Homeschooling moms Paula Winget and Nancy Fileccia have developed an extensive line of lapbooks. While A Journey Through Learning lapbooks are very similar to others in format and design, they have created lapbooks to accompany some of the most popular programs. Among these “companion” lapbooks are those for the Trail Guide to Learning series, Cantering the Country, Galloping the Globe, Trail Guide to U.S. Geography, Trail Guide to World Geography, and Trail Guide to Bible Geography (primary books all from Geography Matters), the TruthQuest series, and Apologia's Young Explorer Science series.
You can order digital versions of these lapbooks, and some are available in print. Printed lapbooks are sometimes in black and white and sometimes in color. Black and white pages allow students to color, personalizing the appearance of their finished product. Those printed in color feature vivid colors, making it easy for even the artistically-challenged child to produce a very nice-looking final product.
I was really impressed with the Trail Guide to Learning Lapbooks that I was able to review. There are actually two lapbook sets for each Trail Guide to Learning course—one for each of the two volumes. Within each set are three lapbooks to construct—a total of six lapbooks for each two-volume Trail Guide study. In the set for Paths of Exploration that I reviewed, students construct a lapbook for each of the primary study areas: Columbus, Jamestown, Pilgrims, Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, and Trails West. The lapbook approach is entirely in keeping with the Charlotte Mason approach of the Trail Guide, but it does not cover all assignments in the study. Students will be doing quite a bit of writing, drawing, and other work besides the lapbooks since this is a very comprehensive study covering many subject areas. But the activities in the lapbooks contribute directly to the study to teach and reinforce lesson material in a manner that should appeal to many students. They are not “fluffy” artwork that could just as easily be skipped. Instead, the activities accomplish such things as teaching geography and vocabulary, reviewing key points, and creating an easy study guide for review.
Representative of the lapbooks for the Apologia Young Explorer Science courses is the Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Lapbook. It helps students in grades 2-7 create a beautiful version of the notebook they would otherwise be compiling for this Apologia science course. The lapbook covers all activities except those for older students and the major experiments and activities like a scavenger hunt.
Other lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning cover topics across the curriculum, including history, science, Bible, math, studies of chapter books, seasons, and unit studies. Some of these are to be used alongside other books or resources, and some contain their own study guides and are stand-alone products.
The publisher tells me their best seller is Inside My Body, a stand-alone lapbook with study guide for students in grades two through seven to study the human body. It includes pages with text-like material interspersed between the lapbook creation activities. Enrichment pages at the back include a list of extra reading material, a book log, a book report form, a unique “NICK” list form that students can use to organize information, outline forms, and narration forms.
Charlotte Mason methodology plays a major role in all the products I reviewed as evidenced by the incorporation of narration, dictation, investigation, discussion, drawing, real books, and other techniques. In addition, all lapbooks I reviewed had Christian content. Even Inside My Body begins with students copying Genesis 1:27.