Thursday, May 2, 2013

Home School in the Woods Lapbook {A Review}

Lapbooks are a wonderful way to learn a new topic or refresh old information.
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Homeschool in the Woods Publishing 

The Essentials - What you need to know

What is a Lapbook?

Lapbooking is a method where students compile information on a particular topic, in this instance 20th Century America, using mini-books on different facets of that topic, then collecting them usually in a file folder.  Each mini book is a separate project dealing with a particular detail of the large topic.  Using this lap pak as an example, the greater topic was America in the 20th Century, one of the mini books was on the World Wars.

The Review

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We reviewed the pdf download.  It was downloaded as a zipped folder with several pdf files and an internet document.  The internet document led me step by step through the whole process.  There was quite a bit of information contained in this Lap Pak.  First was the reading material, which was available as either  full sized sheets to put in a binder or as a half sized sheet booklet that could be stored with the finished lapbook.  There was also comprehensive instructions for putting together the reading material.  There were 22 projects/mini books ranging over the history of the 20th century including historical, social, cultural and literary topics.  Each project had detailed directions on how to complete it and what reading went with it.   There were also detailed instructions on putting together the final lapbook, with photographs to illustrate where each of the booklets fit in the file folder. 

While all the information and masters are included digitally in the pak, they must be printed off.  There are a number of materials which must be obtained to put together the booklets and the final product including, a file folder, packing tape, double sided tape, glue stick, scissors, card stock, colored paper, colored pencils and a manila envelope.  

I like lapbooks for their versatility.  They can be used as a simple stand alone lesson, a portal to a deeper study of the topic or along side another text. This lap pak was very complete.  The information booklet provided a comprehensive survey of the 20th century and was easy to read.    The projects were explained in detail and easy to complete.  There were a variety of projects so it wasn't doing the same thing over and over.  Some of the projects were a capstone on the reading with all the information already in the booklets.  Zippy just had to construct the booklet.   Some of the booklets required writing a small amount of information, that could be obtained from the reading material.   Some of the booklets required some research outside of the provided information.

We used this as our primary history for a few weeks, with Zippy doing one or two mini-books per day.  It was easy for me to give her assignments, everything was laid out nicely with clear directions.  Zippy was very reluctant to complete here assignments.  I cannot give a good reason why.  She says she did not like how long it took her to complete an assignment.  That was her problem, not an issue with the lap pak.

I would only change one thing.  Each of the booklet pages is a separate pdf document.  I chose to do all my printing at once.  I had to go to a FedEx store because my printer was having issues.  I had to find a way to make all the separate files (there were 99 of them) into one file so I could print it off.  Even if I printed it out at home all those files would be very cumbersome.  I would at least combine the pages of the projects together into one file for easier printing.

If you are looking for a comprehensive, easy to do, lap book project I would recommend Home School in the Woods.


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