I'll have to admit that I'm not particularly fond of paper crafts nor are my kids. However, I can see the appeal of lapbooks for those that are more craft-inclined. They are hands-on, a great display showpiece, a wonderful visual review tool, and a fun keepsake. A Journey Through Learning, founded by two homeschooling friends, makes this creative expression easy for busy homeschool moms by providing lapbook kits in either download or printed form.
I was sent five lapbooks in e-book form for review: Amphibians, Autumn, The Desert, Reptiles and The Parables of a King. Each of these titles is a combination lapbook kit and study guide ranging from 56 to 88 pages. The first eight pages or so are devoted to instuctions on how to make the folds, options for using the materials, tips and tricks and pictures of how the finished product should look. The bulk of the remaining pages are the study guide and print outs for the lapbook. The last few pages are enrichment activities. The enrichment pages are the same for each title and include reading suggestions, forms to record books read, outline pages, and narration pages for younger children. Four of the titles were for grades 2-7th, with The Parables of the a King for 2nd - 8th. Of the 48 titles sold by A Journey for Learning, the majority fall within this range, though they do have a handful of titles available for younger children.
Doing one study guide page and mini-booklet a day, a lapbook should take about one month to complete. Of course, this can be shortened or lengthened as needed. Just as homeschooling, these lapbooks have flexibility to fit your studies.
I am definitely not a seasoned lapbooker, having only one lapbook to my name prior to viewing the titles from A Journey Through Learning. As a lapbook newbie, there were several things that were appealing in these titles.
- Study pages - each lapbook component or mini-book has a study page covering the material. These pages can be used as stand-alone or as a jumping off point.
- Areas to complete - some of the mini-books have areas where the student is to write thoughts or somehow complete with information not directly given. This is in contrast to other lapbook kits that are more cut and assembly.
- Colorful graphics - unless your student enjoys coloring the lapbook components, the color graphics are much easier and make for vibrant lapbooks
- Simple folds - only knowledge of two folds are required, the "hamburger" fold and the "hotdog" fold
- Easy assembly - use of three file folders simply attached for one large lapbook with color-coded instructions.
These lapbooks would be perfect for those just beginning, especially with grade school aged kids. To get a better feel on how these lapbooks are put together, click here for a picture tutorial on how to glue the folders together as well as a picture of a finished lapbook. The home page of the website has a slide show of finished lapbooks for viewing as well.
Lapbooks are available in three verisions: instant download ($13), CD ($14) and printed ($21). Printed versions include necessary file folders. Costs vary on other titles. Shipping is always free and items can be returned if you are not satisfied! A Journey Through Learning also has notebooking pages, copywork, and unit studies available. To try out a lapbook for FREE, you can get an instant download of An Overview of the 17th Century at no cost if you sign up for the newletter.
Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew's blog to read more reviews on this product and others.
Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew, a team of 100+ homeschooling parents. While the product was provided at no expense to me in order to provide this review, I have not received any other compensation. Furthermore, receipt of the product does not guarantee a positive review. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.