Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Journey Through Learning (A Homeschool Crew Review)

If you've ever browsed through the website Currclick, you'll bound to have come across the name A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks, a company who specializes in easy to assemble lapbook templates covering a variety of topics from literature, holidays, sciences, history and more.   My
family and I have used many of their lapbooks in the past and have always enjoyed them.  So when members of the crew were given the opportunity to review our choice from a large selection of their offerings, I was thrilled to be able to select the  lapbook that went along with Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, just one of the selections available on their Apologia Lapbook page.  This worked right into our current scheduled curriculum as we had just started the book with the kids.  This particular lapbooking supplement is geared for grades 4 and up and does require the Apologia text in order to use properly.

If you're not completely familiar with lapbooking - I should explain.  Think of lapbooks as an educational scrapbook for a particular topic. Lapbooks combine notebooking with fun little activities that are arranged in a file folder to create a learning book.  This allows for students to include a large amount of information into an easy to handle medium in which to keep it.  Activities typically include cutting, gluing and coloring, allowing for a more "hands on" approach than just a worksheet and pencil. Items are glued down into the folder making it less likely to lose the components.  Once the lapbook is completed, the student then has a fun, artistic learning tool that they can be proud of and that provides a neat visual for them to go back and review what they are learning.   

However, sometimes, creating a lapbook can be rather overwhelming.  Sometimes it's really difficult to figure out where each component should go on the file folder or the instructions are unclear how to fold the files (some lapbooks require multiple file folders to be glued together) to create the base for the components.  This is not a problem when it comes to A Journey Through Learning.  Starting with high quality instructions on how to assemble your file folder before starting, clear instructions how how to assemble each "mini book" or component printed at the top of each activity, to providing a diagram at the top of the page to show where to place the finished component in the lapbook, A Journey Through Learning Lapbook takes the hard work and frustration out of the project and instead makes a user friendly experience, perfect for those new to lapbooking and for experienced lapbookers alike. 

The Lapbook selection we picked had the option of both color printables or black and white.  Since I have a black and white printer, we opted to use the black and white version.  I really liked that both options were available instead of just color as this really helps with toner usage (line drawings vs greyscale images) and those who like brightly illustrated images have that option as well.

One of the main things I really enjoy about the A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks, especially with the Apologia science series, is that even when using the Apologia Notebooking Journal, the material in the Journey Through Learning Lapbook covers more of the lesson.  For example, for the skeletal system lesson, the kids had to complete activities in regards to identifying bone shapes, bone anatomy, how bones heal themselves after a break, and to identify the different type of joints in the body, where as the notebooking journal had very limited activities such as labeling the major bones of the skeleton and a few brief notebooking pages.  My opinion is both are valuable but when used together, really help to reinforce the lesson by presenting multiple activities that cover different aspects of the lesson and I find that the material covered by the lapbooking activities are a bit more in depth than those in the journal. 

Another reason I really enjoy using these lapbooks in our classroom is that Garrett tends to accept filling out the mini-books better than he does with worksheets and handouts.  Garrett hates writing and he hates to color, however, there's something about completing a component to a lapbook that allows him to overcome his disdain of writing or coloring in order to complete the task at hand.  This makes for a much more productive learning environment for us on a whole. 

Another great thing about the lapbook folders is that they can conveniently be tucked right inside our notebooking journal once we complete the day's activity along with printouts for activities for future lessons. This makes it very easy to just grab the books we need without having to dig out multiple components - I just tell the kids to get their science lessons and it's all there ready to go.

As said above, we have used A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks in the past and each time it has been a wonderful experience for the kids and they offer an extensive index of the various lapbook options they provide.  I highly recommend their lapbooks as a supplement to the Apologia Exploring Creation series. 

A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks can be found on the following social media platforms:

Twiiter:  https://twitter.com/AJTL_Lapbooks  @AJTL_lapbooks

Crew members were given the choices of reviewing one of the available Apologia lapbook options as well as The Greatest Inventors  (a stand alone product for grades 2-8), An Overview of the 20th Century (a stand alone product for grades 2-7), Classical Conversations Cycle 3 JUNIOR Activity Book (grades K-2) and Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book (grades 3-6). Be sure to click the banner below to read what other members of the crew thought of these different products. 

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

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