Gearing Up! Part 1 of 5 in Homeschool Share’s Lapbooking Series

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We at Homeschool Share are frequently asked about lapbooks.

How do you make them?

Where do you find them?

How do you design them?

How do you use them once they are made?

In order to answer these questions without getting overwhelmed by a LOT of information, we will have a Five Part Series dedicated to lapbooks. So here is . . .

The first step in lapbooking is gathering all your supplies. It is helpful to have all your supplies in one place, so lapbooking doesn’t become a chore, having to search everything out each and every time you lapbook. The ladies at the Homeschool Share Forum have offered up these suggestions of what they would include in a perfect lapbooking kit:

Some gals like to use a tote bag with lots of pockets, like those designed for scrapbooking, and others will just use a bin or drawer.

You’ll want to have a good assortment of paper to print your components on.
Astrobrights are preferred for their thickness and colors, and are available at Staples and Costco. You can also get 800 sheets of 24lb white paper for around $6.50 at Costco.

File Folders
Most lapbookers glue their components into file folders. Depending on the lapbook you are completing, sometimes two or three file folders are attached together to form one lapbook. The gals at HSS agree that Staples has the best prices and the best assortment of colors. Although they cost a bit more than your standard manila folders, children love having colorful folders to choose from. Buy what you can afford, stock up when there are sales, and eventually you’ll have a good selection.

Card Stock
A selection of cardstock is good to have on hand. My oldest daughter likes to glue her components to cardstock and store her lap-in-notes in a binder, so we actually go through more card stock than file folders. Card stock also works better than standard weight paper for some components. You can get 150 sheets of white cardstock at Wal-mart for around $5-$6. Again, colors are nice to have too.

Some moms don’t glue their components into file folders or onto cardstock. They prefer pre-made notebooks, especially those at Bare Books. They are spiral bound, hold up well, and are perfect for those larger lapbooking projects.

Adhesives will be needed to glue some components together, and to attach components into lapbooks. Some of our favorite adhesives are:
Double-sided tape – can be found for $1 (450 inches) at Family Dollar Stores
Rubber Cement – save money by buying by the quart at office supply stores.
Glue Sticks – stock up during back to school sales; we use a couple dozen a year!
Elmers Glue Pen – SUPER sticky and great for attaching small adornments to lapbooks.

Brads come in handy for wheels and fan books. Scrapbooking brads are smaller and MUCH easier to use. You can cut the ends off of the big fat brads from Staples if you need to. You can get the itty bitty brads at Hobby Lobby for 40-50% off when they have their Spare Parts on sale. Be on the look out for theme- related brads on sale. We’ve purchased fish and flower shaped brads at Big Lots for $1.

Sometimes you may want components that can be removed from your lapbook, and Velcro works great for this. While you can purchase Velcro dots, it is much cheaper to buy a roll and just cut it as needed.

Prisma Color Colored Pencils are the first choice for coloring in components. You’ll also want on hand some fine tip markers, and pencils. Things like glitter pens and puffy paint pens are also enjoyable to use to decorate lapbooks.

Embelishments are fun to decorate with. You can use up some scrapbooking supplies – buttons, ribbons, stamps, Sizzix, punches, brads, eyelets, stickers, etc. I buy up any cool stickers I find on sale and throw them in my kit – flags, flowers, animals, presidents, etc.

Other assorted items high on the list of should-haves include:
Scissors (straight edge is a must, but fancy cut are fun too!)
Stapler (a swivel one is nice, but you’ll definitely want one at least 4” deep)
Single Hole Punch (some prefer a 1/8″ hole punch.)
Three Hole Punch (if you think you’ll be making lap-n-notes)
Paper Cutter (makes life so much easier!)
Laminator (one HSS mom says, “I LOVE IT….. Couldn’t go without!”)

Lapbook Supply Kits are fun to assemble and don’t need to be expensive. As it is said, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and some of the most creative ideas need little or no money. Look around your house and in your craft stash. What can be recycled, reused, or repurposed? I’ve heard of people using brown paper bags (great for an old timey feel), pizza boxes (for lapbooks about Italy or pizza!), flattened cereal boxes (for lapbooks about grains or nutrition!) and old album sleeves (perfect for a 50’s or 60’s theme lapbook!) Keep your eyes open at thrifts and yard sales, you just never know what you’ll find!

If you subscribe to the blog at the link on the right, you’ll be sure not to miss Part 2, when we will discuss where to get all those wonderful lapbooks to use your fun new supplies on!

March Grand Giveaway


This month’s Grand Giveaway is sponsored by Apologia Educational Ministries. Apologia is a family-owned corporation with the mission to help homeschooling families learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.

Specializing in products and curriculum for science, Bible, worldview, homeschooling and other subjects, Apologia publishes books and curriculum that are written by a wide variety of authors. Apologia offers creation-based science curriculum for K-12, worldview curriculum for ages six to fourteen, practical and inspirational books about homeschooling, and other topics of interest to homeschool families.

Now for the prize. Apologia is offering up Debra Bell’s The Ultimate Homeschool Planner!

 Count your blessings while charting your family’s homeschool journey with this gorgeous day planner from best-selling author Debra Bell. The Ultimate Homeschool Planner will help you prayerfully prioritize your family’s lessons, assignments, and activities as well as academic and personal growth goals for each of your children. Includes teaching helps, record-keeping, and pages to document God’s faithfulness throughout the year.

Take a sneak peak of this lovely planner here. 

One very blessed homeschool mom will win a copy of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner!

I hope you win!

Click here to familiarize yourself with our contest rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saving the Day

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What do you have as a back-up plan for days that don’t go well?

Good question! I’m sure most can relate to school days where, due to bad attitudes, illness, lack of sleep, or just plain blahs, you’d rather go back to bed than even attempt to rescue a bad day. And sometimes that’s what’s needed! But there are other ways to chase away the galloping grumps, and bring joy to a seemingly lost day.

“…whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day.”Esther 8:17

Throughout the Bible, joy and feasting went hand-in-hand. When the school day doesn’t go as planned, I put away the books and get out the pots and pans. Together, we cook up a feast. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (and usually isn’t), just plentiful. And rejoice!

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with the free spirit.” Psalm 51:12

We try to focus on what is good, get into the Word together as a family, and rejoice in what the Lord has done for us. We repent of our grumbling and ask for joy to be restored in our day.

“Then shall the maiden rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together, for I will turn their mourning into joy…” Jeremiah 31:13

Get up and dance! It is hard to have a bad attitude when dancing – try it! We sometimes put on some music or a dancing video (Sweatin’ to the Oldies is fun!) and dance the grumps away.

“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

We pray for joy. That simple.

“Make a joyful noise unto God” Psalm 66:1

As with dancing, it is hard to have a bad attitude when making a joyful noise. Turn on some hymns, sing a song together, or if you are musically inclined, play an instrument. My “noise” isn’t that joyful, I couldn’t carry a note if it was in a paper bag. But I get my children to cheer up and laugh when I try. If someone is especially grumping, I’ll start singing “I’ve got joy, joy, joy way down in my heart…” waiting for their “Where?” They will be laughing and begging me to stop in no time. 

The disciples were filled with joy when “they shook off the dust of their feet.” Acts 13:51

So we had a bad day. Get past it. Let it go. It happens. And it will happen again. So we “shake the dust off our feet” by going for a walk, getting a change of scenery, and just moving on.

“The fruit of the spirit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

We make a fruit salad! If we are short on fresh or frozen fruit, we’ll make a trail mix with raisins, dried apricots, prunes, cranberries, apples, etc. As we are making and eating it, we’ll discuss Galatians 5:22. We also discuss how “fruit” is singular in this verse, and that if we are lacking joy in our day, it is most likely because we have fallen short in another area. As we purposefully reflect on this, we discover where we went wrong. Maybe we weren’t as loving or gentle as we should have been. Or we didn’t strive for peace. Take any of the fruit away, and there goes the joy. When it is realized that being joyful is often a choice we make, by the actions we take, we have better control of regaining it.

And if all else fails, we go ahead and take that nap!