Hands-on learning that your children will ask to do!

by Nancy Fileccia


With the school season winding down, many parents start the frantic search for “summertime” learning activities! Many parents (and children) desire to put workbooks away and spend the summer doing fun, yet educational, activities. If your children love to cut, glue, and design, then lapbooks are perfect as a summer project! In many ways it is just like scrapbooking, but with an educational twist! Studies show that using creativity in the learning process serves to enhance a student’s experience, and while it is fun – it is so much more.

So, what exactly is lapbooking? Lapbooking is a hands-on, creative, fun and engaging learning tool, similar to the “File Folder Games” you may have used with your childen when they were younger. Lapbooks take a simple file folder to a different dimension!

Starting with your topic, which can be science, history, government, math and more, your child will write or draw pertinent facts into a creatively arranged system of mini-booklets! Within these mini-booklets, your child will retell information learned on the selected topic. Your child’s lapbook will become an amazing collection of ideas, definitions, and information. Now, your child has created an engaging portfolio of the topic filled with many of his or her own creative ideas!

For example, if you look at our lapbook entitled "Inside My Body," you will find study guides that cover such things as the nervous system, excretory system, respiratory system, digestive system, and skeletal system. Also covered is the brain, skin, muscles and joints, bones, skull, and heart! After each study guide page there is a mini-booklet template for your child to cut out, assemble, write in responses, and glue into the lapbook. We provide all the mini-booklets your child will need to complete each lapbook.


What is the benefit of using lapbooks? Studies show that if a child is involved in his or her own learning, the retention of information is higher. Kids are learning by doing! When your children add information in their own words into the mini-booklets, they’re pulling relevant information from the given topic, a note-taking skill that will serve your children throughout life. When students have to rewrite or retell the information, it increases their level of understanding and helps them to store the information in a more permanent location of the brain. It is a most valuable skill for higher-level learning. I love the old Chinese Proverb: "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand.”

Teaching our children to reach the highest form of learning is always our goal. Lapbooks, while fun, do actually teach several valuable lessons. Students learn to:

  • Gather facts and information (through reading, recall and recollection.)
  • Process gathered information by learning to choose correct answers using multiple choice, the process of elimination, and matching.
  • Make decisions about information. By understanding fundamental principles and concepts, students gain the ability to describe the information in their own words.
  • Discern what are valuable facts and how to apply what has been learned for problem-solving, demonstrating an ability to use what they know.
  • Inspire new ideas. The best way to know if your child has actually understood a topic is through discussion of the ideas and concepts studied. With lapbooking, that understanding is retold in each booklet that is filled out.

How many workbooks has your child not completed? What about reports or research projects that just drag on forever? The main reason that children don’t finish assigned lessons is that they lose interest or become bored. But, if you give your child a platform for creative thinking, a world of unlimited possibilities opens. The finished product with lapbooking not only leaves you with a project to be proud of, but also a perfect review tool. Children will actually enjoy looking back over their work and discussing what they have learned. As a matter of fact, often times, you’ll find that they want to share and show their work and end up teaching it to others in the process—which further integrates the information into a more permanent memory storage. Lapbooks also make a beautiful and impressive tool to show what you have covered during the year. Children relearn the information as they show parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even their state officials what they have done.

Albert Einstein said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Hands-on learning reaches all types of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Lapbooking covers it all!

Biographical information

Nancy Fileccia is a sixteen-year homeschooling veteran and co-owner of A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks with her best friend, Paula Winget. Not all lapbooks are created equal –A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks company produces over 400 stand-alone titles! With their lapbooks, you simply start learning! Everything you need is in the packet. They also create supplement lapbooks that go along with some of the top curriculum providers in homeschooling: Jeannie Fulbright’s Apologia, Jay Wile’s Science, TruthQuest History, Geography Matters, and A History of Us. Visit her website at www.ajourneythroughlearning.com

Copyright 2016 The Old Schoolhouse® used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the TOS Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or read it on the go by downloading the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read it on your mobile devices.