We regularly do lapbooks!
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, especially 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.
- Save a back-up of your lapbook download on a memory stick/CD/ EHD (External Hard Drive)
2. Print out the minibooks, index and instructions.
- I like to print the next project a few weeks ahead of my schedule.
- Place the index, instructions and the printed pages in a plastic page protector and store these pages with the lapbook minibook 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. This usually takes one afternoon.
- Or the kiddies can cut out minibooks for you. They need all the cutting practice they can get!
- We listen to a a read aloud or audio books while we are busy snipping and folding.
- Use this master template to make your own stash of minibooks!.
4. Store the folded minibooks in a Ziploc bag for each child (until you get time to do number 5).
(Check out Jimmie’s Collage – where I first saw this idea.)
Here is my problem ~ 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.
Here are some other practical problems~
- I paper-clipped the new 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 of pasting all the minibooks into the file folder before we start has saved us from lost and muddled minibooks and senseless time-wasting searches.
5. IMPORTANT – PASTE all the new minibooks in their file folders BEFORE you even start your lapbook!
- Place the minibooks according to the recommended layout according to the instruction page, or according to sequence of the work.
- The kids do an excellent job placing the minibooks on their own. They shift and arrange the minibooks until they are happy with the layout. A random layout has never been a problem.
- They choose where they want to fix the extra cardboard flap or file folder if they need extra space.
- We glue all the minibooks down.
- This pasting 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.
- Note – When working on a lapbook and a child makes a complete mess of a minibook, simply cut out a paper to fit over the writing and cover the errors, if that is a concern for you or your child. This has happened only once or twice in all our years of lapbooking.
6. Duct tape the side of the lapbook and punch it if you want to store the lapbook in a ring-binder/ work file while you are working on the lapbook.
- I love this method of storage. It makes the lapbook part of our daily file work.
- Trim the top of the file folders so that the lapbook to fit in the ringbinder/ file. Check how we do this here.
- When the lapbook is complete, it is easily filed with other lapbooks.
Duct tape on front of lapbook
Fold over and stick duct tape to back of lapbook creating a strip of folded duct tape
Punch holes into the folded duct tape strip
7. Now we are ready to start!
- It only takes a moment to open the lapbook, glance over 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?