Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A TOS Review: Lapbooking Made Simple

I must confess. I (heart) lapbooking. It is one of my favorite teaching tools.  It’s like scrapbooking meets a review. Or scrapbooking meets the book report. Or scrapbooking meets the unit study. You can tell I really like scrapbooking…plus all that other stuff.

I just had the chance to review Lapbooking MadeSimple from Real Life Press. While I have used the lapbooking method for years now, I know lots of homeschooling families who have never even heard of lapbooking or don’t know how to implement it into their own homeschools. This is a great resource to point them to…plus, I’ve come away with lots of ideas for myself.

You might have heard of Heidi St. John from The BusyMom. I get her newsletter emails regularly and I’m always so blessed by her words of encouragement (and of those who contribute). She owns Real Life Press. This is a Christian company that provides terrific and meaningful resources.

What I Received

Lapbooking Made Simple is a 54 page Ebook written by Heidi St. John. Heidi takes the reader step-by-step through the whole lapbooking process.

It came in a PDF file which, of course, you can send to your Kindle or simple print it out. I read it on my computer and printed off the minibook templates (more on that in a minute).

She just doesn't provide us with informative text, but the book is visually lovely. She has provided plenty of  pictures for those of us who need to look at something pretty and helpful. Which, I suspect, is all of us.  

There are 6 chapters in Lapbooking Made Simple.

Chapter 1: What is Lapbooking?

So maybe have wondered this yourself. Heidi gives some great examples of things that can be included in your lapbook She also gives us the golden rule of lapbooking. Your lapbook belongs to your child. I admit it. I have  frequently intermittently interfered. I am very visual and have a certain opinion of who things should look. I took some of Heidi’s advice in our final project, which you shall see in a minute. She also encourages us to make a mess. Which is not a problem for us.

Chapter 2: Unit Studies and Lapbooking.

This chapter talks about how easy it is to marry my two favorite things. Unit Studies and Lapbooks.  I really appreciated the time spent talking about different learning styles.

Chapter 3: Getting Started

This is for those of us who just need a list. We are given 5 helpful steps to just get the ball (or lapbook) moving.  Heidi is not afraid to talk about some of her own mistakes. One of them, hurrying your gang through the creative process, is one I’m guilty of. “Come on and color the dude’s steel plated armor already! We’ve got math to do!” 

This is a list of just some helpful tips. I consider most of them to be useful in almost every situation. Not just lapbooking. 

Chapter 4: Lapbooking Elements

In this chapter, Heidi talks about the elements of lapbooking and why each one is successful. On element in particular, the “tag wheel,” was one I hadn’t heard of before. It’s simply genius.

Chapter 5: Lapbooking versus Notebooking
This is a great chapter for resources. Heidi talks about the differences between lapbooks and notebooks. We’ve utilitized both.  The list of resources is really great. I am going to get a lot of mileage out of them, I can tell.

Chapter 6: Your First Lapbook Step-by-Step.

Here it is. The chapter that leads you through the process. Heidi is really detailed with her instructions. At the end of the chapter there are mini-book templates that you can print out and use in your lapbooks.

How I Used It

So I’ve already confessed my little problem of “control freakiness.”  This extends to only certain areas of my life. I am currently praying for the spirit of “control freakiness” over my laundry to fall fresh on me.


I decided to apply some of the principles I learned by having my little reading club make a lapbook. We chose to make a lapbook all about the Pony Express.

Heidi suggests using cardstock for the minibooks, but I used my “use what I have” principle and simply used regular computer paper. I just copied the templates for the minibook.

The kiddos loved every minute. We made messes. We made memories.

One young man (age 11) told me it was the funnest. After I corrected his grammar, I agreed with him.

My own son (age 13) told me on our way home that "he missed it already."

They were all so proud of their lapbooks. 

I have to say that even though we’ve been lapbooking for quite some time now, I learned a lot through Lapbooking Made Simple. If you are just a lapbooking newbie or a veteran I think you will find it a great resource. It’s like having Heidi with you at your kitchen table talking about decorative scissors and flap books. I am glad I have it in my library! (I also think it’s a really great deal…Gocheck it out!)

 You can connect with Heidi via the following social media outlets. Click on the banner to read more reviews. Members of the TOS Crew reviewed this product and a few more.  

Real Life Press Review

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