Journey Through Learning Review

A Journey Through Learning is a resource for lapbooks, unit studies, copy work and notebook pages.  They offer nearly 50 different lapbook titles and several unit studies, most written for grades 2-7 or 8, although they have a small selection of preschool lapbooks.  We received five of A Journey Through Learning‘s lapbooks with study guides, “Autumn“, “Desert“, “Amphibians” and “Reptiles” for grades 2-7 and “Parables of a King” for grades 2-8.

Now if you’re like me you’ve heard of lapbooks, but have never had any personal experience with them and never actually seen or worked through one with your children.  A lapbook is a unit study that allows your child to take what they are learning, break it down into smaller pieces of information and then store that information in a visual way using file folders, paper, scissors and glue.Lapbook

(Please note that Journey Through Learning suggests using different colored file folders for a more pleasing finished product.)

Journey Through Learning lapbooks are logically laid out with clear directions even for those of us who may never have tackled a lapbook before.  Each lapbook takes approximately a month to complete if you work through one page of the study guide and complete the accompanying mini-books every day.  They also include enrichment pages that have suggestions for additional reading, a book log, forms for narration for older and younger children, and a couple different styles of note taking pages.

We decided to try the “Autumn” study guide and lapbook with our 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12 year old.  Each day we read aloud a page from the study guide and then the children would begin working on their mini-books incorporating the information that they had just been given.  They learned about the shortening of days, the fall equinox, fall foods and holidays, why leaves change color, migrating birds and more. They also enjoyed the included hands-on activities like a scavenger hunt, creating leave rubbings and building a nest for a non-migratory bird.  All the children were able to read and follow the directions independently and when asked to re-cap what they learned around the dinner table their recall was superb.

I found the A Journey Through Learning study guide and lapbook to be well planned and nearly effortless to implement.  They have a nice variety of mini-books for the children to complete, mixed with a fun selection of more hands-on type learning and several additional reading suggestions.  The “Amphibian” and “Reptile” books look fascinating with information on life cycles, defense mechanisms, classification, diets, too many topics to list.  The children can’t wait to begin!

Pros:

  • Integrates visual and hands-on learning with your more typical auditory learning
  • All of our children enjoyed putting together their lapbooks and the additional hands-on projects.
  • Simple implementation
  • Covers topics that you may not cover in a more traditional work book system
  • Children enjoy having a project that they made to show dad, grandparents, etc.
  • Flexible and easy to use with multiple levels of children

Cons:

  • Lots of printing, ink and paper required
  • Messy (think paper scraps, glue and staples all over the floor)
  • Some of the lapbooking seems to be merely busy work

Our bottom line:

The children looked forward to lapbooking each day and when asked how the liked it the feedback was unanimously positive, from our big 12 year old (who is now 13) down to the 7 year old.  This style of learning and teaching is not going to fit everyone’s personality.  (It’s not my favorite.)  Lapbooks are messy and feel too much like busy work.  However, per the children’s request we are going to be including lapbooking occasionally as a supplement to our regular curriculum.  I think that the variety and exposure to different topics in addition to the ease of implementation will be beneficial for all of us.

A Journey Through Learning offers their lapbooks in three different formats, $13 for an instant download, $14 for a CD or $21 for a printed labook.

You may read more of Raising Olives’  homeschool reviews on my review page.

This post is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.

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11 Responses to Journey Through Learning Review
  1. Aimee
    September 26, 2009 | 9:36 pm

    How funny! I just went to one of their workshops yesterday, and I just did a lapbooking post on my blog as well!

    [Reply]

  2. Nicki
    September 26, 2009 | 10:54 pm

    I like lapbooks, but like you, I only do them occasionally. My kids LOVE them, but I’m not crazy about a lot of prep work for school! However, I do notice that they remember what they learned, and they like to go back and read the lapbook again. For my 3 year old, I am working on one that has little matching card games and other re-usable activities so it lasts awhile. It’s on dinosaurs, of course. I’ll post it on my blog when it’s finished. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  3. Wendy
    September 27, 2009 | 12:44 am

    I learn so much reading your posts.
    Wendy
    Mommy to 7. 9 and under.

    [Reply]

  4. MomStarr
    September 28, 2009 | 6:51 am

    I can see how my younger children would really enjoy doing these from time to time but how did it challenge or interest the older one? Your oldest is a girl and mine being a boy I wonder if he would appreciate the activities? He is good with hands on activities but he is still a boy of 11.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    MomStarr – All of our children really enjoyed the lapbooking. Although I really thought that some of the older ones would find it tedious, I was proved wrong. I will say that I think the fact that my oldest are girls makes a difference, not sure how an 11 year old boy will feel. I suggest you try an eProduct, that way you can print out as many as you like and if is something that interests him then he can join in.

    [Reply]

  5. Morgan
    September 28, 2009 | 10:26 am

    I have something for you over at my teaching blog!

    http://fromthedeskofateacher.blogspot.com/2009/09/first-blog-award.html

    Morgan

    [Reply]

  6. Renee
    September 28, 2009 | 6:21 pm

    Thanks for all your tips, I Love you blog 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. Renee
    October 2, 2009 | 12:25 am

    Thanks 🙂 I will run and check it out. We have not done one this school year yet.

    [Reply]

  8. Melanie
    May 23, 2011 | 12:29 am

    Thanks for the post! May I ask what other science curriculum you use for your older children, if you just incorporate the lapbooks occasionally?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Melanie,

    We use Apologia Science (both elementary and high school) as our primary science program. Highly recommend!

    We’ve also incorporated nature journals and the Handbook of Nature Study into our lives since our children were little.

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    Thanks so much, Kimberly! I’m going over to check it all out now!

    [Reply]

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