Thursday, June 11, 2009

Homeschooling the Lapbook Way

As usual I'm always up for investigating new and inventive ways to spice up our homeschooling studies. I recently posted about our experience using Sue Patrick's Workbox System which we are absolutely loving. It's a fabulous technique for organizing your study space and time.

But what has caught my eye recently is Lapbooking. There are so many forums, sites, and blogs out in cyberspace dealing with this subject that there is no way I could begin to narrow them down to reference them. Running a simple internet search will almost baffle a newcomer such as myself. Lapbooking is the process of using small books of various formats to record information in a narrative or graphic style to reflect on learning that has happened. These books are mounted inside of file folders that open up to reveal an eye catching display. They mesh perfectly with unit studies or homeschool formats that use narrative reflections as opposed to textbook only curriculum. The entire process reminded me of the extensive collection of notebook studies I had done with my now DD19 and DS15 in their earlier years.

In teaching multiple aged children recently, I had gotten away from the unit study approach and relied on more traditional methods. But change is in order with DD7 in order for accommodate her style of learning. Lapbooks are going to be the ticket. As well, I plan on using them with DD12 but perhaps by combining their functionality with keeping a notebook on studies similar to our oldest two children.

As a visual, global learner I decided to put together a reference lapbook of several of the styles of mini books available to that I could grasp the concept easier myself. What a difference that has made in my ability to plan which mini book to use in conjunction with what I want to help DD7 accomplish.

I had planned to develop DD7's first lapbook around our family, but once she saw the sample mini book layout, she immediately asked if she could make books like those for our goat kids born this year. I jumped at the chance and started reserving additional goat and dairy related books from the library, and we're officially starting our first lapbook.

It feels good to go back to how we originally were homeschooling...the schooling that I believe gave such a great foundation to our oldest two. There is a season for all things including homeschooling styles. It looks like we're heading down a familiar path again.

Do you have a homeschooling style you'd like to share? If it weren't for the sharing of other homeschool families, I don't think I would have been exposed to some of the great tools that we have gathered in order to enhance and spark learning in our children's lives.

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