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What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?

Lapbooks are a hands-on way for kids to learn
Lapbooks are a hands-on way for kids to learn Alicia Bayer

Have you tried lapbooking in your homeschool yet? This delightful, hands-on activity is a wonderful way to combine crafts with science, history, literature, handwriting, math and more.

Lapbooks use file folders as the basis for homemade project books that are laid out in a creative manner and fit in a child’s lap. You can think of them as a combination of scrapbooking and report writing that uses manilla folders, craft supplies and additions like hand made mini books, cardstock pages, pockets, flaps and other additions.

While there are many websites devoted to selling elaborate lapbooks, they can be as simple or sophisticated as you and your child like.

I've written a number of articles about lapbooking over the years for this column and will be sharing more in the coming weeks. For a basic intro to this fabulous educational tool, see these articles:

Homeschool 101: What is lapbooking?

  • Learn all of the basics of lapbooking and view a slide show of 20 pictures of lapbooks that our kids have made over the years.

Designing your own lapbooks

  • We make our own lapbooks 90% of the time and I list our reasons here, plus how to easily design your own. I also have a slide show of 20 pictures of lapbooks our kids have designed themselves.

Pre-made lapbooks: pros, cons and where to find them

  • Learn the advantages and disadvantage of pre-made lapbooks, plus links to find lots of them. Note: Some links are outdated and this article can no longer be edited. If you get an error message on any of the pages, just look to the margins and click on lapbooking for the most recent pages. I'll be compiling an updated list of more lapbook resources soon!

Lapbooking do's and don'ts

  • Learn all the ways to help make lapbooking a great experience for your kids -- and what not to do!

I have also featured my own kids' lapbooks on my homeschooling blog over the years. Here are a few posts that can give you an idea of how we lapbook and why our kids love it so much.

In our family, we have done lapbooks about the human body, carp, the letter G, famous people, the origins of the kids' names, countries, cells, the Earth, the myth of slave quilts, and much more.

Lapbooks have been an invaluable learning tool for our family and I highly recommend them.

Stay tuned in this column for more lapbooking resources soon!

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