Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: A Journey Through Learning

When I first learned I was on the list to receive a review package consisting of Lapbooks, my first thought was "Oh, NO!" You see, I'm not a very crafty person by nature. In fact, if I get so much as a dab of glue on my fingertips, I freak out. (Ahem) I don't like cutting, I don't like pasting. (Which made for a very rough time in elementary school, let me assure you!)  Yet, even with all that said I do enjoy scrapbooking. Figure that one out! ;o)

I happen to have 3 children who are totally creative and love to get their hands on glue, scissors, markers--you name it! Therefore, we approached our Lapbook review with gusto on their part and more than a little trepidation on mine! :)

Once we got started however, I discovered that I'd been limiting our homeschooling experience tremendously by not implementing this amazing method before now. I am hooked!

A Journey Through Learning specializes in complete Lapbooking Kits containing all the necessary print-outs you'll need to complete a really awesome looking lapbook. Their kits contain a handy study guide which saves you from having to dig-up all the answers yourself, as well as complete step-by-step instructions and list of necessary materials. Confusion and guesswork have been stripped away, making this a great intro to lapbooks--especially for non-crafty types like me! :)

The Lapbook kits are brightly colored, which from what I understand, is a major difference. Like I said, I've never utilized them before, but I did find their color schemes to be really bold, cheerful, and eye-catching.

So, what exactly is a lapbook? Well the best way I can describe is, is that's it's like a scrapbook-based unit study that's constructed on 3 standard office file folders that are glued together....

Pretty neat, huh? 

Ok, so back to the review. We received the following 5 lapbooking kits from A Journey Through Learning:

Autumn-Which covers topics such as:
  • Why Do Leaves Change Color?
  • The First Thanksgiving
  • Rosh Hashana (something that coordinates with our Messianic lifestyle!) 
  • Migrating Birds
  • Leaf Rubbings and much more

The Parables of Jesus--Covers 18 Parables including:
  • The Fishing Net
  • The Lost Coin
  • The Talents
  • The Good Samaritan
  • The Prodigal Son

The Desert--Which covers the major deserts of the world plus:
  • A Cactus is An Interesting Plant
  • Nocturnal Animals of the Desert
  • Sand Dunes
  • People Who Call the Desert Home
  • Reptiles/Mammals/Lizards/Insects of the Desert and more!

Amphibians--This lapbook covers a lot of interesting info such as:
  • Difference between frogs and toads
  • Life cycle of a frog
  • Defense mechanisms of amphibians (I didn't even realize they had defenses, did you?)
  • The diet of frogs and toads (gag!!!)
  • What is a caecilian?

Reptiles--Last but not least, this was the first kit we tested and LOVED it:
  • What are the characteristics of reptiles?
  • Different classes of reptiles
  • Reptile diets (double gag!)
  • Crocodiles/lizards/turtles/snakes and every aspect in between!

A Journey Through Learning offers 47 different lapbooks to choose from on a wide-range of subjects:
  • Science
  • History
  • Social Studies/Government
  • Holiday/Seasonal
  • Biblical Studies
  • Preschool
  • Literature
  • and even Mini Lapbooks (consisting of only 1-2 folders)
In addition, they also offer a selection of Unit Study Lapbooks which go into far more detail about a specific topic such as:
  • An Overview of the 17th, 18th, 19th or 20th Century
  • Historical Landmarks
  • North American Indians (or Native Americans)
  • American Government and Election Process and more
Lapbooks are suggested for grades 2-8, however my 8th grader quickly got sick of the whole cut/paste thing. She instead opted to simply listen in and give her fingers a break. (I guess she's like her Mom after all, huh?)  However my younger two BEG to do school now--but only if we do lapbooks!

Each of the Unit Studies and Lapbooks are economically priced at $13 (PDF), $14 (CD) or $21 (printed version). If you order the printed version, they'll include your folders for free.

Sample pages of all their awesome lapbooks can be found on their website. Simply click on the lapbook of your choice.

Their company offers superior customer support and encourage your questions. They aim to please and do all they can to help you succeed in your lapbooking endeavors.

I was blown away by how simple, colorful, organized, well-written, and appetite-whetting (for more lapbooking!) these kits are. They've absolutely changed my opinion on this popular learning method and have transformed our homeschool for the better!

I highly recommend A Journey Through Learning to all my homeschooling buddies! They are simply the best.
(Kind folks at A Journey Through Learning, can you hear me? YOU ROCK and earn two thumbs up!)


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