Many people have probably heard the term “Lapbooking” and wondered what that meant.  If you have not entered the world of lapbooking, let me help you!

I’m going to first explain what Lapbooks are (and the binder option) as well as show you an amazing lapbook download for those who use Classical Conversations….and I’m giving one away!! Even if you don’t use Classical Conversations, I hope that you find this post informative for you!!

Example of lapbooks (folder version and binder version) from

What is a lapbook?

First here is a LONG definition:

A lapbook is an inexpensive portfolio
or collection of mini-books, flaps, and folded display material,
that provides interactive space
for drawings, stories,
graphs, graphics, timelines, diagrams,
and written work,
from any topic, unit study, book you choose,
gathered, glued, and creatively displayed
in a coloured standard sized cardboard folder,
often folded in a “shutter-fold”  (though our family doesn’t),
that fits in your lap. —Johanna Whittaker (c) 2008

Whew!  That was a mouthful!  How about a shorter definition?

A lapbook is a project book or file folder, laid out in a creative manner, that fits in the child’s lap. –

Well, just in case that didn’t help, here is further explaination:

First we should start with the term “notebooking.”  Notebooking is a way to create a permanent record of what you’re learning.  I have used this method with my children for years.  The idea in it’s simplest form would be to study a topic then to record notes, ideas, pictures…of that topic on paper.  Some might make their notebook entry into a beautiful work of art, while others might just use a pen or pencil to jot down some things to remember and maybe a simple drawing or diagram.  It’s kinda like keeping a diary for your learning.

An example of Notebooking
An example of Notebooking

Lapbooking takes the idea of notebooking and makes it more interactive.  Instead of a flat piece of paper, you could use folds and flaps to create a sort of “lift-the-flap” or “pop-up” type page.  Then you assemble all your creative and interactive entries onto a “lapbook” which is a series of file folders attached together.  It creates a book that opens and opens to reveal the entries.  In a sense, you could put this file folder book in your lap and open it up turning, lifting, and revealing a series of facts about the items studied.  This is GREAT especially for those artistic and hands-on learners.

Why should you use them?

Well, first, like I said above, if you have a child that loves to cut and paste, color and create, then this is for you!  Or maybe you have a kid that has to be very hands-on with everything he/she does.

Also, you can use the time working on your lapbook as a time of review.  Do you lapbooking as you learn something new, then continue to come back to your lapbook to review the material!

Older kids?  Not into Lapbooks?

An example of lapbooks done as a binder instead of a fold-out folder
An example of lapbooks done as a binder instead of a fold-out folder

There’s another option.  I personally have not done the lapbook method as an actual file folder lapbook.  Because I was familiar with notebooking, I like the idea of putting things into a binder.  Karen at Wisdom & Righteousness has also included instructions for a binder which I LOVE!

 Why I like Wisdom & Righteousness Lapbooks

First, I love that everything is ready for our CC work!  My daughter can fill int he blanks and review CC Foundations work as she goes.

Second, I love that she gives both the option to make a traditional lapbook and a binder.  I love the binder option so that’s what we do!

Third, it’s all done for me.  There are tons of resources out there to teach you how to make your own lapbook for any subject, but I just don’t have the time.  This lapbook is set up for me, she gives detailed instructions on what paper to use, and how to create it.  There’s even tons of video tutorials.  Here is one explaining her Fine Arts lapbooks:

So, are you excited?   I really love notebooking and lapbooking and find that it’s a great way to really dig into what we’re learning!

If you are a Classical Conversations member and would like to enter to win a Cycle 3 package from Wisdom and Righteousness, enter now!!

To learn more about the Cycle 3 package, click here


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