Monday, August 5, 2013

5 Days of Learning with Unit Studies - Lapbooking & Notebooking


Thanks for joining me again, as I discuss how we do unit studies over here at the LSG House. 

Ok, so far, we've picked The American Revolution as our unit study topic, and gathered lots {and lots and lots} of books.  I would say that we are off to a pretty good start.

They are several different ways that children can show what they are learning.   Two of my favorites are notebooking and lapbooking. 

Here are a few sample of our notebook pages from Trail Guide to Learning, plus a few coloring pages.
Notebooking is kind of like educational scrapbooking, normally done in a 3 ring binder, where students get to display what they are learning.  Notebooking can include pictures, drawings, worksheets, lists, pictures, maps, copywork and written narrations.  

I have also been known to allow my kids to color pictures that go along with our theme, as I am reading a read aloud.  Once they are finished it goes into their notebook.  For instance, we have a coloring book called Ships From the American Revolution that the kids will color from. 

This is a Thanksgiving Lapbook that we did several years ago.
Lapbooking is a type of portfolio made out of regular old file folders. Lapbooks can contain mini books that have special flaps and folds to display pictures, drawings, diagrams, timelines and your child's written work (copywork, written narrations and answers to questions). This is a super fun way to learn! It can be a little labor intensive for mom if she has littles, due to a lot of cutting.  One way I have found to enjoy lapbooking is to minimize the pieces that we use.  

Here are a few reasons that I love notebooking and lapbooking:

They are your portfolio, other than math and phonics.  They are both tangible ways to show work, and a lot more fun than a workbook!
The kids get to be creative and show their uniqueness! Especially with their drawings and coloring pages.   They do not have to fit inside the box for this activity.  As long as they are showing me what they are learning, I am happy to allow some creative freedom in this area.  

They make great keepsakes.  Back when my now 8th grader was in 2nd grade, we stepped away from our traditional curriculum and used Adventures in My Father's World.  This curriculum had us studying the states and doing this thing I had never heard of before... notebooking.  It was literally like a breath of fresh air and I have never looked back! 

This is basically what we are doing with our Trail Guide to Learning - POS study, we are compiling a notebook of our studies.  So, I went to the garage and pulled out the state notebooks that I had saved from my girls.  I wanted to show the boys what they would be doing.  My girls were so excited that I had saved their notebooks from 2nd grade and kindergarten!  I am not a saver of school stuff, but these were special.  The Lil' Chef loved telling her siblings the things she remembered as she flipped through her notebook. It was a really a blessing.

My Favorite Lapbooks & Notebooking Sources
  • For an all inclusive curriculum, that is unit study-ish, we love Trail Guide to Learning.  This curriculum offers student pages at various levels to create a student notebook.  They also offer lapbooks.
  • Homeschool Share is my favorite for FREE lapbooking and notebooking pages.  They have unit studies, lapbooks and notebook pages for just about everything!
  • is a membership based site, but they offer lots of freebies.
  • Notebooking Fairy is another site with lots of freebies! 
  • We have also enjoyed several lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning.

Have  I left any sites out?  If you have a favorite that I didn't mention, please let us know in the comments.  
Don't forget to join me tomorrow as we continue discussing Learning with Unit Studies! 

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