3 Unit Studies and Lapbooks Finished!

Joseph, Emma, and Daniel each wrapped up their month long unit studies and glued together lapbooks yesterday.  They were so excited – it has been a long time since we’ve lapbooked and seeing a finished creation is so motivating.  I’ll show you exactly what made it into each lapbook below. Are you ready for a lot of pictures?

4.294Daniel’s Praying Mantis Lapbook – all the printables for this lapbook are free on Homeschool Share.  The flaps on the right are about places mantises can be found.

4.297Here you can see a few flaps including the world’s largest and smallest mantises.  We measured them out – 10 inches is scary big!  On the right is the back cover is a copy of Daniel’s report on praying mantises.  We broke the process up into stages, first he dictated one index card of information each day to Mommy, then it was typed up by Daddy word for word, and the final edit involved reading the report and adding anything else Daniel wanted to make it sound right.

4.295And in this you can see the cinquain poem Daniel dictated about mantises as well as a few more information flaps.

4.296This page has the mantis life cycle, diet, hunting habits and more.  You can see again how allowing Daniel to dictate his thoughts means we get a much fuller description of things like the stages of the praying mantis life cycle – he talks, I write.  I highly recommend this process of jotting down a child’s words for them!  They have so much to say and are not quite at the fine motor control to write it all themselves at age 6.

4.29Emma’s Snake Lapbook – We received this snake lapbook years ago as part of our Lifetime Membership at Hands of a Child and I printed out the pieces Emma wanted to use.  She loved the diagram of a snake head. (There is a free snake lapbook on Homeschool Share too, by the way.)

4.292You can see hints of Emma’s artistic nature if you look closely at the wheel.  She illustrated each habitat!  She also loved coloring the predator cards.

4.291When it was time to do a cinquain she chose the topic ‘rattlesnake’ and had fun illustrating it.  Another ‘Emma’ thing I noticed is in the snake life cycle diagram – she drew a clock to show it takes time for a snake to grow before it is ready to shed it’s skin.  Funny girl!

4.293And last but not least, here are a few more flaps with information and Emma’s report on snakes.  She followed a similar writing process, with index card notes done over a week, Daddy typing her cards into a document, and editing that document with Mommy.  The difference is that at age 8 she did most of the writing on the index cards and some of the typing/editing with Mommy.

4.299Joseph’s Lego Lapbook – While Joseph’s Lego study has ranged far and wide this month we stuck with the basic lapbook Ami offers free at Walking By the Way.  Joseph simply isn’t a fan of lapbooking.  The large flap on the right is his cinquain poem written in very small letters.

4.2910Here you can see some definitions he did and an estimation activity.  The activity was fun and simple.  He used a cup to scoop up some Legos, estimated how many would be there, then counted and compared the actual number.  When he repeated the activity his estimation was much closer to reality.

4.2911On the left he found Denmark on a map and included two vocabulary word flaps.  On the right is his Lego History report.  Again, a similar process was followed to his siblings, with Joseph writing notes on index cards, Daddy typing those into a document, and editing done with Mommy.

4.2913Joseph also traced a map of Denmark and it’s neighbors and created a map key.  He shared the steps of the manufacturing process and some basic Lego history as well.

4.2912You can see a fun graphing activity in this picture.  Anything that could add a hands on element to his study made Joseph very happy.

chalk_hand_lettering_shadedIf you’ve read some of my previous Lego unit study posts you’ve seen the flag of Denmark and a mosaic each made out of Legos.  One day this month he was inspired by the construction workers tearing up the street outside our door to create this Lego minifigure digging up the road.  :)

After a full month exploring topics of their own choosing they have fun memories and lapbooks to enjoy.  I can’t wait to see what they learn about next!  Have your children tried lapbooking?

Volcano Lapbook Finished


Today Joseph, Emma, and Daniel gathered the whole family to participate in erupting a homemade volcano, feeling the different textures of lava (flowing like honey and firm like clay), and finished their lapbooks.  It’s Saturday and I love that they enjoy learning and choose to do ‘school’ in their free time!

On the lapbooks we ended up putting some flat pieces on the front and back of each folder instead of adding a second folder.  All the pieces came from the V is for Volcano project pack from Hands of a Child.  The pieces cover the following information:

  • Volcano vocabulary – words that relate to volcanoes.
  • Three types of volcano – did you know they come in different shapes and those shapes mean something when it’s eruption time?
  • States of a Volcano – Are they active, dormant, or extinct?
  • Basic parts of a volcano – From the crater at the top to the vents and flank.
  • Hazards and Helps – While I knew volcanoes were hazardous even I learned of three ways volcanoes are helpful!
  • Textures of Lava – Where they recorded what lava feels like.
  • Skip counting by 5 and by 10 – A cute double pocket with number and picture cards to practice skip counting to 50.  Why 50?  Because that is how many volcanoes have erupted in the USA in recorded history.

We had a great time learning about volcanoes this week.  I love seeing the little lights go on as they read and listen to books, look at pictures, and watch videos.

Next week we’re dipping into history with some castle studies – unless something else more interesting comes along!

Week in Review #5–Art and Play and Popcorn

This week we began implementing our 4 R’s focus (read more here).  We’re spending time in our scriptures first thing each morning, then we work through math, spelling, reading, and writing.  This has been a lot of fun, mostly because the children then have lots of time to play.  It is fun to see the things they gravitate towards.  One day this week I saw this:100_6093Makayla was playing piano just because she loves it, the middle four were play with Citiblocs, and Caleb off to the right had just noticed the blocks.  After this picture he army crawled his way in the middle of the fun to chew on a few Citiblocs. 

On Thursday Joseph and Emma finished their Hoppin Popcorn study, so I’ll share a few pictures.  100_6100We had a lot of fun with this one and now Joseph has an entire notebook with lapbook about popcorn and the states that are the top popcorn growers.  Here are some of his pages: 100_6102

He learned about corn plants.  Did you know that not just any corn can be popped?  It takes a specific moisture content to pop.  Too much or too little and you’re out of luck.


We learned about five different states that are major popcorn producers. 

100_6104 We even learned some of the crazy things corn is an ingredient in.  Eww!  I didn’t share pictures of his lapbook, but you’ll see a few of the pieces as you look at Emma’s next.Emma did the lapbook portion of Hoppin Popcorn only, skipping the notebook.  Here is the inside: 100_6098  On the left is a graphing piece, then an accordion full of popcorn related vocabulary.  100_6099

She took the state notebook pages and made them into flaps for her lapbook. 

The girls seem to have gotten bit by the drawing bug, all they have done for the last several days is draw.  It always amazes me to see Emma’s artwork.  She is only 5 and her drawing are nearly as good as her 10 year old sisters!  Want to see some of their creations? 

100_6105Makayla did these two.  The top one is an elf riding a horse.  The bottom is a horse in a field with the barn nearby. 100_6107 Emma’s first picture is a princess on her royal horse.100_6109Makayla’s next picture is a thorny lizard.  He looks quite fierce, doesn’t he?  100_6108Emma’s baby horse was a boy.100_6112Makayla’s giant anteater.100_6113Emma’s hermit crab.100_6115Makayla also drew a nest with a cardinal family.

In other things this week we’ve just tried to stay cool.  That meant eating lots of homemade popsicles and playing in the sprinkler.  Today seems to be destined for thunderstorms, so the windows are actually open.

That’s all for our week.  What have you been up to?

This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up.

Week in Review #3–Consistent yet Flexible

Life here are Our Busy Homeschool is never boring.  With Mommy already beginning to feel the joys of morning sickness we’re working on consistency in the basics and flexibility for everything else.  This week’s homeschool happened at all hours of the day or evening, which is very unusual for us, but we just have to do it when I’m not trying to throw up.  Here are the highlights:

100_5959We’ve been using a new building set this week as a family called CitiBlocs and having a great time.  Watch for my review next week!  Five Little Peppers and How They Grew is our family read aloud for Book Club.  I had never read it and so far we are all enjoying it.  The older children have also written, practiced, and performed a new play every night at dinner.  They’ve ranged from originals like Rat Attack to their own interpretation of Hercules and the Monster.

Makayla pushed through another week in Math U See Gamma and is so ready for things to get easy again with the next book.  She’s doing great though, as long as she keeps her attitude in check.  Her botany has been waiting around for one of our flowers to bloom in the backyard for an experiment.  It finally bloomed today, so we’re heading out back this afternoon to get to work while we enjoy the sunshine.  She’s enjoying Vikings in history.

Joseph still finds math easy and likes it.  Can all my children be like this please?  He’s read several readers to me this week.  His favorite subject has been science though.  He’s still working through Rocking Robots and bravely writing in most of the answers himself – something that is quite a challenge for a 6 year old boy. 

Emma’s big accomplishment is she finished her Bees lapbook this week! 100_6024 She worked hard on it and I’m so proud of her.  It makes me a bit teary-eyed because she’s the same age Makayla was when we first discovered lapbooking.  Time flies!  She’s also keeping up in math and history just fine.

Daniel has not wanted to do anything this week but play.  Guess what – that’s fine with me!  He’s 3 and playing is hard work.  He read a few books with mommy, but mostly he has been busy with toys.

Oliver’s favorite thing this week is catch.  We have to keep an eye out because you just never know what he’s going to throw at you next. 

Caleb is 6 months old today.  I can hardly believe it, he’s growing so fast.  He was sitting at dinner last night snacking his lips and trying to get everyone’s food so we finally let him try solids.

100_6003He wasn’t too impressed with peas.   100_6002 That’s enough highlights from our week – how was yours?

This post is linked to the Weekly Wrap-Up.

Recycling Lapbook Complete!


We have a few more activities to do together in our recycling unit study, but Makayla finished her lapbook today and I wanted to share it.  We used a few different resources, but the majority of the lapbook is from Hands of a Child’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Project Pack.  Some of the larger colored pieces were from a recycling activity book we found for free online.  When you first open it up this is what you see:100_5334

You’ll notice that the folder is a special one that had extra flap extensions already on it!  You can buy these and other wonderful lapbooking helps from Pear Educational Products.  This one has another flap to open: 100_5335

Makayla needed all the extra room!  If you’re interested in what is one each page you can keep reading, I’ll do closer shots and tell you a bit about what you see.


Here we have the recycling symbol, with a little information on each arrow related to how we can reduce, reuse, or recycle things.  The three flaps across the bottom are things we’ve reused in our house.  Under the flaps she tells some of the different ways we’ve reused clothes, boxes, and paper. 100_5340

This page has a list of reusable things in our house under the flap on the left.  The numbered piece on the right is where she recorded the five steps of the recycling process:

  1. Separate trash from recyclables.
  2. Recycling plants collect your materials.
  3. They process them (melting metals, etc).
  4. The materials are turned into new things.
  5. We buy the new items.


Page three has a flap on the top left where Makayla kept a journal of things ways she reduced her trash output.  The orange pocket has eight cards inside listing reasons to recycle.  The flap at the bottom is where she told the difference between a landfill and incinerator and the drawbacks to each.


This page holds a coloring page she did about different plastics you can recycle on the bottom.  The top is an accordion that pulls out to show the 7 questions to ask yourself before buying something new.  (They are great questions!) 100_5347

Lifting up that flap reveals this page.  Along the left is a fact sheet about how many times different materials can be melted down or reused in new ways.  The top right has 13 vocabulary words we talked about through the unit, including steward, compost, incinerator, and decompose.  The folded up flap on the right is a graph she created about the packaging of things she found around the house.  She had to decide if they were over packaged, had reusable packaging, or if the packaging was recyclable. 100_5344

One last page with several pieces on it is all that is left.  The top left has the title “What am I made out of?” and underneath are pictures of things like t-shirts, pencils, and aluminum foil, and she decided what each was made from.  Under the Materials that Can Be Recycled you find information about biodegradable and industrial recyclables.  The petal book with no label has information about composting inside.  The Hazardous Waste envelope is where Makayla told what the dangers are of hazardous waste, as well as listing some items that fit this category (paint, batteries, etc).

If you’re thinking about doing a similar unit study in your family you can see the resources we’ve used in this post.

Living and Nonliving Things Lapbook


One of the fun things we did Monday was do some exploring with our pocket microscope to go with the unit Joseph and Emma have been working on.  I actually put Makayla in charge of that, so she helped the four younger siblings use the microscope.  All I did was run the camera.  They looked at both living and nonliving things, and learned that cells are so tiny that we can’t see them without magnifying things.

Tuesday Joseph and Emma finished up their lapbooks and unit about living and nonliving things


Hooray!  I’m so proud of them, they really enjoyed working on this unit and understood the concepts really well.  I have no idea what they’re going to want to learn next, but I’m sure it will be interesting.  If you’re interested in doing this lapbook we got ours from Hands of a Child.

Week in Review #70: Mixing the Holidays

Thanksgiving and Christmas have started at my house.  It really is rather interesting.  We have been practicing Christmas songs – I love hearing my little children singing both on key and off.  I have one dear boy, Joseph, who also tends to sing off time from everyone else…LOL.  When we do our song practice we also recite the gratitude scripture verses we’ve been working on (D&C 59: 7, 21).  With this it is Daniel who is so sweet to watch.  He repeats right after us, but inevitably lags just a bit behind trying to get out all those big words.  If we start to say the next phrase before he’s done he will literally cry, because he wants to say it all too.  So we are all learning patience as we give everyone enough time to participate. 

We have also done one full week of our Thanksgiving unit study.  We are about 50 pages into Stories of the Pilgrims, our read aloud.  Everyone is enjoying it, and the general rule is I read while they work on a printable page that is Thanksgiving related.  We are at the point in the story where the Pilgrims have finally been able to leave England and go to Holland.  Did you realize that they had to make several attempts to even get there?  The king sent soldiers and caught them the first time they tried to leave by ship, then threw everyone (men, women, and children) into prison. 

The second time only part of the Pilgrims made it on ship (most of the men, who were loading their things).  When the captain of that ship saw the soldiers coming he pulled up anchor, despite the fact that all the women and children, and a few men, were still on shore.  Those left behind were again put in prison for a while.  They did not join their husbands in Holland for a while, as money had to be earned again to make the trip.  What a difficult time that would have been!  My children have been following the story eagerly, and sometimes the questions they ask remind me just how blessed we are to live in our day and country.

The basics, math/reading/spelling and such have just moved right along this week.  Daniel and Oliver are still excited to do Little Reader (read my review), which is very funny to watch.  They still ask to do more.  Makayla has been reading books I got at the library book sale last weekend.  As of yesterday she had finished The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Adventures of Robin Hood both.  She really loved Sherlock Holmes, she’s in to mystery type books at the moment.  I’ll have to wait and see what book she begins reading next.

100_4298The other thing finished this week was Makayla’s American Government lapbook.  She learned a lot in this unit, though there was so much more we could have studied too.  I’m sure we’ll come back around to the topic again down the road.  Here is a look at the first folder inside the lapbook:  100_4303

It took two folders to hold the pieces.  100_4300 I thought it was funny that she wanted to glue in the little information bits from her reading about American symbols, as she already has an entire lapbook on them, but whatever works!

That is the end of another week.  I’m off to enjoy the rest of the day with my children, and probably to read some more of Stories of the Pilgrims.

Meerkat and Space lapbooks

I have my camera back so here are photos of the lapbooks my children finished last week.  First up, Emma’s Meerkat lapbook (free on Homeschool Share, and we skipped some pieces, so there is more there).


She is my bright rainbow coloring girl.  I suspect her artistic side is much stronger than my other children’s so far, as she will sit and draw or color for hours and ask for more.


You can see inside some of her favorite pieces here.  If a piece involves writing I just have her narrate her answers and I write them for her.  It makes lapbooking more enjoyable for a 4 year old.


Joseph’s lapbook is one I got free as part of my lifetime super membership to Hands of a Child.  It is called Exploring Nearby Space, and again, there were more pieces we could have done for the lapbook, but we choose a few and run with them instead.


Joseph really enjoyed this lapbook and I need to make time to explore his love of space further very soon here.  What I found neat to watch was his attempts to read the pieces he was gluing in, as several had cut and paste answers he could use.


Makayla also did the Meerkat lapbook Emma made.  She liked learning about meerkats.  We do not have tv channels, so she the only meerkats she has ever seen are the ones in the Disney movie series The Lion King. 100_4135

She chose to use markers as well, and colored almost every available spot on the pieces.


As you can see, Makayla writes her own narrations in.  This minibook had flaps about several jobs in a meerkat colony. 100_4138

We had fun with all our lapbooking last week.  As of right now the kids do not have lapbooking planned for this week, but we’re in the midst of lots of other fun things.

What was the last lapbook your child made?  Do you have a favorite lapbook or lapbooking company?

Tiger Lapbooks and More


I mentioned yesterday that Makayla blew through the Tiger Lapbook from Homeschool Share in just two days.  Here are the pictures of her finished lapbook. 100_4092

The cute little tigers on the corners of this page actually cover up a question about tigers and the answer Makayla wrote.  In the Finding Prey flap she wrote about how tigers hunt as well as the kinds of prey they eat.  Here is a picture inside the other three pieces:


She was impressed to learn that tiger canine teeth are as long as her finger (3 inches).


In the second folder of the lapbook are two more question tigers, a drawing she made of a tiger, information about their habitat and home, and vocabulary.  Here is a picture with the funny tiger flap on the right opened: 100_4099

It is where she talked about tiger anatomy, how God’s design for parts like their eyes and claws works for their lifestyle.


Emma also made a little lapbook Tuesday.  This picture shows her narration about tigers, which I wrote down as she said it.


Under the narration she drew a tiger in his habitat (the forest).  It reminds me of a coyote, but I won’t tell her that!


Inside her little lapbook she has two flaps.  T is for. . . Tiger, and a flag of India she colored because we have been studying India, after all, and tigers live in India.


Yesterday evening the three oldest children decided they wanted to work on another lapbook starting TODAY.  If anyone is wondering what to get me for Christmas already, paper and toner might me good (haha).  We use so much of it!  Emma asked to do the Meerkat Lapbook from Homeschool Share and Makayla is doing that one too.  Joseph chose the Exploring Nearby Space lapbook from Hands of a Child.  Space is something he loves, so he is pretty excited about this lapbook.

Joseph was very specific that I print his lapbook pieces on colored paper so he doesn’t have to color anything unless he wants to.  Yes, that’s my son.  The girls, on the other hand, wanted their pieces printed on white paper so they can color and decorate to their hearts’ content.  Funny, but true.  Joseph will probably blow through making his lapbook in a day or two, while the girls may take longer with their coloring and creating.  I cut out some of their pieces last night to expedite the lapbooking today.

Where will Daniel and Oliver be in all of this lapbooking?  Well, Daniel will probably be cutting with scissors.  That is his favorite thing to do.  He may ask for some glue to put all the bits into a folder.   Oliver, on the other hand, will be coloring with markers.  He has become quite the coloring snob!  He does not want anything to do with crayons if there are markers available.  He will go through his coloring box and throw every crayon on the ground, leaving all the markers in his box to use.  It’s very funny.

This post is also linked to Walls of Art Wednesday, as my girls were both quite excited to share their tiger drawings from their lapbooks.  Maybe next week we’ll have a planned art project to share – I’m getting in the mood for some fall leaf crafts!   

If the World Were a Village Lapbook

world village

Today Makayla saw a book I had picked up at the library called If the World Were a Village by David Smith. I knew it would be an interesting go-along for our Expedition Earth study of different countries. I mentioned that I had a lapbook to go with it and she told me to start printing. You can find the lapbook free on Homeschool Share. An hour later Makayla finished the lapbook and so here it is. 100_4020

If you are unfamiliar with the story, the author takes the population of the entire world and boils it down to a village of 100 people. 100_4021

In a village of 100 people how many would be from Asia, or South America? How many would be able to learn to read and write? How many would speak each language and how many would consider themselves belonging to a specific religion? How many people would have enough food to eat each day? This book shows a very interesting picture of our world on a child’s level. 100_4025

One question this book brought out of my daughter was why so many people do not have enough to eat if there is plenty of food in the village/world. It is an interesting question, and one hard to answer on a 9 year old’s level. The book simply says this:

“There is no shortage of food in the global village. If all the food were divided equally, everyone would have enough to eat. But the food isn’t divided equally.” (p. 17)

So how would you answer my daughter’s question?

The author has also written If America Were a Village. I am waiting for my library to find a copy for me, but when it does maybe I will create a lapbook to go along.