Do you use lapbooks in your homeschool? For the longest time I didn’t even know what a lapbook was, which is crazy because I know now that we did them as kids being homeschooled. Once I did learn what they were, I thought they were just too much work. Who has time for all that cutting and pasting and coloring these days? We were drowning in just books, there was no way I could fit in arts and crafts meets brainpower. Not to mention the fact that brainpower, motivation, creativity are SORELY lacking in my world. Think of me as a drowning person. Drowning in books and lists and “Mom,” “Mom, help,” “I don’t want to do this!,” “How do I do this?” “MOM!”. Mama needs open and go people, brainpower is reserved for trying to come up with dinner 😉 But I have since discovered just how great lapbooks are, plus a super easy way to do them that requires next to nothing from you! Aren’t you glad you clicked on this post? I’ll even show you a quick 1 minute video clip of our finished lapbook at the end so you can get a better idea of what it can look like finished.
What is a Lapbook?
A lapbook is essentially a folder that helps you organize information, usually using a combination of little books and unique folds glued throughout the folder. It is called that because it (shocker) folds up and fits on your lap. It is widely used in unit studies and can be used as a presentation at the end (a great way to bring public speaking into your homeschool). Anyone can use lapbooks, whether that be to learn math concepts, organize your Bible lessons, or compile information about a socials study or science topic (and more!). The possibilities for using them is endless, and the great part is that you can use it with multiple grade levels and ages where everyone is learning at their own levels.
Because it is so hands on and multi-sensory, it works well with a variety of learning styles as well. Each time you learn about a new thing, you put together a little booklet or folded packet of information or pocket, etc. and collect it. Generally it uses a typical folder, although they can get really crazy with fold out papers and all sorts of creative additions. You open the folder and fold each side into the middle fold, like this:
There are two options for creating your own lapbook.
Level 1 Lapbooking: for the Creative Mom
If you are a creative mom, who loves arts and crafts and thinking outside the box… you might be a good candidate for DIY style. The great thing is you don’t need a whole lot of resources or to spend a lot (if any) money if you are making your own lapbooks. You will probably want to do some research on different types of folds and booklets if you are new to this, there are lots of videos on YouTube. Then you will need to essentially learn about a topic (grab some books from the library about something you guys are interested in) and start compiling the information into these little booklets. As long as you have glue, pencil crayons, scissors, and a file folder, you have everything you need to make your own lapbook. A bit of planning might help you figure out a theme. For example, we are making our own lapbooks about Canada (yes, it will be on the blog) and rather than just any information about Canada. I will break it up into each province and try to cover certain things.
Level 2 Lapbooking: for the Busy Mom
If you are like me, drowning in a sea of chaos, the idea of coming up with your own lapbook (the planning and prep) and preparing lessons that are focused enough of your topic can seem insanely daunting. That’s why when I discovered Home School in the Woods Lap-Paks, I was somewhat giddy. All the work was done for me, and I mean ALL. There was text that covered all the information we needed for the study, even an audio version. All I had to do was print, cut, and glue. There was no planning or prep for me to do and the books were far better quality than anything I could have thought up on the fly! They have lap-paks for grades K-2 as well as grades 3-8, though again, you can really use any of these lap books for any age range. You could simply expand the learning, get more books, go a little deeper, and they can do it right alongside their siblings.
Our Knight Lap-Pak
We started with the knight lap-pak and it was phenomenal! As you’ll see in the video below, Home School in the Woods utilizes so much more than just folds and booklets in their lap-paks. These folders were FUN! We had helmets that opened and closed, jousting horses that moved, a knighting ceremony, where we could knight our soldiers, and more! Everything had great pictures, and was so beyond easy to set up. There were easy-to-follow instructions, an audio story that gave us all the information we needed. It explained everything step-by-step and we were able to do these with our grade 2, 3, and 4 children all together. They all really enjoyed the project, it could take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month depending on how quickly you work through it and how many other books you may read.
There are 13 projects all together in this lap-pak, and it is only $10 for the digital download (which means no shipping). This disc is licensed for family use, which means that you can print off as many copies as you need for all the kids in your immediate family. Because this is designed for children grades K-2, there was very little writing involved, which worked very well for my younger kids. It allowed them the freedom to just listen to the stories and information and enjoy the project. They loved coloring while they listening to the audio and I loved that all I had to do was press the print button! I mean, really guys, what’s not to love?!?!? Check out their Benjamin Franklin Lap-Pak, U.S. Elections, The 20th Century in America, and Wonders of the World Lap-Paks here. They are working on even more so stay tuned to see what other amazing resources they come up with and make sure to follow them on Facebook here to stay up to date on what they are releasing next!
What is a Lapbook? Check out an Example in this Video!
I had my son help me showcase his finished lap-pak. How awesome is this?
If you are looking for a social studies curriculum that is hands on and fun, Home School in the Woods has so much more than just lapbooks! Read my full review HERE to find out why they are our social studies curriculum of choice this year!