My children – especially my oldest – like to have their schoolwork broken into bite-sized chunks, so I knew we needed to share all about our lapbooking.
While we do lots and lots of hands-on activities, take field trips, and read aloud together, there has to be some kind of documentation for some of our learning too. But, I found out early on that my oldest has an (ahem) aversion to writing. Yeah… it kills me. After all, I’m a professional writer.
But…we can’t choose our kids and their temperaments, so we need to adapt as homeschool moms. I adapted when I discovered lapbooking and realized that they would be the perfect solution for teaching kids of multiple ages, especially when some of them were asynchronous gifted learners.
Lapbooking isn’t new, though it was to me five years ago when we began homeschooling. And, while the cute little books and file folder “album” made this former scrapbooker’s heart go pitter patter, it was the mini books that made my son get into learning (and demonstrating his knowledge) again.
Gifted children are often unmotivated and struggle with other issues like dysgraphia or ADHD, so focusing on completing reports and research projects can feel agonizing to them. Sometimes all it takes is the illusion of less work to get them on board.
You see, the beauty of lapbooking is that it allows children to display large amounts of research and work in manageable chunks. They fold the file folder to make a cover that opens and closes like shutters, then fill out a few mini books and charts each day.
When it’s all put together, the display is impressive, and your kids have often learned more than they would have if they’d sat down to write a paper.
As you the supplies you’ll need for your homeschooling, make sure you figure in lots of tape, colorful file folders, glue sticks, colored paper, colored pencils, and fun pens that your kiddos will love to use.
Many lapbooking tutorials will have you use glue to put your mini books inside your folder, but while I have the kids use glue on the back cover of the books, I always have had them reinforce the edges of the mini books with tape.
The kids love showing off the work they’ve done on the lapbooks, and all of that opening and closing of mini books really puts wear and tear on them. By using the tape, we secure the binding down so they don’t come out.
We also reinforce the edges of our lapbooks. One of my favorite things about organizing our learning in this way is that we can add to our lapbooking as we keep learning more.
Take this impressive solar system lapbook, for example. Trevor was young, like 7, when he worked on this, but loved learning about this topic so much that we kept needing more places to put mini books. We simply took pieces of cardstock, and added the flaps to the edges of the file folder. In the end, that lapbook needed a rubber band to keep it closed, but Trevor still loves showing it off all these years later.
For gifted kids that struggle, whether it’s with attention and focus, or executive functioning issues, lapbooking can be a great solution to help motivate them in your homeschool. You can make your own mini books based on great nonfiction titles your kids will love, or you can grab one of the many pre-printed lapbooking kits available on the internet for free or a couple of dollars.
For more information about parenting gifted kids, check out: