File Folder Memory Books
Also Known as
Lapbooks or Lapbooking, Scrapbooking or Notebooking
What Is It?
Lapbooking is a way of organizing and displaying what a child has learned using a variety of different materials. You can use file folders, poster board, memory books, notebooks, grocery bags, card board boxes and just about anything you can make into a book.
Making memory books or lapbooking is a great way to learn! It gives children a way to organize, file and display what they have learned. It let's them know that what they are learning is important and worth remembering. It also gives them pride in their work and gives them a way to see their progress. They retain more information because they are creating something tangible. They will want to share their creations with others which inadvertently helps them retain more of what they have learned.
How Do I Lapbook?
There is no right or wrong way to make memory books. In fact, the best way to do it is let your child decide what is important and what should be included in his or her book.
How Do I Get Started?
The first thing you need to do is have the supplies you will need available, and more. Always have lots of kinds and colors of paper, pencils, crayons, markers, glue and craft materials available. (Don't buy the cheap brands because they don't last and don't work as well.) I stick with Elmer's and Crayola if I have a choice.) The more materials you have available the more creative you can be. A digital camera and computer are great tools to help you. Adding pictures of your child actively learning, experimenting, and his creations are great additions to lapbooks.
Learn the techniques used in lapbooking such as how to make mini-books and special folds by using already-prepared lapbooks. You can find lapbooks at: HomeschoolHelperonline.com
Do not limit yourself or your child to prepared materials. The whole point of lapbooking is to be creative and follow your child's interests so that he wants to learn more. If your child has an idea of what he wants to put in his lapbook, let them him develop his ideas and design his own book.
Remember that not all children like to make things or draw and color, and realize that they don't have to use this technique to learn. If you have a child that would rather read and take notes, build models or just "get his work over with" that is okay.
Start with something that your child is interested in. Get books from the library on that subject and read the books. If your child has more questions about that subject, get on the Internet and try to find the answers. Have him write his questions down on a piece of paper and when you find the answers write them on the back of the paper and then you can use them as a question and answer game. I find that the best way to get your child interested in a subject is have something he can look at up close and personal such as an animal or something he has found like a rock or acorn. Examine it and talk about it. He will start asking question like, "I wonder why it's that color?" or "Where is it's eyes?" etc. Write the questions down and look for the answers. Keep the animal in a cage or aquarium for as long as possible so you can observe it. Collect pictures or the object, have him draw the object and label the parts, keep a journal about the object (where you found it, etc.), and take pictures, etc.
How Do I Pick a Subject?
Start with something your child is interested in. Or if you are following a curriculum and your child seems to want to know more or has a question about a topic, help him pursue the answers.
Lapbooks are great for subjects your child is having difficulty with. Spend more time on that subject and pursue it from every angle: drawing pictures, making models, making memory games, making questions and answer games, etc. Have your child make the games so that he learns while making them.
Lapbooking Material on this Web Site:
Danielle's Place has many crafts and activities that would work well in lapbooks.
The ABC, I Believe Lessons for Homeschool has worksheets, crafts, and games that would work well in lapbooks and is a great way to organize all the material.
A New Series "Bug Buddies Studies" were designed so that children can store all their activities in a file folder and are great for lapbooking. They are very interactive so your children will want to use them over and over. They include memory games and review games, question and answer games, pop-ups, and cool crafts.
Lapbook Web Sites
Tobin's Lab - Catalog with lots of lapbooking materials.
The Ever Project - "A Super Easy Way To Begin Lapbooking: The Simplest Lapbook Ever"
Homeschool Helper - "How to Fold a Lapbook"