Sunday, 1 May 2011

We're learning about the planets!

DD has decided she wants to learn all about the solar system, so we're creating a lapbook.

We love using lapbooks as a form of presenting work because it can turn the 'ordinary' into a work of art. It means, as DD is artistic, she can take pride in her work - getting her to just write things bores her, she loves to illustrate too and used to get frustrated at school when the emphasis was on the written word.

A lapbook, in case you've never heard of them,  is where you make lots of mini books and then you put them inside a big folder. Each mini book focuses on one aspect of your chosen topic. This is great for breaking the topic down into smaller components (a brilliant life skill, right?!)

The folder is so big you have to rest it on your lap to read it - that’s why it’s called a lapbook.

I've looked through our rapidly increasing bookshelves and found "The Young Astronomer" which is a Dorling Kindersley publication, but we'll be requesting a Project Box from our local library which is a fantastic resource for homeschoolers.

A Project Box is a big box containing books and dvds which you can keep for a term. It saves you having to wade through the library catalogue yourself to find appropriate material and the staff who put together the box will create one that is age appropriate. This service is totally free to home educators - how cool is that!?

I have to say, I'm getting quite excited. We'll start gently with a bit of papier mache I think - I want to show DD the difference in the sizes of the planets compared to the sun ;)

Do any of you use lapbooks?

Here's one she made a few years ago called 'All About Me'

Open up the cover and see all the mini books inside:

Each mini book can be opened too to see what we've learned:


  1. Wow I just love this idea and will be using it as soon as my boys are old enough to help make them. Its a lovely thing to keep and look back on when they're older. And it makes learning fun too.

  2. they are great to keep and such an interesting way to learn - hope you get to enjoy them too!

  3. Wow, I really love these! Such a great idea, I think my younger three children would really love to make one of these. Thanks for such a great idea!
    Zoe x

  4. No problem @z barras; hope you enjoy!

  5. That's so clever! What a brilliant idea. I shall show this to my daughter the second she gets in from school and see what she comes up with! Thanks!

    And if you want to do distances, next time you're out for a walk pick a star point as "The sun" and put markers down for planets as you go. You have to go a surprisingly long way to do them all!


All comments are much appreciated as I know it takes time and effort. But please let me know your thoughts!