Thursday, August 26, 2010

Notebooking & Lapbooking Basics

I often get asked the same sort of basic questions about notebooking and lapbooking... What goes into a notebook or lapbook? What subjects/topics can I notebook/lapbook? How do I get started? What sort of supplies should I have handy?

All these are great questions and I'm going to attempt to answer them the best I can. Please feel free to comment if you have other questions I don't answer here. So let's get started.

What goes into a notebook or lapbook?
  • copywork
  • narrations
  • fact sheets/worksheets
  • reports/essays
  • biographies
  • maps
  • science research
  • nature findings
  • photos
  • vocabulary
  • art/illustrations
  • timelines
  • puzzles/games
  • and the list goes on....
So basically, anything you'd like to add that is relevant to your study. Don't limit yourself to what you "think" it's supposed to be... go for it and add what you'd like.

What subjects/topics can I notebook/lapbook?
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science/Labs
  • Nature Study
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Biographies
  • Holidays
  • Seasons
  • Any subject or topic you can come up with!
How do I get started?

This is easy... just get started. I know this isn't what you want to hear but it's the absolute truth. Don't wait until everything "looks" a certain way or you think you have everything you "need". Your kids will surprise you with their creativity. Below I will list some of the things you will want before you get started but most likely you already have all these things laying around your house. Mostly, you just have to have the desire. But since you're taking the time to read through this post I'm presuming you already possess a desire :)

What sort of supplies should I have handy?

This all depends on how you want your notebooks to be set up. There are options and I'll give you some different ideas of how you can do this.

How to store all the wonderful pages your children have created?

Here are a few ideas....
  • 3-ring binder (you could place pages in page protectors)
  • spiral notebook
  • composition notebook
  • sketchbook
  • journal
  • scrapbook
  • bind your notebooks yourself... I use something called a ProClick.  I wrote a review about this here.
What type of paper should I use in our notebooks?

You will want different types of paper for different projects. I mostly use plain copy paper, but for variety we use different colors as well. Especially in our lapbooks. Here's a list of some types of paper you could use.
  • plain copy paper (there are both 20 lb. and 24 lb. weights... I prefer the 24 lb. weight but it is a little more expensive. I use this because it's more sturdy)
  • colored copy paper
  • printed pages (pre-made) This link will take you to my freebie page or click here to see my products.
  • scrapbook paper
  • card-stock
  • linen
  • lined paper
  • construction paper
  • photo paper (for photos you want to add to your notebooks)
Here are some ideas for writing and art supplies.
  • pencils (plain and colored)
  • pens (different colored pens are fun)
  • crayons
  • chalks
  • pastels
  • markers
  • paints
  • scissors
  • glue or tape (I like double-stick tape)
Below is a list of extra supplies that are in no way necessary but sometimes fun to have around in case your child gets really creative or you have a mini-book that needs something extra to put together.
  • paper trimmer (I love mine and actually feel it's a necessity!!!)
  • fancy edged scissors
  • hole or specialty punchers
  • border templates
  • ribbons
  • photo corners
  • brads & eyelets
  • stickers
  • fancy & lettering stencils
  • rubber stamps
  • photos
  • images from internet (clipart) (Google and Yahoo both have image searches, but BEWARE not to allow your child to search on his own)
  • binding tool
Let me add a one more thing... It can get a bit overwhelming having all this stuff laying around so having a plan to organize it all is important or it will take over your space! I'll add a separate post about how to organize all your supplies soon but if you have any ideas you'd like to share with me, that would be great!


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