We regularly do lapbooks!
In fact we are working on 2 lapbooks for different subjects at the moment.
I love organization.
I like efficiency.
I love getting to the fun part of writing in the minibooks without fuss and time-wasting.
But what you see in the photo above is NOT practical!
If we had to cut and fold and paste minibooks for each lesson, I would have given up lapbooks long ago.
I have found a wonderful way to prepare our lapbooks in advance if you use several lapbooks regularly in your school week.
Let me share some of our time-saving tips:
1. Download and save your lapbook.
Seriously, save a back-up of your lapbook download on a memory stick/CD/ EHD (External Hard Drive)
Check out the lapbook links on my side bar. Most our lapbooks we have made are free.
Have you looked at Practical Pages’ Lapbook pages for free lapbooks?
2. Print out the minibooks and instructions.
I like to print the next project a few weeks ahead.
Place the instructions and the printed pages in a plastic page protector and store these pages until you have time to do number 3.
OR go straight ahead and …
3. Spend one afternoon cutting out and stapling, folding and assembling each minibook.
I cut my 2 kids’ copies together to save time.
The kiddies can do this for you. They need all the cutting practice they can get!
We listen to audio books while our hands are busy.
They listen to a read aloud on the theme while they cut and fold!
OR use an afternoon to make your own stash of minibooks! Use this master template.
4. Store the folded minibooks in a ziplock bag for each child (until you get time to do number 5).
(Check out Jimmie’s Collage - where I first saw this idea.)
Stored minibooks are easily muddled and we waste time searching through them to complete the activity for that lesson, so this is a temporary storage.
I have paper-clipped minibooks together for each chapter, but the paper clips sometimes fall off.
Completed minibooks get muddled among the new minibooks, so I try store them separately.
So this is why the next step has saved us from time-wasting …
5. IMPORTANT Let your children paste all the new minibooks in their file folders.
YES! BEFORE we even start our lapbook!
I find that the printed diagrams (in lapbook instructions) show fairly random minibook placement.
The kids do an excellent job placing the minibooks on their own. They shift and move the minibooks until they are happy with the arrangement.
They choose where they want to fix the extra cardboard flap or file folder if they need extra space.
We glue everything down.
This stage gives the children an “overview” of the lapbook.
They have a good idea of what they will cover.
It helps them find the correct minibook when I read or they research.
(Of course, you can place the minibooks according to the recommended layout, or according to sequence of the work.)
6. Duct tape the side of the lapbook and punch it to store the lapbook in a work file.
I love this method of storage. It makes the lapbook part of our daily file work.
(I trim the top of the file folders so that the lapbook fits in our files.)
Check how we do this here.
When the lapbook is complete, it is easily filed with other lapbooks.
7. Now we are ready to start!
It only takes a moment to glance through the minibook titles to find the current booklet.
The children can write in their minibooks and the job is complete.
Read Mom – Narration Scribe for ideas to help your young children write their narrations.
(You’ll notice my young child copying over the pencil writing. She had just started using cursive and wanted to master it in all her written work. This made writing her narrations extra hard and slow, so I pencilled in her dictated narrations and she copied over it in pen. Boy, was she proud of her work!)
There you have it – lapbooks quick and ready!
Hope this encourages you. Lapbooks are the most fun activities in our homeschooling!
What tips do you have?