Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lapbooking Christmas

We have three weeks of school left before Christmas break.  I am ready for something different from our routine.  So I’ve been searching for lapbooks to work on during the countdown to Christmas.  I think one a week is enough, but I have a back-up fourth one just in case.

Lapbooks are a wonderful way to add some change to your schooltime.  They can replace your standard curriculum or add to it.  You don’t even have to homeschool to use them with your kids, and they come in ability levels from Preschool through High School. 

We have used lapbooks to review something we’ve been learning about.  For instance, last year the girls did a curriculum, The Prairie Primer, based around the Little House on the Prairie books.  At the end of many of the books—we meant to do one after all of them, but it just didn’t happen—we did a lapbook.  We’ve done lapbooks on Fridays, our normal “day off.”  We’ve supplemented science and social studies with lapbooks.  

My favorite site for free lapbooks is: 
They have tons of lapbooks based on different books and subjects.  We will be doing The Polar Express and The Night Before Christmas lapbooks, and I may use The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The other lapbook I plan to use is The Nativity.  I found it for free at: 

Monday we will start The Polar Express.  Thursday the movie is on TV, so we can compare the book—a beautiful book by Chris Van Allsburg—to the movie.   It is a short, easy book to read, but never grows old.  

The following week we will do The Night Before Christmas.  There are many versions of this poem, some with gorgeous illustrations.  I plan to find several to compare.

The last week of school, we will leave the secular and finish up with the true meaning of Christmas—The Nativity, and possibly The Twelve Days of Christmas.

In addition to our lapbooks focused on Christmas, we are doing a Jesse Tree for the first time.  The name alone has significant meaning to us because we lost a baby we named Jesse on the day after Christmas 2006.  The Jesse Tree focuses on the lineage of Jesus, seeing how all of history led up to His miraculous birth.  I found a couple of websites that provide ideas/devotions for the Jesse Tree.  This year we are using one offered by . We start our morning with the Jesse Tree activities.

What are you doing to spice up the Christmas season in your home?  Lapbooks and the Jesse Tree are a great way to involve your children in this special time of the year.  You don’t have to homeschool to do either.  They are low-cost, low-effort, and high learning.  Now, get out there, Google “lapbooks” and get learning in a new way!

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