Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Loving Lapbooks

It's such a relief having a sense of direction again!  The house is a complete state (owing to my back not cooperating with my need to tidy), but I'm still enjoying the week because we're having such a positive time!  Even when the car broke down on Tuesday, preventing us from going to our lovely craft club, the boys bounced back from the disappointment much quicker than they would have done otherwise, as they have been enjoying working on their lapbooks!  I know!  Project work actually gripping them with enthusiasm!  Even Middle who usually has an allergic reaction to anything that looks remotely work-like!

For those who don't know, lapbooks - as far as I understand them - are a kind of topic-based scrapbook/ folder with all sorts of flaps, pockets and interactive treasures.  It is much easier to show what they are than describe, so I will show you Middle's shortly (he finished his first one today), but there are lots of different ways to make them too.  Eg Eldest has one on the go that is a lot more of a book than Middle's folder.  There are some helpful ideas on Squidoo, and also on page 10 of this issue of EOS  (Education Ourside School).  Some parents make them for their child to interact with (especially those with preschool children); some get downloadable projects online for their chld to assemble - we love the Homeschool Share  website for great resources; some (especially those who are familiar with the concept) just let their child loose to completely wing it - make their own folder/ notebook/ scrapbook put in whtever they like.  Middle's first lapbook was based on his suggestion on Saturday that he wanted to learn about growing - he drew some pictures and diagrams, and I suggested we could make it into a sort of 'lift-the-flap' book (if I had called it a lapbook at that point he would have not understood what I meant and just refused on principle).  As we have gone along I have called it his lap-book, and he now associates the term with something fun, like making your own lift-the-flap book!  I have done lots of searching online for ideas to suggest, and found lots of great resources on the Enchanted Learning website.  He hasn't gone for all the suggestions, but the finished result I think is really impressive for a first attempt!

So here it is - pause for proud Mummy drum-roll - Middle's first lapbook:

front cover

inside front cover

middle 'page' (he's not a fan of colouring, but he was happy to do some with Mummy helping)

 inside back flap

back flap (final page)

"I want to be a dad like my Dad"

I simpy love it!  He s really proud of it as well.  Eldest is still working on his - like I said, it is a lot more of a book than folder - and his has more text and photos, with fewer flaps... but as far as I'm concerned, it's not about copying somebody else's idea of what a good lapbook looks like - it's about finding what inspires your child, and encouraging them in it.  So I will be equally proudly displaying Eldest's lapbook once he has completed it, too.

The older boys haven't just been working on their lapbooks this week - amongst other things they've been keeping up with their online curricula, watching interesting TV Programmes ('Your Paintings' recorded from BBC2 being a particular favourite of Middle's), and doing our own artwork... today's art was inspired by Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".  We looked at our Smart about Art book on Van Gogh, and then I showed the boys the Happy Hooligans link of a Van-Gogh inspired piece of art using paint and melted wax crayons.  We pretty much did as directed on the blog post - but I have to say, the first bit (using our fingers in the paint) was a lot more fun than the second bit which gave my hands cramp while grating crayons.  I think I preferred my painting before I added the crayons too - but the boys were all happy with their finished art, so it was all good!





Once we'd done our art, Eldest and Middle were on Reading Eggspress and Youngest decided that he wanted to go on it too! So after a break of several months, Youngest got back onto Reading Eggs (snuggled up with me, playing it in my laptop). Given that he took a break because it got a bit hard from him, he absolutely whizzed through the pages. Proof yet again (as if we needed it) that times to rest are just as important as times to work.  After he'd had anough for the day he was still looking a bit lost, with his brothers doing their lapbooks.  He says he wants to do one, but every time we sit down to do it he loses interest immediately - so I'm not going to push it.  Anyway, he was enthusiastic about baking chocolate muffins with Mummy, so that's what we did... just in time for lunch, yummy!


  1. you are all so amazing. I always feel so inspired by what you are doing! x