My youngest loves lapbooks, and he just proved to me this week why they are such a great addition to his curriculum. It wasn’t because he suddenly grasped a new or difficult topic. It was because he showed me that they make sense to him, he enjoys them, and that I am never too old for my own lessons.
We weren’t even currently using a lapbook for any of his studies. He simply came to me one morning and told me that he had a lapbook for me. With a smile he told me to get a “lapbook folder” and fold it just like he was doing. Then he instructed me to design the front with the title “Flowers” and draw a picture to go with the title.
Once he saw that I was a willing participant in the activity, his excitement was rampant as he came up with ways for me to add parts to the lapbook. We covered the needs of plants, how they grow, how they benefit us, and how seeds are transferred.
As all of these ideas poured out of him and he became the teacher, I could see the joy he had with leading the way. It reaffirmed to me that he was grasping and retaining science lessons from the past, but more importantly, he taught me to bring that joy to the table and make sure I share my excitement with the kids.
That lapbook lesson also told me that he gets me – he knows my heart. One of my favorite things? Flowers.
The lapbook lessons he taught me were so valuable. Let the kids be the teachers. Get excited about the topic. Work together. Get to know each other’s hearts.
For those of you who have never heard of a lapbook, it is a simple method of gathering and recording information, typically within a unit study, into various manila folders. A lapbook can consist of one to any number of folders that are attached to each other. Check out some of the great sites that offer free lapbook templates for teachers. Better yet – make your own – or let the kids lead the way.