7. Lapbooking with 12 yo +

Achievable ‘Bite-sized’ Pieces

A lapbook each 4-8 weeks is a good turnover – keeps up the pace, interest and motivation levels, covers a wider range of topics in a year, and a good range of schooly-type subjects annually. Some shorter or quicker one/s help with the focus and the thrill of finishing something.

Home educating parents write of having a young or reluctant writer, male and female, but notice that short little books and ‘bite-sized pieces’ to work on are more motivating to their children.

The visual, kinaesthetic nature of lapbooks also help dyslexic young people to be involved and to learn.

Breaking down a large or difficult subject into small bites helps the children and teens learn, and the little bites can be applied to the folds and booklets for the lapbook. Small accomplishments help them handle the big projects.

Creative Motivation

Lapbooks are wonderfully creative and ingenious presentation folders with their booklets and folds that organise and display what the children are learning.

Lapbooking brings a source of pride and is a great, creative way to motivate a child to learn, because it gives your child more opportunity to take ownership of their projects.

They learn to motivate themselves to research, organise, and present work well. Let them choose their own topic, not you. The topic or subject would then appeal to their interests.  Motivation is best when it comes from within. Brainstorm with them on paper … if they don’t want to write it, write down their ideas for them and have them keep it in their bag/folder.

Because of this ownership and internal motivation, lapbooks are also great for review – helping the memory and learning process.

One home educating mother writes: “I saw a glimpse of the future… when our kids are making presentations for their jobs, or even in college perhaps. They will have so much experience in making choices for presentation that it will be second nature and will be a real asset.”

Hands-on Approach

I love the way the children bring out their lapbooks to show Grandma, their friends, and to have a read and re-read over the months.

The booklets and flaps add a mystery or adventure for the younger children – for the teens, it appeals to those interested in paper crafts and the kinaesthetic, hands-on types.

A lapbook can incorporate skills of card-making, scrapbooking, origami, calligraphy, and design.

Some approach a lapbook with more of a scrapbook approach using fancy papers and scissors and little “doo-dads” to use such as buttons, brads, board die-cuts etc to add interest.

Many enjoy the hands-on learning, planning, and layout. Younger ones will need help to choose the right folds and help with the research, but lapbooking is flexible and can be altered to suit your child’s needs.

As you do assignments or projects keep thinking “this could go in a lapbook”. Then when the subject or unit is finished, as a review or wrap-up, have them assemble the lapbook.


Give your student-teen an outline of what is to be covered.
Teach them step-by-step about mind maps or concept webs. 
How to define their topic or scope of subject.

Give them the responsibility of doing the research,

·       finding and reading the information
(in books, on the internet, in magazines, from ‘experts’), and then 

·       planning and

·       executing the cutting,

·       the folds and booklets,

·       locating or creating the drawings, photos and graphics and

·       the layout or formatting

– with limited direction or help with the process from the (home) educating parent.

This control of the process will help them apply and remember (as well as record) what they present.

More for the older set (teens):


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