Lapbooking has been one of our favorite ways to incorporate hands-on learning into our days for several years now. Big Sis loves arts and crafts type projects, so this fulfills that urge to be creative while still studying our core subjects. A Journey Through Learning offers lapbooks and unit studies covering math, science, literature, Bible, and more, which makes it easy to just pick up a lapbook and learn with little prep time or planning needed.
A Journey Through Learning provided the Schoolhouse Crew members with a selection of four lapbooks to download:
They are also available in print versions for $21.
We decided to begin with The Earth lapbook for Big Sis (11). Even though she is a little above the suggested age range (she’s in 5th grade), we’re just beginning a study on Botany so it complemented our other science lessons. One of the great things about lapbooking is that it can be easily adjusted for age range. I downloaded the lapbook with no problems and it opened as a pdf in Adobe Reader. The file is 42 pages long, with reading material and printable material combined together. It begins with an introduction about lapbooking in general, followed by detailed instructions about how to assemble it. As I said, we’ve been lapbooking for years now so we already knew this information. It’s a nice guide for newbies, though. What is especially helpful is the layout guide showing exactly where to place each booklet on each of the three folders. This can save frustration when you’re gluing everything together!
Lapbooks usually take 1-3 folders to contain all of the mini-books. This particular lapbook requires three file folders. They estimate that a lapbook of this size should take a month to complete. We were able to do this more quickly and took only 2 weeks.
|Cutting out some of the mini-books|
We realized as we worked through it that some of the questions were definitely below her level, such as “What planet do you live on?” and others like that. The reading material was approximately at a second grade level. I think the suggested grade levels of 1-4 are pretty accurate. We had additional reading to do with our other lessons, so that helped to “beef it up” for us.
|We like to use colored folders and colored cardstock to add interest to our lapbooks.
Topics covered in The Earth lapbook include the Earth’s crust, spheres, mountains, continents, rocks, etc. It is a basic geological introduction for elementary students.
Big Sis had this to say about it:
It’s interesting and I liked doing it, even though some questions were too easy. I learned that Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in the United States. It would be cool to see it in person! I also learned about the Earth’s core and that no one really knows what it looks like.
We also worked on Letters, Numbers, and Shapes for Lil Sis (5) and Baby Girl (3). It has tracing letters for the entire alphabet, as well as shape and color matching, and counting activities. The file is 51 pages long. One of the things I liked best about this one is the section at the end of the printables that lists recommended books to read and has some finger plays, songs, and poems to read with the little ones. It was easy to print enough for both Lil Sis and Baby Girl to work on the lapbook elements. They love anything that involves coloring, cutting, and pasting!
We’re currently working through the Astronomy and Space unit study (70 pages). This one is a different format because it not only includes the lapbooking components and reading material, it also has notebooking pages and NICK notes. NICK stands for Notes, Information & Comments, and Keywords. This form provides an opportunity for students to delve deeper into the information for a more thorough learning experience. There are also book report forms and a place to list all the related books read.
If you enjoy creative hands-on projects and appreciate pre-made lesson plans, lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning would be a great choice for you!
Be sure to read the other Crew reviews to see how everyone else used these lapbooks in their homeschool.