Monday, September 28, 2009

TOS Review – A Journey through Learning

I really enjoy scrapbooking. I have tried to keep up with it over the years while teaching my children but honestly, I haven’t done a very good job of it. I was excited when I learned about lapbooking. It sort of brings scrapbooking and homeschooling together and is something I can do with my kids.

What is lapbooking? It is an inexpensive collection of mini-books, flaps and materials that give information about a certain topic. You can use drawings, stories, graphs, lists of items learned, copy work and just about anything else you would like to include to portray the ideas you have learned. Most people put these into file folders that have been hooked together and when opened up fit into your lap. Hence the word “lapbook”. We think they are great because they travel well. These are also very impressive if you have to do a portfolio assessment for your state. It is amazing what a child remembers when he looks back at the lapbooks.

I have purchased several lapbooks over the last year and we have enjoyed most of them. Imagine my joy when I learned that I would be receiving not one but “five” lapbooks from a company called A Journey through Learning. We received Amphibians, Reptiles, The Desert, The Parables of Jesus and Autumn. I was amazed that they sent us all five of these. I also was undecided over which one to choose. Because they all sounded like fun, I chose Autumn for the obvious reasons. It’s Autumn (or soon would be) and I didn’t really want to wait another year to do this. This lapbook is recommended for PreK through 7th grade and worded great for my 1st grader as well as my 5th grader. image

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love to watch the leaves changing colors and the smell of winter on its way. This lapbook was a great way to celebrate this terrific season. The kids really enjoyed putting together their file folders that we used. That is the great thing about lapbooks. They are great for all ages. Everyone can participate in learning and it makes it much easier when you don’t have to plan separate activities for each of your students.

We learned about the Fall Equinox, made a calendar of the fall months, symbols of Autumn, colored fall leaves and learned about why they change colors. Even this mamma learned a lot about Autumn while doing this unit study. The kids loved learning about migrating birds and why this happens. We also had fun going outside and looking at the birds and we even did a leaf rubbing. Each day we had a couple of items in our workboxes and it took us about 2 weeks to finish the lapbook. It could be done quicker but we added some things and took our time.

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What I love about lapbooking is that you can continue to add to your “books”. You can see all of the lapbooks that A Journey through Learning by clicking here. They have very good instructions and I feel like a beginner would have no problem at all in doing one of these. The instructions are color coded to make it easy to put together. I love the fact that you, as the teacher, do not have to look for material to use to teach your kids. Everything is included. You can get the lapbooks either in instant download e-book format for $13.00, CD format for $14.00 or printed format for $21.00. If you order the printed format you will get 3 free file folders with your order.

The best thing about the e-book format is that you only have to print what you need. We printed the pages for both of my kids and then just read the instructions on the computer to save paper and ink. My only complaint about these was I think they could put more on each page to save paper. I would rather print a page with more pictures closer together than just a couple of pictures placed further apart. This is not really a big deal but just the only thing I thought of that was negative when doing these lapbooks. We are looking forward to doing the other 4 that we received during this school year. My son is especially excited about the frog one. He can’t wait to watch tadpoles grow into frogs.

So, if you’re looking for a great way to incorporate unit studies into your curriculum, I would highly recommend lapbooking and A Journey through Learning is a great company to get them from. They offer many other homeschooling products like templates and organizers and copywork pages so be sure to check out their website at

Still not sure you’re ready to tackle this new craze? You can get a free lapbook, “An Overview of the 17th Century” from A Journey through Learning just by signing up for their free newsletter. This is a $13.00 value and you will receive discount specials and get information about our newest products when you sign up.

Please check out what the other crew members have to say about these great lapbooks at or by clicking on the link on my sidebar.

Thanks and Happy Homeschooling!

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