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Anyone else irrationally biased against lapbooks?


kls126s
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Please understand - I am not trying to offend anyone here. YMMV - I'm just sharing a personal bias. We all have them, right? ;)

 

I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

And if it is just a craft project, is that a problem? :bored:

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Well, I think everyone has their likes and dislikes. It isn't irrational. I like lapbooks...a little! I think I like the concept better than the actual project if you KWIM? We did 2 this past year and only one got done...halfway! My dd11 loves them, ds8 likes them and ds10 hates them! We'll see where my youngers lie when they are old enough! As for an interesting way to preserve the material learned...I give lapbooks an A+. It is easy for the dc to look back on what they learned. As for retention? I'm not sure it is any better than notebooking or some other activity. I like lapbooking, too, for my dd11 who does not like to write a ton. She can easily get writing in but in smaller chunks. She likes that. I do prefer the already put together kind.

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Lol, I dont like anything like that, because it seems to always take so much time for the amount of learning done. All that cutting and pasting to just get a bit of information into a presentation that is kind of interesting but then sits on the shelf until I throw it out.

I find our time has always been too precious to do things like that. I like to be very time efficient so we can cover more, and finish earlier.

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Please understand - I am not trying to offend anyone here. YMMV - I'm just sharing a personal bias. We all have them, right? ;)

 

I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

And if it is just a craft project, is that a problem? :bored:

 

Slowly and shyly raising this :iagree:

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Well, the only ones in school here are boys - and they would *so* despise having to do anything remotely like a lapbook. Definitely busywork in their world, when a simple report on notebook paper slapped behind the last report will do! And, *no way* I'm spending time forcing them to do it, just so they can toss it in the closet underneath the dirty clothes they think they're hiding from me. =)

 

I'm not saying *I'll* never do one - dd is only 3yo. Funny how she can cut on a line with scissors already - something I'm not 100% certain ds's can do at 10 and 13. (And, yes, even my 13yods noticed that, "Hey, she holds the pencil like you told us to, Mom!")

 

=)

Rhonda

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Lol, I dont like anything like that, because it seems to always take so much time for the amount of learning done. All that cutting and pasting to just get a bit of information into a presentation that is kind of interesting but then sits on the shelf until I throw it out.

I find our time has always been too precious to do things like that. I like to be very time efficient so we can cover more, and finish earlier.

 

:iagree:

Holly

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We tried one lapbook and just couldn't finish. I picked a topic my dss liked, and they liked doing the reading and research, but making the actual lapbook felt like busywork to them. I saw that it wasn't adding anything to their learning so we moved on.

I don't think any less of other families who enjoy lapbooking though.

Hmmm...I don't even know what notebooking is.

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Please understand - I am not trying to offend anyone here. YMMV - I'm just sharing a personal bias. We all have them, right? ;)

 

I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

And if it is just a craft project, is that a problem? :bored:

I am anti-busy-work-crafts. But, the think that is nice about lapbooks is that the kids enjoy looking back over them, so they are reviewing the information. I have done a few pre-made ones and I have come to the conclusion that the best ones are ones that I adapt and/or make up myself. There are always some that seem like busywork, so I skip them and add some of my own. All in all, I prefer notebooking and adding little cuts/folds into the notebook pages.

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Please understand - I am not trying to offend anyone here. YMMV - I'm just sharing a personal bias. We all have them, right? ;)

 

I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

And if it is just a craft project, is that a problem? :bored:

 

how about the ANTI creative school project?

 

On July 4th we could start a new tradition by blowing up all our school work from the previous academic year. My boys wouldn't get into anything to do with glue or scissors but I think they'd get into this one. Might even be a way to reward them for filing and putting away their schoolwork in the right place. "Blast Books"

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As an idea and concept person, I'm the last person to go and make crafts. So it would be laughable for me to even try lapbooking. My ds doesn't care about hands-on projects either (he's 4 going on 5). I go to story time at the library where I feel he can get a bit of crafts - when he's up for that. Dh doesn't like crafts either, but real art. That said, I have two wonderful books with meaningful "art projects" called Nature Crafts for Kids and Science Smart where kids learn how to make sun dials, woven baskets and a ceramic table.

 

I have nothing against lapbooking, to the contrary, I admire and respect someone who can create nice things with their hands. However, for our family, lapbooking wouldn't work at all. I celebrate the differences between homeschooling families, and we can all learn from each other.

 

Case in point: Someone gave me a scrapbook for my ds' birth and I still haven't done anything with it (my son is almost 5)!

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how about the ANTI creative school project?

 

On July 4th we could start a new tradition by blowing up all our school work from the previous academic year. My boys wouldn't get into anything to do with glue or scissors but I think they'd get into this one. Might even be a way to reward them for filing and putting away their schoolwork in the right place. "Blast Books"

 

 

Seriously, my boys will be right there with ya, baby!

 

Rhonda

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I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

The thought of doing lapbooks makes me twitch, BUT I'm pretty sure dd would love them so I have a collection of free ones on my computer. I haven't been able to force myself to actually do them though. I'm just not convinced that they're terribly useful as learning tools.

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Lol, I dont like anything like that, because it seems to always take so much time for the amount of learning done. All that cutting and pasting to just get a bit of information into a presentation that is kind of interesting but then sits on the shelf until I throw it out.

I find our time has always been too precious to do things like that. I like to be very time efficient so we can cover more, and finish earlier.

 

:iagree: I have tried to learn more about it and had even joined some lapbooking groups but I just couldn't fit it into our learning. It really appeared as busy work. However, we do love notebooking our lessons which isn't as busy for us so it works out great.

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I am anti-busy-work-crafts. But, the think that is nice about lapbooks is that the kids enjoy looking back over them, so they are reviewing the information. I have done a few pre-made ones and I have come to the conclusion that the best ones are ones that I adapt and/or make up myself. There are always some that seem like busywork, so I skip them and add some of my own.

 

:iagree: completely. We do lap books and use it as an opportunity to summarize and outline. It's not just a craft project in our house.

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I think I like the concept better than the actual project if you KWIM?

:iagree:

I think we'll do an occasional mini-book in our notebook, simply for fun or to emphasize a point. It makes more sense with a youngin' that doesn't write to do little books with some pre-printed information. But I really don't like the fact that it becomes a big craft project. I agree with those that said the craft takes more time than the actual learning.

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I am. I have an aversion to scrapbooks, too. I think there are some really creative people, and I am glad that they enjoy making beautiful things. But I am much too practical - utility is utmost, form follows (not precedes function). And I feel like there are other things that demand my time. No offense intended to anyone. I understand that everyone is different (thank heavens!).

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I have to say I was kind of anti lapbooks for a bit. I'm so NOT creative/crafty and I think that's why. However, I did download a freebie from Hands of a Child on bees two years ago that just happened to coincide with our study of bees so we did it. The one we downloaded was full of great information, my daughter loved doing the project and it was super easy for me, all laid out and ready to go. Well my daughter has sat down and showed that lapbook to pretty much anyone who will listen to her. She is so proud of it and remembers everything about bees. So I'm impressed now. I didn't think the one she did was busy work at all. It was reinforcing all the information we were reading about and having her organize it in a fun way. They are time consuming though. Since I'm not crafty and don't feel confident that I could create something like HOAC, we've only done one other since then and that was about space. I didn't like it quite as much so I culled what I thought was meaningful but the kids like it and they did retain a lot of the information. I think if I happen to see one that coincides with our work, we'll try to do it. But I can't imagine doing more than one or two a year.

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I have to say I was kind of anti lapbooks for a bit. I'm so NOT creative/crafty and I think that's why. However, I did download a freebie from Hands of a Child on bees two years ago that just happened to coincide with our study of bees so we did it. The one we downloaded was full of great information, my daughter loved doing the project and it was super easy for me, all laid out and ready to go. Well my daughter has sat down and showed that lapbook to pretty much anyone who will listen to her. She is so proud of it and remembers everything about bees. So I'm impressed now. I didn't think the one she did was busy work at all. It was reinforcing all the information we were reading about and having her organize it in a fun way. They are time consuming though. Since I'm not crafty and don't feel confident that I could create something like HOAC, we've only done one other since then and that was about space. I didn't like it quite as much so I culled what I thought was meaningful but the kids like it and they did retain a lot of the information. I think if I happen to see one that coincides with our work, we'll try to do it. But I can't imagine doing more than one or two a year.

 

:iagree: though I tend to do a few more then 1 or 2 a year. :) I love the type that comes with their own research guides. Those are wonderful and pack full of information. I/we have learned a lot from the guides themselves, then the booklets are just reinforcement activities.

 

I (and my oldest dd) cut everything out a head of time before we do a lapbook. It is just easier for us. The kids enjoy it. Though my 11 year old son would be happy just listening to the guide and not completing anything. LOL But he does it. :)

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"Lapbook" rhymes with "scrapbook." There was really no need for me to investigate any further.

 

:lol:

 

I know exactly what you mean!! I have tried to complete scrapbooks several times and have failed miserably. And I confess that I don't really get the whole lapbook thing, although I like the idea of keeping records and having things that are fun to review. I think we will definitely do notebooking - all I have to do is three hole punch an assignment and put it in a binder right? I *think* I can manage that. :tongue_smilie:

 

I guess as an alternative to lapbooks I would rather have my kids create something else, like a book on the subject we are studying in their own words, complete with illustrations, and take it in to get it bound. Or maybe a board game or a collage or some other keepsake project, if it was a really cool subject and we had a lot of ideas.

 

And I must admit, I've never actually tried making a lapbook, so I really shouldn't be knocking them yet. I don't think they are a bad idea at all. They just don't seem like my cup of tea.

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What homeschooling style puts an emphasis on lapbooking? I've read a few general homeschooling books over the years and I don't remember any of them mentioning it.

 

There are many homeschoolers that use an eclectic or unit study method that do lapbooks. Also, literature based studies (such as Five In A Row and Homeschoolshare.com) suggest lapbooks.

 

It is really the crafty person's answer to the notebook. Notebooks and lapbooks are often put together in the same sentence. Or even the new term 'lap-n-note' to indicate either (a) a lapbook that has additional notebook pages added in or (b) a notebook that has cardstock containing minit books.

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Yep. Although I love paper crafts but I'm even very picky with those, I prefer dioramas for the final product to tell a story or report on an event.

 

I'm not a scrapbooker, I personally think someone with too much time sat dow one day and bedazzled their photo album and created a business. I think it's a waste of time and money. Personal opinion only.

 

Lapbooking is not my cuppa although I like paper crafts- I cannot stand manila folders.

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how about the ANTI creative school project?

 

On July 4th we could start a new tradition by blowing up all our school work from the previous academic year. My boys wouldn't get into anything to do with glue or scissors but I think they'd get into this one. Might even be a way to reward them for filing and putting away their schoolwork in the right place. "Blast Books"

 

Great idea! My dh would love it too (see his nickname)!!

 

K

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how about the ANTI creative school project?

 

On July 4th we could start a new tradition by blowing up all our school work from the previous academic year. My boys wouldn't get into anything to do with glue or scissors but I think they'd get into this one. Might even be a way to reward them for filing and putting away their schoolwork in the right place. "Blast Books"

 

:lol: Now that's funny. But I don't think I could do it. All that work up in flames... so soon? um my luck we pick work that isn't needed until after the burning! ....and what about the homeschool police :confused: I won't have any proof of teaching my kids! :glare: :D

 

But seriously, I really don't like crafty type work either. However I did help my 11yo ds do our first lapbook this year... all on our own. He did it on a Boy Scouts field trip to the local court room and included info for his Law Merit badge (which he still didn't finnish :glare:). It came out okay, he liked it, dh was impressed, but I still think it took more time to put it together then a simple report with pictures would have taken.

I may try again with my younger kids (but I'm not looking forward to it! ;) );).

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I remember when I first heard of lapbooking. I thought to myself that sounds so time consuming. For years I wouldn't even give it a try because I just felt like it would take time away from learning.

Finally one day we did give it a try and we love it. My girls are crafty kids , they love to cut and paste and such so what a wonderful way for them to learn and do art all at the same time.

 

With that said not everyone wants to lapbook. Not everyone wants to be crafty, and that's okay :>)

I have found though my girls are very nostalgic and they love to look back at the stuff they did when they were younger. I like to look back and see how far we have come since we first started homeschooling too. Plus lapbooks seem to ward off family when they think we are totally destroying them by homeschooling, and we've found they make great gifts. My daughter knows that grandpa LOVES bird watching so we spent some time on making him a HUGE bird lapbook full of information for him for Father's day. Grandma and grandpa LOVED it ! Was it a lot of work. Heck yeah. But so worth it.

 

Also for me if I can actually combine a subject with art that's great because we never have time to do anything artsy after doing our school work.

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I'm not biased against them in the sense of thinking that people who use lapbooks are doing something terrible. I'm just not interested in lapbooking. We did a lot of projects like that when I was in elementary school - more or less substantial, depending on the teacher - and I always found them frustrating. I just wanted to write a research paper and be done with it! ;)

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I'm a scrapbooker . . . but not a lapbooker.

 

I think I'd need to see a really attractive, informative one in real life before I'd be willing to try it. For me the big turn-off is that most of the ones I've seen online are bulky, sloppy cut-and-paste projects. Which is of course normal for work done by small children. But if the point of a lapbook (vs. a written or na report) is the visual presentation of information, and the visual presentation is unattractive, well . . . let's just say it leaves me insufficiently inspired to attempt one.

 

To clarify: if the books were bulky and sloppy handwritten and hand-drawn projects, I could appreciate and treasure them. But the ones I've seen seem to be composed from scraps cut out of magazines or computer print-outs and pasted down--NOT my idea of an attractive, creative visual presentation.

 

Go ahead, call me shallow--I know I deserve it!

 

And, if you suspect that I simply haven't seen lapbooking at its finest, please link me to the examples that inspire you! I'd enjoy that!

 

Susan

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OK - this actually made me laugh out loud -

 

"Lapbook" rhymes with "scrapbook." There was really no need for me to investigate any further.

 

I hear so much about lapbooks that I wondered if I was just being a Scrooge for not doing them with my dd. But I totally agree with Drew -

 

 

I'm not biased against them in the sense of thinking that people who use lapbooks are doing something terrible. I'm just not interested in lapbooking. We did a lot of projects like that when I was in elementary school - more or less substantial, depending on the teacher - and I always found them frustrating. I just wanted to write a research paper and be done with it! ;)

 

which is why I think this is a great idea that I will probably do this year -

 

 

I guess as an alternative to lapbooks I would rather have my kids create something else, like a book on the subject we are studying in their own words, complete with illustrations, and take it in to get it bound.

 

I guess in my mind there is a difference - many lapbooks I have seen seem to be cutting and pasting premade info with little cognitive involvement. Notebooking seems different to me because they are narrating and prioritizing and synthesizing the info themselves. I love the idea of making their own books because it's the same principle - synthesize all the info we just learned and create your own project to present that learning. That seems like the understood goal of lapbooking, but takes it to a different level.

 

I even have some great blank books from RR that I have had sitting around just waiting for a good reason to use them. We are making one as a journal for our chicken mummy, but I'll use the rest to make our own books on the subjects we study. I'll post on them as we do them.

 

Thanks for all the comments!

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I'm not biased against them in the sense of thinking that people who use lapbooks are doing something terrible. I'm just not interested in lapbooking. We did a lot of projects like that when I was in elementary school - more or less substantial, depending on the teacher - and I always found them frustrating. I just wanted to write a research paper and be done with it! ;)

 

It seems like it depends on what the intention is for the finished product. If it is going to sit on a shelf, never to be looked at again, it is probably busy work. A lapbook that a student could carry along with him to study from, say in the car, might be useful. I'm thinking of a lapbook that might include summaries of Latin conjugations, declensions, and forms. As a permanent, cumulative summary of learning for a quarter, a semester, or the year, it might have value. I think it all depends on what the purpose is.

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I actually enjoyed the cutting and pasting of the lapbook I just put together. DD helped a little with the construction, but we were on a tight schedule to put the pieces together so she could fill it out while on her trip. The subject of the lapbook is "An Interview with Grandma" (ok it was supposed to be Grandpa, but Grandma is with her). The book covers things like Grandma's birthday, pets as a child, childhood memories, etc. I thought this would give her some good interviewing skills with someone she is comfortable talking to. Depending on how she likes doing this one, we might work another one or two into our work this year. I am thinking of doing and ABC one with my boys that they can find things that start with the first letter, but we will see, I am not naturally creative I think it would be from scratch.

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It seems like it depends on what the intention is for the finished product. If it is going to sit on a shelf, never to be looked at again, it is probably busy work. A lapbook that a student could carry along with him to study from, say in the car, might be useful. I'm thinking of a lapbook that might include summaries of Latin conjugations, declensions, and forms. As a permanent, cumulative summary of learning for a quarter, a semester, or the year, it might have value. I think it all depends on what the purpose is.

 

I think that probably would be better than just a flashcard! I'm trying to think of a way to make a durable roots charts - something to help ds use his roots while he's reading to help deduce what an unfamiliar word means. Maybe I should look at lapbooks more closely for that....

 

Thanks for posting!

Rhonda

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I guess in my mind there is a difference - many lapbooks I have seen seem to be cutting and pasting premade info with little cognitive involvement.

 

Yep. The lapbooking advocates I see IRL are the ones who just cut-and-paste things into them. And this is for older kids! That's what turns me off, I guess. I see SO MANY things wasting homeschoolers' time with little value to them. Then they puzzle about their kiddos not knowing basic skills like math or writing when they spent all their time on "extras."

 

I have also seen a few done by a high schooler that were just amazing. Everything was hand-written, researched, hand-drawn, etc. I thought those were great. I still didn't want to do one, but at least I respected it and wan't concerned for others who might be influenced to do it.

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We've done a few and the kids liked being able to show them off. However I didn't use premade things (I don't tend to even use the SOTW coloring sheets). For our Wales lapbooks, we wrote the Welsh phrases we knew and English translations, drew a Welsh castle, and showed the time difference between Wales and the US. (Older ds also put some random facts about Wales he found interesting.) It also had a Welsh flag or two in there.

 

With my younger ds, we did a lapbook for this Five in a Row book we did spreadign it out over a week, that worked out to be better for us. We tried to do the Wales ones in one day. Big Mistake. It took all day. (It was for our homeschool group's International Fair and I waited until the last day to do it. Lesson learned!)

 

I think I could see us doing them now and again, but with our own writing and drawing. If my kids want to color in someone else's pictures, I'll buy them a coloring book, but I'd hardly call it school!

 

Not that we don't love to cut and paste and play with pencils (on the Group W bench...) We so do. But we don't count it as school unless it is really using what we've learned.

 

But for others maybe it does really help with learning. To each his own! (Plus I've had a child who needed help with coloring and cutting and pasting skills, I wish I had known a bit more about lapbooks during that phase, but he's a skilled cutter and gluer now.) Some kids really will take them out and review over them. They are good for that, but so are notebooks.

 

Jo

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I think that probably would be better than just a flashcard! I'm trying to think of a way to make a durable roots charts - something to help ds use his roots while he's reading to help deduce what an unfamiliar word means. Maybe I should look at lapbooks more closely for that....

 

Thanks for posting!

Rhonda

 

 

I have seen some that are made specifically for 'cheat sheets' and the like. I thought they were a great idea! One was Chemistry... periodic table, definitions, etc. Another was math.... I can't seem to find them, but I know I've seen them before. If you fold them right, they then stand up on the table, and can be right where the child can see them but then be taken down when they are done working on that subject for the day. They would work great for summarizing information that you are going to repeatedly look at. You could even get a timeline into one if you don't have the space to do a large one. Hmmm... I might just have to think about that for next year! :-)

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like it's something I should have done/ should be doing. But I honestly can't imagine us having a good time doing them, seems like busy work and we're not fans of busy work. :)

 

Please understand - I am not trying to offend anyone here. YMMV - I'm just sharing a personal bias. We all have them, right? ;)

 

I can't explain why, I just don't even want to consider doing lapbooks. They seem like busy work to me, but we do notebook quite a bit, so I wonder if I'm just being irrational. My dd6 is very crafty and always cutting, stapling, gluing, coloring... I think she might enjoy it, but I can't help but wonder if she would really get anything out of it, or if it's just a craft project.

 

And if it is just a craft project, is that a problem? :bored:

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Lol, I dont like anything like that, because it seems to always take so much time for the amount of learning done. All that cutting and pasting to just get a bit of information into a presentation that is kind of interesting but then sits on the shelf until I throw it out.

I find our time has always been too precious to do things like that. I like to be very time efficient so we can cover more, and finish earlier.

 

:iagree:

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We did a couple along with our SOTW1 studies last year, we did one on each of 4 cultures/areas: Egypt, Greece, China and Rome. They worked as a really good review of what we had learnt, C wrote his narrations into the booklets. Everything was made by him, some written, some he typed up. He looks at them regularly and is very proud of his work and likes to show them to visitors.

 

I however find them a bit of a drag and getting enough to "fill" one can be a pain. We've done a version of notebooking this year with some lapbook folds stuck into the pages, and I do like it better. But he doesn't tend to look back on them or show them off so much.

 

I've tried to do some for science this year and have ended up with 2 half finished lapbooks, which has put the final nail in the lapbooking coffin in this house for a while.

 

I really really don't like the pre-made HOAC ones, I can't see the learning in cutting and pasting stuff printed out.

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The first lapbook DD and I made was when she made up a story about monkeys going into space - specifically, their training process. I thought a lapbook would be a fun way to preserve that memory. She told me the story and I typed up a little book to fit in a pocket in the lapbook. We also found pictures online - rockets, the actual space monkeys and chimps, and we talked about the planets and put in a section about that. (Nothing wrong with making it a learning experience, too, right?)

 

That was about 6 months ago. Since then, we've only made one other lapbook - it was made in contemplation of DD's first trip to the symphony.

 

Since we only lapbook REALLY special things, I think it makes lapbooking more of a learning/memento-making experience than an art/craft project.

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I have done 3 lapbooks recently with my dd6. She just started 1st grade. Let me give you my experience with lapbooks.

 

We are following the WTM for 1st grade for her. For science, we choose a topic and read library books on the topic. She loves for me to read a-loud to her, so this works great. We started using notebooks. She would copy some sentences about the topic, do a coloring page and then stick it in the notebook. We would also do a craft, but it would not fit in the notebook without getting bulky. So...I started trying lapbooks. If you do one lapbook per topic, you can put all kinds of things in there. We have crafts, coloring pages and handwriting samples.

 

If you choose the right lapbook supplier (I use homeschool share), the lapbook topics will be educational and to the point. No fluff!

 

I will help cut out the booklets, and she will fill in (with help). As we put together the lapbook over several days, we review the information. Lapbooks are really a way to gather the information that you read and keep together. They do not have to be that time consuming.

 

She likes to have something that she can show for her work. We also get them back out and review the information. She seems to retain the information well.

 

This is just my experience. It is also a creative outlet for me ( and her as well) since I don't have time for anything else.:001_smile:

 

To me, lapbooking is the same as notebooking--same information, different presentation.

 

Paula

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