What is Lapbooking? Purpose of Lapbooks and How to Make Them

When I first heard about lapbooking, I thought it was a great concept. It’s essentially a way parents can inject fun into a boring curriculum and get children to be a little more hands-on. Lapbooking can stimulate children to think differently. It’s also a great way of gently testing their knowledge of the material you’ve just covered. 

Let’s learn more about it below.

 

What is Lapbooking

Lapbooking is a homeschooling method that involves getting children to make mini-books of the concepts they learn in their lessons. The mini-books are collated in a larger folder of other mini-books on the same topic. Lapbooking: What It Is, The Purpose, and How to #Lapbook.

What is an Example of Lapbooking?

An example of Lapbooking would be if children were to make a mini-book of the:

  1. animals that live around the Nile river
  2. gods worshipped in Ancient Egypt
  3. weather patterns throughout the year that flood or cause drought to the Nile

Then they would collate all these smaller books into a larger book or folder named ‘Studies about Egypt’. And this would be your lapbook! (Here are some Pinterest examples of Egyptian lapbooks you might find helpful.)

What is the Purpose of Lapbooking?

The purpose of lapbooking is to (1) gently test children’s knowledge of the subject, (2) to reinforce concepts taught in books or textbooks, and (3) to get children using their hands as they learn. As such, these mini-books make lessons more enjoyable and change the pace a little more, so children can learn differently.

How to Lapbook

You can lapbook by following these steps:

  1. Grab a book or a folder with several thick papers inside (either thick paper or cardboard pages).
  2. Name the book with colorful markers (i.e. Studies of Egypt)
  3. Find some printer paper. Cut these into rectangular shapes of around 10cm x 20 cm.
  4. Place these rectangular pieces on each other and fold them in half.
  5. Staple along the fold.
  6. You’ve now made a mini-book.
  7. Get children to fill these books with the concepts students learn and glue them into your book/folder to make a larger book.

You can also paste in relevant pictures with captions beneath them. Or you can make a little pocket and get children to cut out notes or pictures and put these into these pockets.

What is the Place of Lapbooking in a Homeschool Situation?

Many homeschool curricula use this method to help children reinforce concepts they learn in their lessons. Indeed, I first learned about lapbooking when I studied the eclectic curriculum called Tapestry of Grace. Along with Charlotte Mason, Classical and Unit Study methods, they used this method to help children learn new things and consolidate old lessons. Lapbooking can also be a great method to learn a subject that no one is teaching. For example, if your child was interested in Boeing airplanes, you could get them to make a lapbook of:

  • the different versions of Boeings (747, 737, 787 max),
  • photographs of Boeings
  • how airplanes work
  • a black box, and how they work

Lapbooks can be a really great way to collate information on interesting topics where there is no written subject available.

 

Conclusion

If you want to get into hands-on learning, cement concepts in a fun way, and document some of the progress your children make, get them into lapbooking. It’s a whole lot of fun cutting and pasting, as well as a great way to have an enjoyable time together!

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Rebecca Devitt
Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.
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