How to make a lapbook for home education
There has been a lot of interest in my post about making a lapbook, and lots of questions too.
So if you’re wondering what a lapbook is and if it would fit into your home education routine, here are some Lap booking FAQs
What is a lapbook?
A lapbook is a large book (so large, that when opened it needs to be flat on your lap, hence the name) containing mini books of information which makes it ideal for school projects. You make one lapbook per project. So for example we have one lapbook on the honey bee (pictured above), one on the solar system, one on Canada and one on Beatrix Potter. Each lapbook can contain as few or many mini books as you like, but ours contain around 20.
What is a mini book?
A mini book is a small book containing one piece of information in relation to your chosen project. For example in our honeybee lapbook one mini book contains information about the honey bee life cycle. Another mini book shows the anatomy of a honey bee and another shows how bees pollinate. In the Beatrix Potter lapbook one mini book compare differences and similarities between a modern childhood and Beatrix Potter’s childhood. Another mini book shows a timeline of the author’s books while another shows places you can visit today to learn more about Beatrix Potter.
Mini books can be any shape you like – you’re only limited by your imagination. We use accordion books, fan books, even petal-shaped books.
How long does it take to make a lapbook?
A lapbook is great for a term project because it is simple to break it down into manageable chunks, but there is no hard and fast rule. You might like to focus solely on the lapbook and complete it in a week or two. We like to dip into it, creating two or three mini books per week and putting it together at the end of the term.
What do I make the lapbook folder from?
Lapbook folders are made from big pieces of card or two or three manilla document wallets (roughly foolscap size) fixed together so they fold out.
How do I make mini books?
Mini books are made from paper or thin card and it’s up to you how creative you want to be! You can print on different coloured paper or keep it all one colour scheme. The possibilities are endless which is why lapbooking appeals to children because you can let your creativity soar.
If you’re a beginner then this homeschool share resource is a brilliant place to start because you’ll find all sorts of free templates for creating mini books http://www.homeschoolshare.com/lapbooking_resources.php
I’m not at all confident about this, is there an easier way?
Absolutely! To begin with we used to buy ready made kits. These kits, bought from Hands of a Child http://www.handsofachild.com/ include all instructions and everything you need to print templates and begin lapbooking. By the time you’ve made one or two from a kit you’ll be feeling confident enough to create your own.
Why do you like lapbooks so much?
Apart from the fact they are a wonderfully creative and artistic way to present a topic, we like them because you can cover every curriculum subject under one topic; this means children who hate a particular subject might not even realise they are doing it! Take maths for example, one of Little miss Green’s least favourite subjects – she covered Venn diagrams and graphs in the Beatrix Potter book and multiplication in the bees lap book. In the solar system book we are currently putting together, we’re covering distance, measuring and ratios.
I’d love to hear your thoughts; have you used lapbooks? Which were your favourite topics?