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This posting is continuing our last post, Lapbooking: In Lesson and Time Management that shared how we corporate our lapbooking activities into our lesson and how we manage our time to make lapbooking something more fun and enjoyable rather than something that “menaces” our time.
Today we would like to share how we make and customize our lapbooking template from the pdf format.
In the past, we used instant sets of lapbooking templates which were published by Hands Of A Child, A Journey Through Learning, Knowledgebox Central, and other lapbooking publishers. Nothing wrong with those products. They really eased us to prepare our lapbooking templates. However, once the kids are growing, they need more customization. Moreover, we should follow national curriculum which demands different points to cover. I started to think how to involve lapbooking in our learning process.
Before you make your customized lapbooking template, please plan your objective/goals/points you would like to feature your mini books in your lapbook later on. You might find the Lapbooking Planning information in Jimmie’s Lensmaster about How to Plan a Lapbook
Lapbooking is a compilation of mini books as I have mentioned in the previous posting. Therefore we need to make mini books first before thinking bigger into lapbooking. You can make the mini books manually without printing it out. Please enjoy kinds of mini books in Mini Book Gallery . Jimmie has provided great instruction on how to make manual or non printed mini books to be assembled in lapbooks late on.
Now, I would like to focus more on printed or typed lapbook templates that you can save and share as a PDF files. Here are the steps to follow
Step 1, Get The Online Templates
You can make your own templates and print or save it as PDF files so the templates will be more “sturdy” and flexible to use. There are some links to get the basic lapbooking templates. However, I would like to recommend two of them that I always use as my basic.
Paid Basic Templates from Hands of A Child
This publisher is specialized in notebooking and lapbooking packs. It has various units used as topics for notebooking and lapbooking activities. I usually purchase the products in currclick during some special sale events. The best product that I use all of the time from this publisher is Template Pack for Lapbooks. Something special that other lapbook template packs or series doesn’t have is some suggestions about what kind of mini books are suggested for certain types of information.
Free Lapbooking Resources from Homeschool Share and Homeschool Helper Online
Those sites are very nice by providing a lot of basic lapbooking templates for free. Please download all of the templates in your computer so you can use them anytime and anywhere you like.
Step 2, Get a PDF Fill Out Software or Online Program
Now it is the time to customize your lapbooking template. I have heard that some people use PDF Filler or something like that, but I am not sure and never use any other software than PDF Fill-Out For Mac and PDFescape.com to insert either text or image to your PDF. There should be many other softwares for either Windows or Mac. As I work with Mac, so I use PDF Fill-Out. I just find PDFescape.com for anyone that prefer using online software to customize their lapbooks. Here are some steps to customize your lapbook templates. You can use it also for customizing any other documents or your notebooking templates.
For me, I prefer using PDF Fill-Out as I can use great choice of fonts that are installed in my computer. Anyway, PDFescape is fine as we still can set the style of the letters into bold, italic or underline. You still can add images also.
If you know any other software or program that can do this function, please don’t be hesitated to share with us.
Step 3. Start the Process of Lapbooking with Kids
It is great to work together with kids as long as you can. I was not patient enough doing notebooking with my kids who cut terribly at the first time we use lapbooks. I give priority to neatness and beauty. Neatness and beauty are important, but it is good to be more flexible with kids. When they organise, and make their lapbooks, they will feel more proud with their lapbook even if their lapbook is ugly. However, it is good to direct them to be more neat.
- Now you can work on your mini books one by one. Colorful paper would be great for visual learning style. However, if your kids need or want to draw and color the paper, the white plain paper will do.
- Compile the mini books into a zipper pocket
- When you have finished with all of them, it is the time to arrange your mini books into a lapbook. Here is a great site informing how to make a lapbook
Step 4. Keep The Lapbooks as A Precious Document
Your lapbooks is not everything that your kids is learning from. Learning outcome is more than lapbooks. So don’t be too stressful with your lapbooks. However, they are precious thing to keep as a memory. I use ducktape and big binder to document me lapbooks. Little Homeschool In The Hill has my credit for keeping the lapbooks.
Have a great day with your kids with your lapbooks. 😉