Lapbooking and Notebooking are creative and memorable ways for children to learn. They provide interactive, hands-on learning, and they are adaptable to all ages and learning abilities. Lapbooks and notebooks can be used for any subject or topic, are great for book studies and unit studies, and can be especially useful when teaching multiple children at different levels simultaneously. So what are they?
Lapbooks are made using file folders, usually consisting of two folders taped together so that the lapbook will open on both sides, and contain minibooks and various foldables and other graphic organizers. Younger students tend to enjoy making lapbooks, but they sometimes need help with the cutting and pasting. Notebooks are usually loose leaf papers kept in a 3-ring binder. Notebooks can consist of drawings, maps, notes, and copywork and will oftentimes include minibooks and other foldables mounted onto heavyweight paper. Older students tend to gravitate toward notebooking and they can usually work independently on them. A bonus with notebooking is that the notebooks can double as portfolios when it comes time for your children's annual evaluations.
Lapbooks and notebooks are generally very inexpensive to make, but if you happen to be into scrapbooking and have speciality papers and embellishments around to use, the sky is the limit. There is no wrong way to make them, and they can be as simple or complex as you choose. If you have a kinesthetic learner, definitely give one a try! You can create your own from scratch or use pre-made templates and notebooking pages found on websites and in books such as the ones listed below. (Many are free! )
Websites Offering "HowTo's" and Printable Lapbooking Templates
Lapbooking 101 is a wonderful how-to site full of free lapbooking ideas and resources.
Lapbook Lessons and Lapbook Lessons Forum is full of free lapbooking resources. You'll find Bible and Christian character lapbooks, Little House lapbooks, insect lapbooks, alphabet lapbooks and more. On their forum you will find how-to videos and tons of photos uploaded by users.
Homeschool Share provides TONS of free lapbooking templates and lapbooks. This is an awesome resource.
Homeschool Helper Online also provides free lapbook templates and lapbooks. Each of the free homeschool lapbooks also includes a library list to make your planning easier.
Hands of a Child offers over 400 different quality Lapbook Project Packs for all grade levels and subjects.
Lapbooking is a very active Yahoo email list hosted by In the Hands of a Child for those interested in making lapbooks. Whether you are a seasoned veteran of lapbooking or if you've never heard of lapbooks before today, this list is for you! You are encouraged to share ideas, thoughts, sites with printables and anything else that pertains to this subject.
Websites Offering "HowTo's" and Printable Notebooking Pages
Homeschool Notebooking provides free notebooking pages, including charts and themed notebooking sets, printables and curriculum. Perfect for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers.
Notebook Learning provides a variety of free notebooking pages. This blog is no longer maintained, but there is a lot of great content.
Notebooking Pages provides affordable notebooking products to accommodate any subject and style of homeschooling. You will find that their notebooking products offer a variety of everything from layouts to the types of lines and number of lines on a page so that each product will fit a variety of children at the same time.
A Few Books We Recommend
Big Book of Books and Activities: An Illustrated Guide for Teacher, Parents, and Anyone Who Works With Kids! This book by Dinah Zike is the winner of Learning magazine's Teacher's Choice Award. It illustrates how to make hundreds of manipulatives and teaching aids using inexpensive materials found in the classroom or at home. There are over 400 black and white photographs and illustrations to guide you through the steps for making each project.
The Ultimate Lap Book Handbook. This lapbook making guide by Cyndy Regeling and Tammy Duby shows you how to make books with your children emphasizing what they have learned. They have included an FAQ section, summarizing questions asked at conferences and workshops, and have anticipated your need for application ideas by listing topics and suggestions for books to make for each style.
Notebook Foldables for Spirals, Binders, & Composition Books. This is another great book by Dinah Zike. It includes a CD of all templates featured in the book so you can click-&-drag illustrations & add text to the templates on your computer, then print them out and paste them into your notebook.