At our homeschool support meeting on Monday, we sat around a bunch of tables and learned how to make lapbooks.

Lapbooks are homemade portfolio type things made from file folders (some are plain, some are super creative) that can be used in homeschooling.  It’s a way to display a bunch of information in one handy place and it can serve as a “this is what I learned” or, for an older student, a “this is what I’m supposed to know for a test and plain index cards are tedious and boring.”

Lapbooks are very popular and a fun hands-on project for kids (and moms).  You can do all kinds of neat paper folds, etc. within a lapbook.  You know, to make it visually interesting and, well, just super cool.  I wanted to jump on this bandwagon and make one with Max this year but I was a little timid.

First, Max and I are used to the big paper on the wall thing so I wasn’t sure about how he’d write on little tiny squares that go in a lapbook. Max + writing = hard, time-consuming, nail-biting experience.  Max + writing on tiny squares = Mama needs to lie down.

But then I learned that the picture I had in my head for a lapbook was incomplete.  There are so many ways to make them.  I can have him trace my writing, for instance.  Or just TYPE and print it out.  Or, better yet, print out pre-made stuff from the free internet. Oh, whoops.  Mama needs to sit up and pay attention.

So now I’m excited about the possibilities.

One of the ideas I heard about on Monday was making a “Mini-Office” lapbook for Max.  Basically, this is a reference lapbook that he can prop up on the table while we do school.  I made it for him today and he thought it was great!  He kept saying, “you’re on to good work there, Mom!” and ran around the house cheering that he finally had his own office.


It includes stuff like our address, phone number (like my beautiful drawing of a phone down in the left corner?), letters, numbers, map showing where Maryland is, a drawing of the math manipulatives we use to show tens and ones, a list of the continents, oceans, and the values of currency.  Yep, I taped real coins at the bottom.  No reason, just thought it was a super cool thing to do.  Super Cool was totally worth 41 cents based on Max’s excitement, by the way.  He asked if he could have that money when he goes to high school.

I already have some more ideas of things to add.  That’s the cool thing about lapbooks; you can keep adding file folders or pages of card stock “flaps.”  I’m going to add Left and Right, months, days of the week, and a picture of a ruler.

Do you have any other ideas?


7 thoughts on “Lapbooks

  1. Oh my goodness!!!! What a great idea. We do lap books…why oh why did I never think to do that!

    Our school room is my dining room table. While there is a large map of the world on my dining room wall, I did draw the line at the alphabet train, the number line and…well you get the picture! The girls are going to love this!

    I LOVE getting new ideas for school. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That’s a great idea! I need to do that with Jacob and Isabel. They would love it and it would be helpful. Actually Sophia would like it too to help her spell things like the days of the week, etc.

    We just learned about lap books in the last couple of years, but haven’t been too successful in implementing them for some reason. The crafty side of me left a few years ago. 🙂

    Thanks for the idea!

  3. Hey I was wondering if you know any good ideas on teaching graphs to Kiah. This is one of his schools goals for me to work on and Im drawing a blank on what a 3 year old could understand in graph form.

  4. Oh! Anna that is the coolest!! I am so making those for our next roadtrip as something fun to do in the car. You could laminate it too and then write on it with dry erase markers. LOVE IT!

  5. How cute is that office! Great job, Mom!

    Cousin Jodi, Just a thought for you: work on picto-graphs. You have have your child sort things (ex: sort cars by color), then set them out in lines, in essence creating a graph of whatever you have sorted. If Kiah is really getting it, you could then draw a quick graph and have him color in the bars on the graph according to how many (cars) was in each row that he layed out.

    We have done this with snack size bags of M&Ms – sort by color, then talk about which color has the longest line (and what that means – it means that there were the most of that color), which line is the shortest, were there any ties, etc. And, of course, we all love eating the graph afterward!

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