Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making a (Rosh Hashanah) Lapbook, the Charlotte Mason way!

We’ve been busy as BEES… (the kids even watched a honey-making video!)

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Looking and hearing… (this was her typo, and I didn’t have the heart to correct her)

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It’s almost Rosh Hashanah… yay!

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Reading and writing…

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This is going to be the BEST LAPBOOK EVER!!!

(in the middle picture below, you can see where I’ve written the word “machzor” in pencil on the file folder as a reminder that I’m saving this spot for a mini-book we haven’t finished yet… this is called Learning from Experience, or “don’t use up all the good spots on the first five mini-books”!)

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With more than a year of lapbooks behind her, Naomi is now getting (demanding?) more say in what goes into the lapbook, where it goes, and how we fill things in and get them ready for the lapbook.

It does take time away from other things, which feels more like a crunch now that we’re officially doing Grade One and not kindergarten.  But it’s ONLY Grade One, none of it is rocket science, and I really feel like we’re doing more actual learning, using the mini-books, than busywork.

In the Charlotte Mason world of home education, I have encountered mixed feelings about lapbooks and other “prepackaged” learning activities, with some considering it an alternate modern form of narration (like putting on a play or making a painting might be), while other call it pandering, “twaddle” and busywork.

Which is not to say that there’s no place for busywork.  I thought the little Rosh Hashanah Card in the lapbook was one of the more twaddle-y elements, but Naomi loved creating it, using a combination of clip art and her own drawings, and I think it looks very nice.

Right now, I’m leaning precariously towards thinking of it as narration.  I keep forgetting, in between lapbook projects (sorry to keep using the word – it’s the last time, I promise!) what a great way they are to make sure we cover all the information and topics I set out to cover… while at the same time, just like with a unit study, each mini-book can be a springboard in itself, to learning about bees, shofar-making, scales, or anything, really.

Because we’re dealing with small “bites” of knowledge at a time, it never gets overwhelming.  But on the other hand, when they’re attractively displayed in the lapbook (oops) format, all the small “bites” add up to a great big meal of knowledge.

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