I started to write, giving credit to those who I believe have started this whole thing called Lapbooks, Shutterbooks, Flapbooks etc.  Then I started to write what a Lapbook is.  Then I went to find some links to direct you to and since a lot of my links were broken I decided to start afresh.  What I found made me scrap everything I had written – Heart of Wisdom have a website dedicated to this concept and it is FANTASTIC!  http://scrapbookingtolearn.com/index.htm.  So check them out!

 

Not only do they give you the background, they have great illustrations showing you what and how this thing called Lapbooks all work together.

 

They cover Lapbooks (with mini folds), Scrapbooks and Notebooks – all in one very informative, clear website!  I am very inspired by it!

 

When I started with mini folds I made all the samples I could get my hands onto and glued them into a lapbook.  They were just blank books, made from white photocopy paper, but they gave me a feel, not only how to make the minibooks, but a visual reminder of how much information and what kind of information could be put in each one.  The kids then have a model to copy should they want to make a fold by themselves.  This was well worth the Sunday afternoon it took me.

 

When we make a mini fold I cut the paper into the correct size (I have a thing for square cut paper!).  Naomi (8yo) copies my folds as I fold Daniel’s (6yo).  If we did this regularly Nomi would be able to make her own folds by now.  If they can fold on the square they can make a mini fold book.  My goal is always to make the children do as much of the work as possible.

 

I must finish any discussion on Lapbooks with a warning – I have found lapbooks to be exhausting until I thought through what I wanted from them.  Since then, I have found them to be a fun creative way to help us with our Narrations.

 

The questions I have had to ask myself are:

Are they to be a manipulative to help the children learn? 

Are they to be a revision activity? 

Are they to be done by the child or by me? 

Are they a tool to help the children communicate their daily learning (Narrations)?

 

For our family, we make mini books to give the children a variety of ways to express what they have learnt.  We use a mini book as a form of narration – depending on what suits the topic and direction of their narration.  We use a lapbook merely as a form to store their narrations.    As I have mentioned before I have taken the commonly held practice of mini-folds for lapbooks but glued them into a scrapbook instead of the manilla folders.  This helps me keep my focus on it being the children’s work, their narrations, and their expressions.

 

Taking on Lapbooks is no different than taking on any other practice / curriculum.  We must look at what we want to get out of it, the principle behind it, and make it fit our family goals.

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