The Greatest Inventors from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks: A TOS Crew Review

A Journey Through Learning   Our family follows a more literature rich style of learning. We love good books and that is where I am most comfortable teaching. Still, we like to experience new styles of learning. The girls especially like to try new things when they involve hands-on learning, which is exactly what The Greatest Inventors from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks gave them!  Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide If you have never heard of lapbooks the best way I can describe it is the process of students recording and compiling their learned information into a scrapbook created with file folders. As the students study they record the information and include it in the lapbook. This style of learning is very creative, but in an orderly way.  

When I told them we would be using a lapbook they were thrilled! I prepared notebooks for them with the study material. There are many wonderful option resources listed for use to study. Many of the titles for this inventor study were already familiar to me and most are available at our local library. The extensive list of resources gives plenty of options for how in-depth you want your students to study. At the same time, the study material included is enough for a full learning experience. I chose to do the latter and allowed the girls to study further whichever inventors the wanted. 

Since all three girls are excellent readers, so I decided to try a traditional classroom trick. I had each of them take turns reading paragraphs from the research material. I had no idea how they would feel about this approach, but they seemed to love it! I love how well-researched and factual the material is, while at the same time being intriguing for my daughters.

After reading each selection the girls recorded the information where prompted and cut out the appropriate portion to include in their lapbooks. 
They glued and compiled their lapbooks eagerly! They also asked daily when it would be time to work through the study again, Grace especially. I think she loved it because to her it felt very grown up to learn this way. She is 7 and eagerly looking for opportunities to do more grown up things. To have the opportunity to learn alongside her older sisters really meant a lot to her. We don’t do this all the time, so it was certainly a novelty!  

Although this is not our typical way to study, I was highly impressed with The Greatest Inventors. In all honesty I have shied away from lapbook studies because to me they appeared to be overwhelming to prepare and somewhat complicated to compile. I learned this to be the furthest thing from the truth! It took less than 30 minutes of preparation to print the research material and lapbook pieces as well as put together the 3 lapbooks. That is really very minimal effort. In addition my girls clearly enjoyed this method and that is the most important thing.  

No matter what you are studying you will be able to find a labpook from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks to intrigue your kids. There is an incredible selection and the Review Crew had the opportunity to review some really great titles including:
And those are just a few of the available studies! 
 Check out what my Crewmates have to say! 

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

Under the Microscope Lapbook from Hands of a Child: Review

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My oldest daughter loves to learn and is completely fascinated by science. We do not have a regular science curriculum I follow at home because from September through May my girls attend a learning center which covers a wide variety of science topics. At the same time science has always fascinated me and I encourage my girls to engage in what interested them scientifically. I even have a science corner built into our homeschool room to encourage investigation. 

Additions to our schoolroom this year included instruments for investigation. Although I was extremely excited about getting a microscope and telescope into our room, but I have to be honest…it has been a while since I’ve used a microscope and I don’t know if I’ve ever used a telescope!Reviewing the Under a Microscope Curriculum (K-3rd grade) from In the Hands of a Child seemed like a great opportunity to refresh my skills. 

We don’t typically use lapbooks, but In the Hands of a Child is a company I am very familiar with. They are at the top of the list when searching for quality lapbooking materials. For those unfamiliar with how lapbooks work I like to think of it as scrapbook learning. As students read, learn, and investigate they construct a miniature scrapbook of the information usually kept in a manilla folder. Instructions are included at the beginning for how to construct this lapbook although I was a little confused about where exactly to place the information. This is probably because lapbooking is still more out of my comfort zone than most learning activities. This particular company offers lapbooks in a variety of formats including e-book ($10.00), CD ($15.00), Printed ($18.00), Print+CD combo ($16.00), and a Lapbook It Pack ($12.00 – Does not include the teaching materials). This and other titles are currently on sale right now!
One of the reasons lapbooking isn’t typically our learning format is the time it takes to construct the lapbook. It is difficult to do this with multiple ages of children, but In the Hands of a Child helps by gearing their units to a wider age-range with multiple book options and activity choices. My oldest daughter mostly worked on this, but my other girls were excited to check out the microscope as well.
Matching up the scientific vocabulary used when talking about microscopes to their kid-friendly definitions was one of the first activities we did. This was a great way to start out the study so as we went through our learning she would have a good understanding as well as a reference dictionary along the way. 
Although many lapbooks I see use lots of multicolored paper I like having the option to print on what I want to. This way my girls can decorate and color the pictures as they want. I particularly liked this how to focus the microscope step-by-step clipboard. It turned out really cute an looked “scientific” to Rose. It also gave very clear instructions for even a newbie scientist. 
In addition to information on how to use a microscope and the various types which exist, there was quite a bit of historical information as well. It was fun learning about who created the first microscope. 
Rose was so excited to be able to follow the directions and focus the microscope on her own! We have a set of 15 slides I purchased at the same time as the instrument and she has been waiting to learn how to use it on her own. Her favorite slides to look at were the pine stem and human blood. “Ewwww! Blood!” That was my almost-four-year-old Grace’s response. She still enjoyed looking at it though!
While working on this unit we had a friend who was over for the afternoon. Rose was very happy to teach her how to use the microscope and share all she had learned. 
If you enjoy lapbooking, this is a high-quality lapbook at an affordable price. They also frequently run specials and offers with steep discounts. I personally do not care for this learning medium, but I know many families who do. If you like the idea of project-based learning and hands-on instruction I encourage you to take a look at In the Hands of a Child and their many resources which cover all subject areas.

You can see some other products from this company reviewed by my Crewmates below!


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Homeschool in the Woods’ Composer Activity Pak: Review

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As a music teacher one of the things I lament about my 30 minute lesson slots is that I don’t have time to teach my students very much about the composers whose music they are playing. I might give some background, but there simply isn’t enough time. In addition, most of my students are in traditional schools which do not have time to cover things like music history alongside their standard curriculum. I was very excited to have the opportunity to complete the Hands-on History Activity Pak: Composer from Homeschool in the Woods. This is the first lapbook I have ever completed with any of my children and I was very pleased with how beautiful all of the graphics were. Many lapbooks I have seen do not appear to be as concerned about attention to detail as the lapbooks from Homeschool in the Woods. 

 photo ComposersGroup-SMALL_zps73a0d718.jpgThe lapbook may be purchased as either a download ($18.95) or CD (19.95) and is geared for 3rd through 8th grades. While this is a bit more costly than other lapbooks I have looked at (not completed) I feel this has more artistic and detail focused graphics than cheaper versions. Included are instructions to guide you through the process. I had a difficult time understanding exactly how to put everything together at first. This may have been due to the fact that I’ve never completed a lapbook, but it took several readings for me to feel I understood everything exactly. The printed pages are labeled at the bottom which makes assembly  little bit easier.

Rose is finished up 2nd grade so I helped her quite a bit with the assembly since she is on the younger end of the age range. I had some assembly trouble and accidenitally attached the composers all upside down! I probably shouldn’t have helped her as much because she is a perfectionist at heart and would have noticed this rigth away. Older students should be able to do the assembly on their own.

Rose really enjoyed coloring the various pieces of the lapbook and cutting out the pictures of the composers. This ignited her interest to start learning right away! She has also spent quite a bit of time studying the composer cards on her own which has been fun to watch. We would listen to some of the included music while she did this which also inspired her desire to learn.

I like how neatly the materials were arranged. I could easily figure out what I needed to print from the files and match it up with other correct items. Rose did get a little tired of cutting, but she is a little younger than the targeted age, so I’m sure this is why. I had to remind her that it was okay not to be perfectly cut straight edges. 

loved that Rose was inspired to learn about many different composers, music styles, and music periods. She frequently ran to tell me exciting facts as she read them in the large stack of books we checked out from the library.

I did make a discovery about myself…Lapbooking is not my preferred method of instruction. I have heard the wonders of lapbooking exclaimed all across the homeschool blog world, downloaded numerous freebies to try sometime, and have thought they looked like so much fun. I’m a scrapbooker at heart, so I’m surprised that I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I think the reason ultimately boiled down to the preparation time. I’m spoiled by our regular curriculum which is very open-and-go. I don’t have to go to the library to check out books, or print a large amount of papers, or spend a lot of time preparing for our lessons. 

Rose did enjoy this study. She likes to learn on her own so lapbooks are a good fit for her personality. Lapbooking is something much more suited for our family for the summer for my girls to pursue their own interests. 

Even though lapbooking in general is not something I enjoy I highly recommend this company if you like lapbooks. They are beautifully done with clear instructions which create a lovely keepsake for future reference. I am keeping our finished lapbook to use with my piano students to give them more information about various composers and perhaps ignite their interest in music history as well!

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews by my Crewmates!

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