Psst! I ♥ homeschooling!
I find something new ever single day to love about it. I ♥ teaching, I ♥ school/office supplies, I ♥ making things with my hands... That is why it is so strange that I have 'issues' with "lapbooks". I have never taken much interest in them because the few times I tried I fought and fought with the typical file type folders used to create these works of art. Getting them folded and glued just right never seemed to happen for me. I ruined way more folders than we actually used... Then it dawned on me one day that we can use lapbook elements in 'notebooking' format. We make the elements and glue them onto card stock or construction paper. Three hole punched these pages really enrich our notebooks and achieve the same end! FUN LEARNING!!
When we were working on a unit study about The Oregon Trail & Pioneers...for History and a good portion of our Language Arts studies. I did a bit of Internet research (found the Oregon Trail Education Resource Guide pdf) and purchased the book If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon (If You.) by Ellen Levine, The lapbooking ebook that goes along with it by A Journey Through Learning, and also History Pockets: Moving West, Grades 4-6+ book by Evan-Moor Educational Publishers. (I sometimes print my ebooks, hard copy books I have the binding cut off of and I three hole punch these and place them in binders for ease of use. ;)
Now, when it comes to the lapbooking portions, we have taken card stock (three hole punched) and used for pages in our subject notebooks... OR I have taken (slightly trimmed) large sheets of construction paper and folded them in half to make four pages. These can then be three hole punched and used also. The lapbook elements are then glued to these pages. (I read the text to the children while they look at my examples I've made up ahead of time and assemble their lapbook elements.) It adds color to the notebook and is pretty cheap and at hand usually. (You may notice I have reinforced my punches...I did this because we don't fill up a page every day and we may come back to these pages frequently. I thought it would make them extra durable.) I'm looking forward to shopping around for stickers and other doo-das to add to our pages and make them even more special and unique.
I recently saw a blog post about History Pockets and immediately went out in search of these cool books. I ended up altering this creation somewhat also. Instead of using folded construction paper to make booklets (as per the instructions) I am using page protectors to glue our covers on and hold our pocket items. It really seems to be working out well, and the kids can more readily see what we have in each pocket. Plus, I think it is cute...and I love (♥!) that it all fits into a 3 ring binder together! All in all we are really enjoying this unit study and I am really looking forward to bringing this learning style into other subjects coming up in our lesson plans soon!