This is the time of year where we, as home educators, are evaluating the past year. We are looking at what worked, what didn’t, what the kids liked, and what they really did not. We are all on the search for the elusive “perfect curriculum”. (Tip – There isn’t one.)
I get lots of questions about different types of curriculum and science programs. Parents want recommendations for the upcoming year. My answers vary depending on the age, interests, and learning style of the child.
One thing I recommend for all students for all subjects no matter what curriculum they are using – lapbooks.
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Lapbooks are unique in that they allow students to record what they are learning in a creative, fun way. Lapbooks are, also, versatile and adaptable. Families like the fact that lapbooks are reproducible and can be used for several students at varying levels and learning styles.
You can use lapbooks across curriculum, for any age, and for any learning style. Visual learners love that need to write everything down enjoy “taking notes” on the lapbook templates. Art-driven learners that need draw to represent what they are learning can benefit from lapbooks and their open ended style and graphics that need to be colored-in. Lapbooks provide lots of cutting, folding, and pasting for those hands-on learners.
By utilizing all these modalities, lapbooks make the student use both the right and left side of the brain. This helps the student understand and remember the material that they are lapbooking about.
Using Lapbooks For Science
Imagine you are studying the animals of the ocean. You might read about sea turtles or dolphins, watch videos online, or even visit a beach. How do you record what you learn? How do you preserve your observations? How can you organize all this information? How can you review your information later?
Lapbooks allow students to record information from reading material, record data from experiments, sketch observations, and organize it all. The techniques involved in lapbooking will allow students to “handle” the information many times. This helps retention and understanding of the material.
First, the student hears or reads the information. Next, they record their data onto the lapbook templates. Then, they sort the templates into order that makes sense and attach the templates onto the lapbooking folder according to how they sorted information. The student needs to read over the information many times to accomplish this. Lastly, the student has a beautiful, fun resource to look at and read again and again. The student has now learned so much about your topic and hasn’t even realized they were studying!
Lapbooks can be used to study specific topics, or they can be used along side a science curriculum in the same way. We will be studying Apologia Science’s Human Anatomy and Physiology next year with my son. He needs a creative way to record what he is learning so he can review it and remember it. A Journey Through Learning has created topical lapbooks, as well as lapbooks to go along with Apologia’s science curriculum.
With the Human Anatomy lapbook, he’ll be able to “take notes”, record observations, organize his information, and be creative. Plus, when he has completed the lapbook, he will have a resource to refer to for review on in future studies.
We have lapbooks that my daughter completed years ago that we have pulled out for later studies with my son. Those lapbooks were great references and were much more fun to look at than textbooks!
Visit A Journey Through Learning and choose your new lapbooks!