have a creative outlet. If you haven’t added them to your homeschool routine, we can not recommend them enough!