A lapbook is a creative and visual way to display information that your child has learned. It’s more than just a craft, it’s a hands-on way to create an interactive learning tool that can be a keepsake and a reference for years to come.
Throughout the course of your homeschooling journey (or your research into homeschooling), you may have come across the term “lapbook” (or sometimes referred to as an interactive notebook) and wondered not only what it is, but how you can implement it into your studies.
Since we’ve been lapbooking in our homeschool since 2009, I thought it would be helpful to address these questions that I hear most often from other homeschool moms:
- What is a lapbook?
- What are the benefits of lapbooking?
- How can I use them in my homeschool?
I want to share our experience and help you to start lapbooking, too!
This post is part of a 10-day series all about lapbooking: Lapbook Lessons
What is a Lapbook?
One way to describe a lapbook would be like a scrapbook of learning for homeschoolers. They are essentially project books that your child can sit in their laps and flip through. It is a great, hands-on way to teach your children about a wide variety of topics. Lapbooks can contain mini-books, drawings, graphs, diagrams, timelines and a variety of other visual materials that can make the topic interesting and engage your child’s attention.
A lapbook typically consists of a file folder that is folded in a specific way to create a mini-book with multiple flaps or layers. These flaps serve as compartments where students can place different elements related to the topic they are studying, such as drawings, diagrams, facts, definitions, pictures, and other interactive components.
The content of a lapbook can vary depending on the subject and grade level. For example, in a science lapbook, students might include information about different animal species, their habitats, and their characteristics. In a history lapbook, students could include timelines, maps, and profiles of important historical figures.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Lapbook?
One of the main benefits of using a lapbook is that it provides your child with an interactive and engaging way to learn about the various topics that you cover during your homeschool lessons. I think that we can agree that when material is interesting, it makes it more enjoyable (and perhaps even easier) to learn. However, there are even more benefits to creating and using a lapbook.
1. If you prepare the lapbooks (or buy premade ones), it can actually make it much easier for you to present the material to your children.
2. Having lapbooks can make it easier for you to teach multiple children – even if they are a wide age range.
3. They can make it easier for your child to review their study material, which helps to reinforce what they have been learning.
4. If you make lapbooking into an activity, it can help promote creativity, encourage your child’s research skills, teach them about planning/organization, and help them learn presentation skills.
5. Lapbooks are very affordable and can be easily made with supplies you already have on hand.
You can find lapbooks in the Heart and Soul Homeschooling store right here:
How Do I Make a Lapbook?
There is no right or wrong way to make a lapbook. It’s really down to your personal preference.
Some people like using manila file folders whereas other like to use cardstock and 3-ring binders. We’ve used both methods. Once you know the topic that you will discuss and what type of folder you want to use, you can really get creative with what you include in the lapbook. For example, if you want to create a lapbook about the solar system, you could include thing like diagrams of the constellations, cut outs of each of the planets with facts about them written on note cards, representations of the different star sizes using buttons and other circular materials, an activity about the life of a star, activities for your child to complete, and much more. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want. If you need ideas for creating a lapbook for a particular subject, there are plenty available on Pinterest.
How Do I Use a Lapbook?
Just as there is no right or wrong way to create a lapbook, there is no one way to use them. You can go through the lapbook a bit at a time. You can have your child create the lapbook as they go throughout the unit that you are covering. You can use the lapbook as the primary source of information or use it just as a review/study tool. You can walk your child through the lapbook, give them instructions on how to use it, or let them explore it on their own. It can be something that they go through sequentially or it could be something that they can jump around in. It is totally up to you, your child’s learning style, and what you feel will work the best.
Homeschool Mom Summer Summit
I’ll be speaking on the topic of lapbooks in the Homeschool Mom Summer Summit, starting June 19, 2023. Get all of the details and register now for this encouraging and enriching event with 50 speakers on many topics you won’t want to miss!
Read more in this series, Lapbook Lessons:
- DIY Snowman Ornaments - December 9, 2023
- Free Printable Christmas Countdown Calendar - December 5, 2023
- Making Math Meaningful: The Link Between Math Education and Real-World Problem Solving - December 4, 2023