Monday, September 28, 2009
TOS Review: A Journey Through Learning
You kind of like lapbooking, am I right?
You like the idea of it.
And the end product? How cute is that?
It looks like something that your kids would enjoy, if only you could figure out exactly how put it all together. All those little pieces. And those mini-books. And what on earth is up with those little bradded wheel-dohickeys?
I kind of like lapbooking, too.
But my kids ... well, they love lapbooking. They love it so much that they will actually beg me to come up with some lapbook project that they can throw themselves into. Then, when the folder is finished, they will wait impatiently for Dad to get home from work so that they can vie nosily for his attention as they rattle off the parts of a bee, or pester him to lift flaps to reveal miniatures of various Van Gogh masterpieces, or take their mim flash-card quiz.
Yes, my kids love lapbooks.
But I have to admit, they're a lot of work. I've managed to churn out a couple of completely independent ones over the years. More often than not, I've taken the prepared bits of someone else's ideas and morphed them into a lapbook I know my own family will enjoy. Very, very rarely have I taken a pre-written lapbook project and followed it to the letter. Why? Well ... the truth is ...
Most of them just aren't that good.
Maybe I'm too picky. Or maybe my kids are just a little too ... unique? Maybe it's because so many lapbooks are really designed with early elementary kids in mind. I'm not sure. All I know is that very few lapbook ideas excite me.
A Journey Through Learning, though, is a little different. First and foremost, their lapbooks are in color. I don't know about you, but I hesitate to pay for grey-scale, line-drawing type lapbooks. I can pull generic lapbook elements off the internet and put together my own ideas if that's all the publisher is selling. A Journey Through Learning's lapbooks, though, are professional and thorough, with directions on assembly, cues for placing specific elements, and detailed text to give meaning to the handiwork your lapbookers are engaging in.
In addition, these lapbooks follow rabbit trails that give a certain depth to their topics. For example, a lapbook on autumn doesn't just stick to leaves and pumpkins. Oh, those important symbols are included (and examined quite thoroughly!). But one side street leads to Thanksgiving. Another meanders to bird nests. Still another follows paths of migration. And yet another leads to autumn recipes.
A Journey Through Learning lapbooks don't stop at creating a cute keepsake alone. Notebooking and narration are encouraged, and a book log is included for noting other resources that complement the study. A few hands-on activities are sited, as well, extending the learning even further. Topics are varied; I received five lapbooks that touched on eco-systems, seasons, animals and Biblical truths. Each one was a quality unit study in and of itself, with the lapbook as the centerpiece project for a full slate of learning.
A Journey Through Learning lapbooks are available for instant download for $13 each. They are reusable, customizable and chock full of ineteresting nuggets that are bound to take your kids down rabbit trails of their own.
But you do still have to clean up the snippets of paper left over from all that cutting and pasting. Sorry.