So, for example, when we studied Ancient Rome, I would download resources, print them out and as they listened to our history stories, they would colour, cut and paste. I found with my boys, they liked to keep moving and active while I read to them (Tactile, couldn`t keep still) so this was a great way for them to be able to listen more attentively! Yes, I allowed them to move!!! This is another area I would like to touch on before I show you some of their lap book work.
While reading to my children, I realised very early on in our homeschool journey that the boys needed to keep moving so that they could stay more attentive. Think back to when you were at school.....a long time ago! Do you remember your teacher ever having to tell you to keep still, stop playing with your pen and pay attention? Well, do you know that children who cannot keep still, well actually just cannot keep still.......and they HAVE TO move in order to concentrate! So, what happens to a child when he is told to keep still? He will use all his energy and just focus on trying to keep still! Keeping still is all he is thinking about and he will not be listening to anything the teacher is saying! The problem is that he needs to keep moving because that is how he learns the best! (especially if they are also ADHD)
When the boys were little, I did a little experiment on them. (And No, I didn`t put them to sleep!) I told them that if they were able to answer my questions about the story I was reading while they moved around, then they were allowed to move around! Well, do you know that the more they moved, the better they listened!! If I made them stop, look at me and listen, they could not pay attention as they were so focused on keeping still that it distracted them.
So, as a result of my observations, they were more attentive while moving! (Murray did not have to always move like the younger two did) They used to bounce on a pilates ball, play with cards, colour, paste, do projects, build puzzles, sometimes listen to me while upside down........on their heads!! They were still listening and paying attention!
It was ME who had to learn to change! I was very distracted by their movements but I had to get used to it! And this is the key! As home school mums, we need to change and adapt according to the learning styles of our children. Now, you may have children, or a child who learns best by keeping still and is more of an auditory learner (hearing), so you will need to see what works best for your child. My boys today (in their teens) still move around, they build puzzles or play cards (individually) and they are still paying attention. While doing their work, two of them work best either on the floor or on their beds but my youngest needs to be at his desk where there is order and he knows where everything is. My eldest son, who is nearly 17 likes to listen to soft instrumental music in the back ground while he is studying. I, personnally, have to have complete silence when I am writing or busy on a project. So, you will need to get to know the learning styles of your children and adapt accordingly! Early on in their young lives, OBSERVATION is the best way to get to know their learning styles.
Important Note: I never let them read books, whether picture books or other books, as this DID distract them. So, you will need to experiment to see what works and what doesn`t work. Activities which involved physical movement but not mental stimulation worked the best! When they played with cards, it involved building with them or shuffling them but never playing card games as this activity will distract as it involves mental concentration and will therefore distract from the main activity, me reading to them in this case.
This post was meant to be about lapbooking! I would love to write a post about learning styles but I will save that for another time. Here are some photos of some of their work. I downloaded the resources I used from a free lapbooking site and that is what they used for their work.
Here is the link www.homeschoolshare.com/index_lapbooks_master_list.php
Important: Please read my notes at the end of these photos!
|This is not a lap book but this little penguin was made together with a lap book Luke made on Rivers and Oceans. Sometimes the boys used to also make a sulpture or something in 3D to go with the lap book. Luke included information about penguins, so he made this little penguin together with his lap book.|
|This was the front cover, then you open out the book and everything else is stuck inside the book. I used to buy soft files that opened out.|
|This was a lap book on Ancient Rome done by Kelly (a teen girl I taught for awhile)|
All these resources come from the link I mentioned in my post above.
Lap book on Ancient Greece.
|Kelly also made this project when she did a lap book on Rain Forests.|
|You open out this lap book in the middle. Can you see the join?|
|This is what is inside the lap book when opened out.|
|Deserts of the World - you open it out in the middle|
|A lap book on Mountain Biomes|
|Opened out on the left side|
Here again Duncan constructed some mountains of the world using paper mache and of course he loved using his lego to give it some colour and character! We have used lego in so many educational ways. They even found their way onto the boys Birthday cakes!
Not all children will take to lapbooking, just like not all children will take to reading or writing or math or whatever. The beauty of home schooling is that you, as the home school mum, can work alongside your child in discovering what he/she likes to do, how your child learns best and discover these things together.
The beauty of choosing resources/activities to teach your child as opposed to using a set curriculum or program (especially when they are little), is that you can use resources that fit in with your childs interests, chosen by you and tailor made by you to suite your child. A set program may not always allow for the extra time to be able to do these things as very often (not always) there are so many other requirements that are compulsory for completing that program. This leads to less time for other projects or activities.UNLESS, you choose a program that does not have compulsory requirements? Then you can add in various other projects and activities. Remember though - whatever you choose, it needs to also fit in with Mum - read my page on Considering homeschooling (on the top right of the blog under PAGES).
Now that my boys are older and have become teens, they are not doing as many hands on projects like they used to when they were younger. They are starting to participate in more self study, online schooling and other courses, with my guidance. So, I am still tailor making their education to suite thier needs and interests but they are now responsible for their own education and learning. As they mature, they begin to take on that responsibility. It is great to see them become more independent and begin to see learning as a LIFE SKILL and not something that ends after High school! They are not just learning to complete a test, they are learning for life. Learning is LIFE!
Thanks for reading this post. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any comments.