A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Blog

Ten Creative Lapbooking Supplies

Last week we discussed ten reasons to try lapbooking.  This week we are going to talk about a few supplies that can make lapbooking a little bit more “crafty”. Personally, I need to let my children do this a little more.  Our children have a lot of fun embellishing after they do the thinking part of filling out the information.  This also helps cover another subject in school - art!

Creative thinking and creative activities are key when teaching special needs children and those with dyslexia. Making supplies, such as these, available to them can go a long way towards helping them retain what they learn. By using artistic means to enhance the school work in your homeschool, you help to engage both the left and right brain activity in your students.

Learn more about how this can make a difference in teaching - especially those with dyslexia and other special needs. There are many (limitless) supplies you can choose from - these are a few of our favorite. Top Ten Unusual Lapbooking Supplies:

  1. Glitter Glue
  2. Water Color Crayons
  3. Oil Pastels
  4. Glue Dots
  5. 3d Glue Dots
  6. Eyelets, Rivets & Brads
  7. Circle Cutter
  8. Decorative scissors
  9. Yarn and ribbon in various colors
  10. Stickers, buttons, flowers

Lapbooking with Special Needs Children~the benefits

Lapbooking has great benefits for many children, and I fully believe nearly every special needs child can greatly benefit too. Reasons it can help special needs children are:
  • engages both side of the brain while, coloring, folding, cutting and gluing.
  • less writing then typical worksheets
  • much more engaging then worksheet, as there is short written answers, cutting, pasting and more involved.
  • able to be used more interactively for review
Lapbooking also increases the parent/child interaction.  Sometimes with special needs children, we need positive ways to interact together.  Lapbooking can create these opportunities. Below you can see what friends from Facebook had to say about using lapbooks in their homeschool with their special needs children.
Stephanie says: “I have a son with SPD and Reflex non-integration disorder. Fine motor skills are really tough. Often I have the whole lapbook assembled before we start the unit. From there he can glue in answers where appropriate whether they are supplied or I type them up. He feels very proud of his lapbooks because they express his knowledge without stressing the fine motor issues he faces.”
Heather  says: My slower learner and my child with memory problems are better able to remember and tell others about information we have learned by lapbooking. The act of crafting while learning and remembering gets both sides of the brain working! :) Love lapbooks!
Carol says: My son learns information so much more quickly when putting together a lapbook because it isn't just something I am telling him to remember, but it is something he can see and feel and interact with. And, if he needs a quick refresher, he can go back and look at it again. We just started using them over the summer and I am looking forward to incorporating them into school this year.  
Jen says: Lapbooks are perfect for the tactile learner, totally hands on and the children feel ownership of their learning when they put the items on the folders in such an artistic way using them over the summer and I am looking forward to incorporating them into school this year. Nicole wrote: "Yes! My children require repetition, different presentation of materials, as well as hands-on experience for a full learning experience. Using lap books helps us achieve this."   Jennifer wrote: "My children love it. It gives them something to do with their hands while I read to them. Plus they love going through them again and they need that repetition."
Are you using lapbooks with your special needs children?  What are the benefits you have seen?

Lapbook Supply Storage Ideas

One question I get asked frequently is: How do you store all your lapbook supplies? For our family, I just managed to accomplish this.  First I purchase a little green caddy.  I then decided what supplies would be most useful in there. I chose to add:
  • scissors
  • pens and pencils
  • glue sticks, bottle of glue and sticky dots
  • glitter pens, as there wasn’t room in my supply organizer
  • tape dispenser

Below are a few of the ideas I had submitted when I asked on Facebook what other do to store their lapbooking supplies.

Missy wrote: "I have a small tote that has pockets going around it. Each pocket has things like glue, crayons, pencils, brads, glitter etc. And in the middle are our two bigger items - stapler and pencil sharpener. I also use a hard pencil case for stickers. And to store our in progress lapbooks I use a plastic 12x12 scrapbook envelope to hold the folders and any loose items (I bought these at the craft store for $1)."

Patty wrote: "We use binders with cardstock to hold our lapbooks instead of the folded file folders. It stores better for us. I store the uncut minibooks in clear page protectors, sometimes we cut them out as we go, Normally I'll cut out a set at at time. To keep all the completed mini-books together I use a zippered "Pencil Pouch" that fits right in the binder. Then when we are ready to assemble, all are right there--nothing is ever lost!"

Paula of AJTL wrote: “one neat thing we do for storing the lapbooks themselves is to use the duct tape on the sides and put in a notebook.”

Benefit of Lapbooks: Great for Special Needs Homeschooling

Benefit of Lapbooks: Great for Special Needs Homeschooling

Special Needs Homeschooling

While the benefits of lapbooks are many – using them for special needs homeschooling is a major benefit that stands out. You don’t need to be crafty or artistic to enjoy lapbooking, and anyone can do it successfully!
For those who do special needs homeschooling – it can change the whole atmosphere and success level of the homeschool experience.
Lapbooking with A Journey Through Learning uses audio – as you read the material out loud, visual – with colorful graphics, and kinesthetic – hands on learning techniques.  This combination of learning techniques will ignite activity in both the left and right brain – resulting in more brain power and better homeschooling success for your special needs learners in particular.
The combination of these different learning styles plays a major role in the effectiveness of lapbooking!

Enhance Homeschool

By adding a creative element to your family homeschool, you’ll be surprised at how much more fun and enjoyment the whole family will get out of it.  Assign different jobs according to the ability of each child. Have older children read aloud from the study guides or curriculum. Younger students and those who need to work on fine motor skills will benefit greatly from cutting out the mini-books for each section of the lapbook.

*Tip: On larger lapbooks – don’t get overwhelmed by trying to cut out the entire lapbook at once. Try doing one section at a time & label the backs of the mini-books with a light touch of a pencil as you go along to keep up with what goes where. Follow the simple instructions on each page and the diagram layout for the big picture.

Your students will be so proud of their finished product and will look forward to showing it off to parents and grandparents alike!

Improves Retention

As mentioned above, lapbooking with AJTL uses all three of the main learning techniques in the educational process. As children hear, see, and interact with the material – they are using both the left and right sides of their brain which results in more brain power and better success in homeschooling.

Ultimately, kids have better retention levels because they have heard it, seen it, and interacted with it. It works!

Moms Say AJTL Lapbooks are Easy to Use by Kelli Becton

We love hearing from our customers about how A Journey Through Learning products are enhancing their homeschool.

AJTL lapbooks are easy to use!

One of the key features of our lapbooks is the easy to use format. Each page is numbered so that - even if you were to drop the entire stack of pages . . . they could easily be put back in order. Additionally, there are pictures to show you how to lay out the mini-booklets, and each mini-book is explained in full within the study guides that accompany the stand alone lapbooks. A first time homeschool mom and first time lapbooker said,

I just wanted you to know how much I love your lapbooks! This is my first year homeschooling my three children, and our first experience using lapbooks.

Of the lapbooks I have seen, these are by far superior.

Even when I can get some products for free, I would still prefer to purchase A Journey Through Learning.

They are easy to follow, have clear instructions and great curriculum matter.

~Lucinda Douglas - a homeschool mom

We LOVE to hear that Lucinda! Thank you for sharing! Producing curriculum that holds valuable information, is relevant to students ages, and is easy to use - are just a few of our main goals at AJTL. Lapbooking will add a layer of creativity to your studies (even if you are not a "crafty" or "artistic" person) and will help your students not only learn to pull out the most relevant information, but also will help them retain what they learn. When they are finished with each lapbook or unit study project - they will have something to be proud of, and a terrific review tool!

Have you tried lapbooking yet?

If you have not yet signed up for our newsletter - be sure to do so & you will automatically be directed to the download page for a FREE Lapbook of the 17th Century!

Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help and encourage you in your homeschool journey.

What One Mom Had to Say About AJTL Lapbooking . . .

We've been asking questions - because we want to know what moms say about AJTL lapbooking and how it helps their children learn.

Martina Bump is a homeschool mom, like you, and she had these things to say about our lapbooks . . .   "My children and I love A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and study guides!!! We have done several of them and my girls retain more by being able to write,cut and glue and put together a lapbook that is fun and engaging to look at over and over again. With your student wanting to go back and look at what they have created over and over they are reinforcing what you have taught them.In addition to it being fun it works on fine motor skills such as cutting ,writing and also on following step by step directions.

Upon finishing one of the lapbooks my daughter took it to show her speech and OT therapist and they were very impressed by what she had accomplished and how much she had retained from schooling with the lapbook. The therapist agreed that this was the PERFECT fit for my struggling learners.

The strides they have made in school since doing lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning have been amazing!!!

What a wonderful testimony of homeschooling it has been to their therapist. Some who were not for homeschooling have been in favor of my homeschooling as a result. Thank you Paula for taking the time and helping out an overwhelmed mom, a few years ago . It has been a tremendous blessing." ~ Martina Bump - Happy Homeschool Mom   
B is for Binder-Builder by Betty Eisenhour

B is for Binder-Builder by Betty Eisenhour

Have you ever tried lapbooking and notebooking with your upper elementary and junior high students? Our daughter (almost 12-years-old) loves to incorporate Binder-Builders into her core studies. Binder-Builders are a unique fusion of notebooking and lapbooking. You simply use a few materials such as a 3-ring binder, cardstock, tabbed dividers, and a Binder-Builder resource, to create a portfolio-style keepsake as a record of learning.

One of our science courses we are working through this spring/summer is Dr. Jay Wile's new Science in the Beginning.

Science in the Beginning is the first book in a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduces scientific concepts using history as its guide. Because each lesson is built around an activity or experiment, it is engaging for all K-6 students. In addition, there are three levels of review for each lesson, so the parent/teacher can choose the depth at which each student is expected to grasp the material. The course contains roughly 90 hours of instruction, 35 of which are composed of hands-on activities. The beginning of history is given in the Bible's creation account, and this book uses the days of creation as a way of introducing a wide range of scientific concepts including the nature of light, energy conservation, the properties of air and water, introductory botany, our solar system, basic zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology. As the students learn about these scientific concepts, they are constantly reminded of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying. 

As we work through this course, we are using the Science in the Beginning Binder-Builder from A Journey Through Learning to create a record of our learning activities.  Each Binder-Builder is made up of approximately 32 sheets of cardstock in each 3-ring binder. The cardstock pages provide space to place the mini-booklets for the lapbooking components for each lesson. Writing prompts are given to correspond with the text to comprise a written component. The Binder-Builder is further organized with tabbed dividers to keep notebooking pages on specific topics. These topics for the tabbed sections include:

  • Key Person
  • Vocabulary
  • Experiments
  • Books
  • Memory Work

Key Person - This form is used to research famous scientists, inventors, and inventions.

Vocabulary Words - This form is used to log vocabulary terms from each lesson.

Experiment Sheet - This form is used to log experiments conducted in the lessons.

Memory Work - This form is used to copy the memory verse.

Book List - This form is used to log additional books read for the lessons. 

The Binder-Builder helps our daughter have a method to document all of the various items she studies in the Science in the Beginning text. It is a streamlined and organized resource which results in an impressive portfolio at the culmination of the course. Do your students enjoy the creativity of lapbooking and notebooking? 

Explaining Lapbooking

Lapbooking is simply a way to gather the information you are learning and studying and compiling it into a mini-book format. Students learn to assimilate information, to pull out the important data, and to put it together in an organized and understandable presentation.

Regular file folders are used as a base to create this fantastic homeschool resource. Additional “mini-books” are then added throughout the base to organize and present the information on any topic.

Lapbooks are an educational scrapbook of your studies.

Read more →

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book

Are you looking for fun hands-on products to supplement and review what your child is learning in Classical Conversations Cycle 3? We invite you to check out our supplementary resources designed to compliment and enhance your learning experience! 

Our Learning Activity Book for Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations provides a place for students to practice, review, and record memory work. This helpful tool covers memory work for the entire 24 week term of Classical Conversations.

Each week contains the follow pages:

Memory Sentence Fill-In Page for English, Latin, Science, and Math- This page can be used for 4 days of practicing the memory sentences and here’s how! Simply cut off the left side of ONE page protector. Slip it over the page. Now, your student can use a write-on marker to do the page each day without actually writing on the page. Then, on the last day, your student uses a pencil to write on the actual page. Move the same page protector to Week 2 and start over.

History Sentence Copywork Page-Student uses this page to write out the History Sentence.

History Notebooking Page- Student uses this page to take notes about the History lesson.

Science Notebooking Page-Student uses this page to take notes about Science lesson.

Fine Arts Page- This page will have the art lesson for the week.

Geography Page- Student uses this page to practice drawing the maps.

At the end of the school year, your child will have a wonderful resource showcasing the lessons from his/her Classical Conversations Cycle 3 program!

*** You will need to own the Classical Conversations Foundations guide to complete this Learning Activity Book. Check out Classical Conversations for more information and to join a community near you! We are not affiliated with Classical Conversations in any way. However, we do love their resources and our CC community! Give CC a try today! 

Children Learn By Doing!

I read an interesting blog post once. It inspired me to think about my own experiences raising a boy. Five years ago, I would have been on the "other" end of this argument. Except in that five year span, my sweet little boy turned 12! Before him, I had successfully raised 3 daughters. In their childhood, we had escaped with only 1 broken arm and 2 broken noses. I was confident that if I had raised THREE girls, surely I could handle ONE boy! Then this boy got mobile! In five, years, I have gotten him off of roofs, out of 20 ft trees, watched as he dug a "moat," in our backyard and added a "second" story to his already 25 foot treehouse. There are MANY other adventures I could write here, heck I could write a book.

My point is that children learn BY doing! I think we have become a society that is so scared of the ugly world around us that we are bringing that fear into our private homes. Yes, our country is at war. Yes, bad people kidnap children, and yes, there are very weird people in our neighborhoods that send their little darlings off to something called school every day. As parents, we cannot impose these fears onto our children. We cannot keep them under our wing forever. Playing in the mud filled with nasty germs will not kill them. It just makes them dirty! Yet, with that first feeling of dirt, the adventures begin.

Giving them their "own" tools so that dad's stay in the garage is learning responsibility, correct way to use and take care of things that belong to him and the safety. They learn that you have to nail three boards together to make a hut because two will blow over with the wind. They learn to tie off the tree they are cutting down for the second story on the treehouse, or it will fall the wrong way. While digging out the moat, they learn how to remove roots, and at what level water can be sprung from the ground. They also discover while digging that all types of critters live in the dirt. Some, like crawfish you can even bait and catch with pieces of ham! Now, a completely new adventure begins. Once they have build fishing poles out of whittled sticks and string, where will they cook them? So, another adventure begins. They build a cart out of trees, woods, and nails to haul the old forty-five pound Chiminea out of the garage so they can build a fire! I could go on and on.

In each of these adventures, he is learning, thinking, growing. Yes, there are dangers. He could fall out of a tree, drown in the 3 foot moat, or be burned my fire; or, nothing will happen, and he will grow up with amazing adventures to tell his children. I choose to experience the latter! Our children have a lifetime to worry! So, for the few creative years where is not afraid to try and fail at life, I will keep the kool-aid pouring and the first-aid kit filled.