What is Lapbooking & How Can It Help My Homeschool Stay Organized?

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Have you been wondering if lapbooks are right for you and your homeschool? What if I told you this was an easy way of taming the paperwork chaos that has overrun your homeschool? Lapbooking is not complicated, it works with ANY subject, and YES! It’s a great way to keep all that homeschool paperwork organized! You can get started lapbooking today with our FREE templates.

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So what is lapbooking?

Some call lapbooks Interactive Notebooks. These terms in my world are the same.

I explore the world of lapbooks and how they are used in this YouTube video as well.

Lapbooking isn’t a new concept. I used it from day one when I began homeschooling in 2006. Likely it was the scrapbooker in me. I guarantee lapbooking existed before I began using it. I have no idea to whom to give proper credit for “inventing” this fantastic homeschool activity but I praise whomever it is mightily.

In a nutshell, this is a cut-and-paste of information onto file folders or notebooks. It’s interactive and engaging for most (but arguably not all) learners. Remember everyone learns differently. Consequently, if you have a learner who isn’t into the creative mumbo jumbo- they may not enjoy this type of expression at all. Classroom teachers use the term interactive notebooks, based on the spiral notebooks they use.

A lapbook got its name because it is small enough to fit in a child’s lap. The concept is that these projects are easy to flip through and review the information learned at any point in the school year.

Primarily, a lapbook is consists of foldables, small interactive elements a child opens, rotates, pulls, etc to reveal information.

Resources for Creating your own

Lapbooks come ready-made like these:

There are also Lapbooks that I have created where the information is put into a shape book first. For Example, When studying about Thomas Edison and the Light Bulb, Why not create a shaped book that looks like a Light Bulb. This mini-book filled with your child’s research, fun facts, pictures, etc can then be glued into a more traditional lapbook form or kept as is.

Create a unique glove or ball mini book with this resource.
cover image for Thomas Edison Lapbook
Organize information inside the exclusive Light Bulb Mini Book.
Keep everything organized inside the Mail Box Mini Book.

Use templates and you can make lapbooks for ANY SUBJECT you are using in your homeschool.

Visit the Happy Hive Homeschooling store or your favorite teacher marketplace for your templates for lapbooks.

You can even do a combination of ready-made and make your own lapbook projects over the course of a school year. There is no wrong way!

Sample Project

Here is a sample I ALL ABOUT CALENDARS project to illustrate the possibilities.

calendar lapbook cover
This is a calendar lapbook we created in our homeschool in 2010

We used colored cardstock as our “cover”. Each of my children had their own color, and every lapbook or notebook was always that color.

All the interactive elements are compiled over the length of the unit study and added inside the file. This was actually a year-long project. We completed the assembly, then continued to add to the elements as we went.

Great Memory Keepsakes

This Calendar Activity also holds the information you can’t “see” – notice how the dated entries (in the second picture) stop in July of 2010. The untold story is that I returned to the classroom full time in August 2010, so our homeschool dynamics shifted (Topic for another post! YES you can work full time and homeschool). We put this calendar lapbook in our 2010 time capsule and the memories came flooding back!

Read HOW TO SET UP A TIME CAPSULE FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOL

The Happy Hive creates lapbook curriculum for both Holidays and general curriculum needs. Be sure to check out our Lapbook Template Pack as well as what we have to offer in our Happy Hive Homeschooling Shop

Free lapbook templates

To get you lapbooking today, we have a set of 8 FREE lapbooking templates! Just click on the picture to sign up for THE BUZZ – the Happy Hive Homeschooling email list and the link to download and print the templates will be zooming into your inbox!

How Lapbooks keep you organized

Because these activities are self-contained, they are inherently organized. You can create lapbooks in a variety of ways. Stapling several file folders together making a mini-book.is popular . A spiral-bound notebook is an instant lapbook. Alternatively, I have seen the foldable elements glued to paper, hole punched, and put into a 3 ring binder. There really is no wrong way to create these great projects!

Lapbooks provide your children with an easy way to make presentations at the co-op, for grandma, or to their charter school specialist. All the information is available inside the lapbook!

After completion, store the project upright on a shelf, like a book. If you use composition books you can label the spines with the topics and the year for easy reference in the future.

Supplies that can help your lapbooking journey

Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling to discover: What is Lapbooking?

I’m sure you will be creating your own creative ways to store all the great things your kids are learning in your hive!

Christy of Happy Hive Homeschooling giving readers information how to celebrate the holiday of the day, as well as efficiently run their own happy hive!