Thursday, July 11, 2013

Six Reasons Why Lapbooks Provide Excellent Writing Practice

I'm an organizer, but I am not super creative. The first time I saw a lapbook, my mind traveled to the many different ways they could be utilized with my children. I generally utilized other people's ideas and I've found so many! Check out the links at the end of this blog for some of my favorite sites for lapbooking and mini book ideas.

As my children created lapbooks from parts of speech to Victorian America themes and beyond, I realized how much the process was encouraging them to write. Now that my children are grown and I teach full time, I continue to appreciate the value of lapbooks. Even in my online courses, lapbooks provide a creative outlet for my students to practice writing, editing and higher level thinking skills. Consider these reasons to use lapbooks to improve your child's writing skills:

  1. Fun, fun, fun while learning! My younger students enjoy creating the mini books representing the various parts of speech. Older students often like the opportunity to be creative and write outside of ordinary assignments.
  2. They even work for reluctant writers! Lapbooks allow for shorter writing assignments making the process less stressful for reluctant writers. Using shorter, more specifically focused writing assignments more often can help every writer improve.
  3. Every mom can evaluate them! We love, as homeschoolers, to assign reports and papers, but we don't necessarily enjoy evaluating those assignments. I have had moms confess to having a year full of writing sitting in a box ungraded. Children need immediate feedback on their written work, otherwise what is the point? Most moms find that evaluating a paragraph at a time makes their job easier.
  4. Watch the writing grow! As your child writes for each section of the lapbook, he can see his writing grow into a full-fledged project. This often encourages children to write more.
  5. Lessons and editing opportunities abound! Since writing assignments with lapbooks tend to be shorter, they offer multiple opportunities to have your child learn writing and self-editing skills integrated with the history, science or literature that you're already learning. For example, if your child struggles with using commas, one writing assignment may be edited together with you demonstrating how to properly use commas. With the next short writing assignment, have your child edit his own writing and then edit together. Use one of the last written portions of the lapbook as mastery or evaluating whether your child is using commas (or any skill you choose) properly. No tests needed!
  6. Provide lots of organizational thinking practice! Organizational thinking, particularly with writing, does not come easily for all children. Often, parents assume their children have these abilities and don't focus on this type of instruction. Lapbooks naturally lead to organizational thinking as long as you work through the process with your child and don't just organize the lapbooks yourself. Discussing the information that should be included and how that information would be best organized provides profound thinking skills. You may soon find your child organizing and planning lapbooks independently! - Jolanthe actually made these with her children @Lapbooks We've Made. concrete ideas with core and elective ideas for a variety of ages. So many ideas and I love the photos...they inspire me! - Not a homeschool site, but a beautiful scrapbook idea that could be used for older students or moms. These provide wonderful memory makers! - Another Pinterest many creative ideas that are very "do"able. - this site even has how-to videos for creating mini books and lapbooks.

Be sure to leave a comment if you visit any of these sites, have a fabulous site to share or just want to share your lapbook ideas with other moms. Watch for my next post about specific writing skills that can be effectively taught using lapbooks.



  1. We love lapbooks and now notebooks in our home. My favorite site is for lapbooks and for notebooks (my oldest prefers to TYPE so she creates her own template to use for science experiments, etc).

    Another good site is But I don't like their format quite as well as HOAC. But its a personal preference.

  2. Thank you for the link suggestions, Trena! The Hands of a Child site looks wonderful. I appreciate your recommendations. :)