By Leah Courtney
Using lapbooks is a fun and frugal way to do a unit study with your whole family and it has been a great learning experience for our whole family. I have especially enjoyed using lapbooks from Hands of a Child.
If you aren’t familiar with lapbooking, let me share a little about the process. Lapbooking involves taking file folders and folding them into a display. Into these folders your child will glue mini books. The mini books are used to illustrate and review concepts that the child is learning. For example, we used Hands of a Child’s Christmas Around the World lapbook last year. Within our folded file folders we glued mini books that had the children writing about the Christmas traditions of all of the different countries we were reading about. Making the lapbook is a creative, hands-on way for the child to learn.
Although there are many places to find lapbooks—even some free ones—I really like the lapbooks from Hands of a Child for several reasons.
Their lapbooks come in a variety of formats. Digital downloads allow you to print what you need for your family. The type-it-in option allows students to type their answers in, print them out, and glue them on. There are also CDs available and printed versions of the lapbooks. And, with some lapbooks, you can order a note pack that has all of the information in pages that are ready to put into a binder so that the student doesn’t have to cut and paste.
Their lapbooks include everything you need to teach the unit. There are supplemental book lists, but everything needed to answer the mini books is printed in the reading part of the teacher’s guide. This keeps you from having to skim and search for answers in the books you’ve read. They also include a daily schedule that shows specifically which parts of the reading to cover and which mini books to complete each day. This makes it especially easy to just pick up the lapbook and go with everything you need right there.
Many of the lapbooks span a variety of ages. We’ve always enjoyed using multi-age materials so that the whole family can learn together. Many of the lapbooks from Hands of a Child span a whole range of ages. The materials may have different formats so that you can print the one each child needs. Some of the lapbooks—like the Christmas Around the World lapbook we recently completed—are even good for using with my high school students.
There are so many lapbooks to choose from. From Bible to geography to history to science to seasonal and holiday lapbooks, there are so many available. From lapbooks for early childhood (K-3rd grade) to lapbooks for high school (7-12th grade) and lapbooks for the whole family, there is a huge variety. We’ve used many different lapbooks from Hands of a Child to study many different topics.
Lapbooks from Hands of a Child are a very frugal choice for our family. Many of the lapbooks are under $10 for the digital version. And most fall under $15. Because I can use these lapbooks for groups or all of my children, this is a great price for a fun but interesting way to do a unit study.
You can find more information and see samples and prices at the Hands of a Child website.
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. She was a school teacher in her former life and now loves homeschooling her children. Recently she began the adventure of homeschooling a high school student. She loves reading and reviewing and blogging about life and homeschooling. You can visit her at As We Walk Along the Road.