Sprite and I really enjoy lapbooking. The creative and artsy component is a great supplement to our homeschool adventure.
But I refuse to let lapbooking take over.
Sometimes it tries.
Let me share some mental temptations which alert me when I’m about to let lapbooking take over.
- We’ve got to make minibooks about these next four topics in the series. We already made minibooks for topics one and two. If we don’t keep going, we can’t make an entire lapbook. I know that we’ve exhausted the topic and are ready to move on, but what about these two orphan minibooks?
- I’ve got this fantastic printable from the new Homeschool in the Woods Time Traveler series. And another one on the topic from History Pockets. Oh, and I saw a blog yesterday that had yet another great idea for a layered book for this topic. Maybe we should do them all and connect them together…..
- Today’s lesson really suits a notebooking page for narration. But if I do that, then we won’t have that topic covered in our lapbook. The lapbook will be missing this huge chunk of information. I should put it into a minibook instead.
- Today’s lesson is best narrated with a simple verbal retelling rather than with a minibook. But if I do that, then maybe the lapbook won’t have enough minibooks in it. It really needs a long skinny book to fit on the side….
- Forget the nature walk today. Forget playing math games. These minibooks have got to get done today! I want this lapbook done this week.
In each of these scenarios, the completion of a “perfect” lapbook is the goal.
And that’s when lapbooking is trying to take over your curriculum.
Lapbooking should be a tool. You use it to reinforce your already excellent curriculum. If the minibook fits, you use it. If it doesn’t, you don’t force it. You don’t use every free printable out there just because they are all so clever and, well, free! And you don’t have to use every resource that you paid for either. Simply pick and choose what is best. If you get a few ideas or printables from a resource book, then you’ve gotten your money’s worth. The lesson is the superhero; the lapbook is the sidekick. Sometimes the superhero can do his job without the sidekick at all. And that’s okay.
Oh, and it’s okay to make just one minibook. Or two minibooks. I give you permission. I give myself permission. Not every minibook has to become part of a lapbook. If you feel that those orphan minibooks are too lonely, affix them onto a piece of cardstock, and add them to a 3 ring binder as a notebooking page.
A lapbook doesn’t have to reflect everything you studied in a unit, either. If it’s gappy and unbalanced, that’s okay. You know that you covered all aspects of the topic in other ways besides lapbooking. Some things were worked out in long discussions or through role play. Those kinds of learning will never fit into a lapbook, but they are priceless nonetheless. Don’t force everything into a lapbook. And don’t force everything into a minibook. Just do what works. Tame that lapbooking monster and get him under control. Make him work for you and for your children!