We have done a lot of lapbooks in the 6 years we have homeschooled the boys. We have made up our own lapbooks. We have purchased lapbook e-books from almost every company in the homeschool community. We have used free lapbooks available at several sharing sites where other homeschooling mothers contribute lapbooks they've developed. Yes, we've done a lot of lapbooks.
A little over a month ago I got the opportunity to download several lapbooks from the company, A Journey Through Learning. I know that I can seem extremely eager and excited when I review a product, but I am NOT exaggerating here. Ready? This is the best lapbook/unit study kit I've ever used.
We were sent several lapbooks to review, but I chose the Amphibians lapbook to complete first with the boys. We recently picked up two new pet anoles at the Renaissance Faire. (They sold them as "baby dragons.") So I thought that we might learn about our new pets by completing this study. As it turns out, Anoles are reptiles not amphibians. Oops. I guess we'll complete the reptile lapbook a bit later this year.
The entire lapbook took us about a month to complete. I wanted to include pictures of our finished project in this post, but the camera is on the fritz, so I'll post them later. Please check back.
But, I really want to tell you why I consider these to be the best lapbook/unit study kits I've ever used. (and remember I've used almost all of them!)
- The mini-books had a lot of vivid colors. I'm so pleased with the appearance of the lapbook.
- The book was so easy to use because it required almost no preparation. I didn't have to read several pages of introduction or preparation.
- It was broken into sections with the required reading first and then the mini-books that built on that reading. I very easily read the boys the section and had them complete the mini-book or books for that day's reading to "chunk up" the unit study. Some days I handed them the reading and the mini-book and let them work on it on their own. (They are grades 6 & 7.)
- Each page of the mini-book had what we called a map at the top. The map showed the boys exactly where to place the mini-book in the lapbook. It used a graphic which showed the folder with a shaded shape representing the mini-book. The boys just looked at the graphic and knew where to place the mini-book they had just completed.
- Beside the aforementioned graphic were all the instructions needed to complete the mini-book. I just handed this to the boys and they took it from there.
- When we were done with the last mini-book, all we had to do was glue it into the last open space. It can be so challenging for the boys to try and put every mini-book in at once and fit it into the folded folders, as we have done with other lapbooks. We did not have to worry about that frustration here.
- We concluded our study with a "final" test. I had the boys tell me everything they knew about Amphibians from our study. This is also called narration. This came from the recommendation and narration forms found at the back of the lapbook. Brilliant.
All-in-all I give A Journey Through Learning lapbooks an A+++. They have lapbooks and unit studies for all ages and in just about every school subject. Downloadable lapbooks are $13. Lapbooks on CD are $14, and printed lapbooks are $21 or $20. I can confidently say that they are worth the price. They also have Unit Studies and Copywork books available on their website: www.ajourneythroughlearning.com
If you don't want to take my word for it, check out some of the other crew reviews here. And then head over to www.ajourneythroughlearning.com and pick up one of their unit study lapbooks to enhance one of your current studies or as a stand alone for a new study. You could even give an upper elementary student, or older, one of these lapbooks and let them do it on their own. It is that easy and comprehensive! And let me know what you think after you've tried one. I know I'm hooked. As a matter of fact, I'd better get printing that reptiles lapbook. Those anoles aren't going to learn about themselves!