What's more interactive than a test? More fun than a report? Able to leap all assessment and feedback hurdles in a single fold? A lapbook, of course! "What's a lapbook?" you ask. Visualize a tri-fold table-top presentation display and then downsize it to file-folder size and you'll be getting the idea. From the homeschooling approach that brought us "narration" (Charlotte Mason & Ruth Beechick), now we have lapbooks - and what a fine idea they are!
Lapbooks are made of refolded and connected colored file folders. Then, utilizing the miniature book concept of Dinah Zike, the student prepares and attaches various small books to the file folders. These books are a way of recording information from a particular course or study and presenting it in an interesting and high-recall sort of way. Wouldn't you find it easier to remember the parts of a feather if the information was displayed in a feather-shaped book?
Although anyone can start "from scratch" and make their own lapbook for any subject or study, much of the work has been done for you with these CD-ROMs and kits from Knowledge Box Central. The CD version allows you to print the small books and compile/attach them as you progress through the study. It also allows you to economically provide for multiple students within a family but does not include any file folders. The pre-printed version provides all the printouts needed for one lapbook, but you must provide the file folders, then cut out and put the books together as you add the information. If file folders are hard to get ahold of, tag stock or tag board can be used as a substitute. The pre-assembled version does all the cutting and assembling work for you leaving only the need to fill in the information. My first thought was that I would prefer the pre-assembled version saving me all that messy work. However, further contemplation brought me to the conclusion that there would be more educational value to "building" the lapbook as the student progressed through the course.
Although correlated to the Apologia elementary science courses, much of the information is general enough to be used with any similar study. There are two lapbooks for each Apologia course, each covering half of the course lessons (see our website), or you can purchase complete sets which cover the whole course.