Hands of a Child is a curriculum company that offers downloads for notebooking and lapbooks on a vast variety of topics. They have something to offer for all grade levels in the subjects of Bible, economics, geography, history, and holiday.
This company was started by two homeschool moms that just couldn't find what they were looking for. I love when people see a need and decide to fill it themselves instead of waiting for the answer to come along.
For this review, we were sent a pdf download of the Exploring Landforms Curriculum.
How We Used It:
One of Josie's first grade learning goals is to learn about landforms.
I had already planned for a four week unit covering a ton of different landforms so this review fit in perfect. The lap book we were sent covered mountains, canyons, and waterfalls so on the days that we were going to be covering those landforms, we added in the lap booking activities.
I have never used a lap book before so this was a bit of an experiment. Basically, you fold a manilla folder into a flip book and then create different additions to it for each topic you cover. Hands of a Child has many activities in each pack so we were busy on the days we studied mountains, canyons, and waterfalls!
Since I had no clue what I was doing, I appreciated the intro to the unit. They included pictures of what it is supposed to look like as well as directions for how to fold each part.
On the days we added to our lap book, I would read from the teacher's guide and then we worked together to do the cutting and putting everything together. As we did the parts of the lap book, we reviewed what we had read.
We did most of the activities and have a very nice looking lapbook to look back on.
After finishing our lap book, I understand why so many homeschoolers are such fans of them.
This was a great way to organize all that we were learning in our unit. Josie loved looking back through all the flaps and having me read what we had learned. This little folder was able to hold a lot of information!
Josie was really proud when we finished it. She showed it to her Dad, her Nana, and even brought it with on our vacation to show everyone there. I love seeing her so proud. And it was great to see her retain the information after repeating it so many times!
I wish I had taken the advice of the manual and printed on different colored paper. Our activities were pretty bland looking. We did try to color a few, but with all the black, our coloring didn't show up very well. Josie didn't seem to mind at all.
I think that lapbooks are one of those activities that you get better at as you go. I had to get creative to get all of the activities to fit!
I can't imagine all the work it would take to pull all of this information and graphics together for yourself. The price is very reasonable for all the time and energy you will save. Not to mention, the material is solid.
I love that you could easily do this with a wide range of ages. Josie learned a lot that I would have assumed was over her level had I been putting this together. An older child would have gotten even more out of it. With just a few modifications and censoring out a few parts that I knew she wouldn't understand, we had a very appropriate 1st grade book.
While I wouldn't use this method for all of our units, I will for sure be doing them again. Hands of a Child made it very simple to print our material and get right to building our lap book. If you have a child that enjoys cutting, gluing, and making books I think that this type of project is a slam dunk.
Lapbooks - $8.00-$12.00