Creating Binder Builders from Lapbooks for Older Students

Creating Binder Builders

Do you have older children that feel cutting and pasting is NOT for them?  Do they cringe at the thought of doing anything creative? Well, AJTL has the answer! Creating Binder Builders from lapbooks for your older children may just be the solution you are looking for.

Being creative IS needed by EVERYONE! Children learn BY doing.  Somewhere we have given the message to older kids that learning can no longer be fun.  The simple truth is, as homeschooling moms of “older” kids, sometimes we just want to get it done.

We see items like paper, glue, scraps, brads, scissors and crayons as THINGS we used in elementary teaching. In reality, these are brilliant tools that open true thinking and imagination in our kids!Binder Builders for older students

Now, I will be the first to admit that my son (13) DID NOT LIKE file folders. So, I got creative. I started creating what we now call “Binder-Builders.” By taking a 3-ring binder and filling it with colored three hole punch paper and eight tabs (labeled Maps, Notebooking, Reading Books, Reports, Research, Timeline, Vocabulary, Writing), I turned an already packed lapbook into a MEGA binder of learning!

My son was given a sheet of card stock for each booklet. The instructions were simple- cut out and glue the booklet ANYWHERE on this page. You MUST provide (on this piece of cardstock) what is being asked on the booklet. You must also fill the REST of the page with the information you have learned in the study guide.

Binder builders


It always amazed me how he would come up with creative ways of remembering the study guides; army men with bubble words coming out of their mouths, snakes eating the answer, answer written down the side of a mountain – But, see, the learning and being creative part was STILL there!

Binder Builders for teens


The next day, he took the SAME study guide and had to looked up five NEW words from the study guide. Those were placed behind the “Vocabulary Tab.” Depending on the study guide, I would assign reports, writing, research, timelines, and/or require extra reading. All of these were then added behind the tabs. Now, I had taken a very informative lapbook and with a little imagination created a complete curriculum portfolio for my older child.

I pray that these simple changes will help you to see that kids are NEVER too old for paper and glue!


 Go to our store HERE to find a lapbook to enhance your studies

Benefit of Lapbooks: Great for Special Needs Homeschooling

Many Benefits of Lapbooking


 Special Needs Homeschooling

While the benefits of lapbooks are many – using them for special needs homeschooling is a major benefit that stands out. You don’t need to be crafty or artistic to enjoy lapbooking, and anyone can do it successfully!

For those who do special needs homeschooling – it can change the whole atmosphere and success level of the homeschool experience.

Lapbooking with A Journey Through Learning uses audio – as you read the material out loud, visual – with colorful graphics, and kinesthetic – hands on learning techniques.  This combination of learning techniques will ignite activity in both the left and right brain – resulting in more brain power and better homeschooling success for your special needs learners in particular.

The combination of these different learning styles plays a major role in the effectiveness of lapbooking!

Happy results with AJTL lapbooks

Enhance Homeschool

By adding a creative element to your family homeschool, you’ll be surprised at how much more fun and enjoyment the whole family will get out of it.  Assign different jobs according to the ability of each child. Have older children read aloud from the study guides or curriculum. Younger students and those who need to work on fine motor skills will benefit greatly from cutting out the mini-books for each section of the lapbook.

*Tip: On larger lapbooks – don’t get overwhelmed by trying to cut out the entire lapbook at once. Try doing one section at a time & label the backs of the mini-books with a light touch of a pencil as you go along to keep up with what goes where. Follow the simple instructions on each page and the diagram layout for the big picture.

Your students will be so proud of their finished product and will look forward to showing it off to parents and grandparents alike!

Improve Retention

As mentioned above, lapbooking with AJTL uses all three of the main learning techniques in the educational process. As children hear, see, and interact with the material – they are using both the left and right sides of their brain which results in more brain power and better success in homeschooling.

Ultimately, kids have better retention levels because they have heard it, seen it, and interacted with it. It works!


Have you seen the New Leaf Press – ANSWERS for Kids lapbooks? 

We have many products to go along with your favorite curriculum and plenty of stand-alone choices as well!

Answers for Kids lapbooks    ANSWERS vol 3    ANSWERS vol 4


Moms Say AJTL Lapbooks are Easy to Use

What moms are saying . . .


We love hearing from our customers about how A Journey Through Learning products are enhancing their homeschool.

AJTL lapbooks are easy to use!

One of the key features of our lapbooks is the easy to use format. Each page is numbered so that – even if you were to drop the entire stack of pages . . . they could easily be put back in order. Additionally, there are pictures to show you how to lay out the mini-booklets, and each mini-book is explained in full within the study guides that accompany the stand alone lapbooks.

A first time homeschool mom and first time lapbooker said,

I just wanted you to know how much I love your lapbooks! This is my first year homeschooling my three children, and our first experience using lapbooks.

Of the lapbooks I have seen, these are by far superior.

Even when I can get some products for free, I would still prefer to purchase A Journey Through Learning.

They are easy to follow, have clear instructions and great curriculum matter.

~Lucinda Douglas – a homeschool mom

We LOVE to hear that Lucinda! Thank you for sharing!

Producing curriculum that holds valuable information, is relevant to students ages, and is easy to use – are just a few of our main goals at AJTL.

Lapbooking will add a layer of creativity to your studies (even if you are not a “crafty” or “artistic” person) and will help your students not only learn to pull out the most relevant information, but also will help them retain what they learn.

When they are finished with each lapbook or unit study project – they will have something to be proud of, and a terrific review tool!

Have you tried lapbooking yet?

Check out the special deal right now – get 50% off of select choices with code: SPRING50 

Spring SALE!


Try Lapbooking for FREE

If you have not yet signed up for our newsletter – be sure to do so & you will automatically be directed to the download page for a FREE Lapbook of the 17th Century!

Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help and encourage you in your homeschool journey.

Hope and Help for your Home and Homeschool in the New Year

Hope and Help for Home and Homeschool in the New Year

This time of the year, many are re-evaluating their home, life, and homeschool. We’ve rounded up posts from some of our favorite bloggers to help and encourage you as you prepare to tackle 2015! God Bless!

Hope and Help for your Home and Homeschool in the New Year: 

Teach Children to set Goals – Free Printable from AJTL
New Year Resolutions for kids


 Great Quotes and Scripture copywork for the New Year @Adventures in Childrearing

(comes with activities to keep little ones happy while older students do copywork)
Great Quotes & Scripture copywork for the New Year


2015 Gratitude Journal @ Ben and Me

2015 Grateful Journal

How to Become an Excellent Bible Teacher @ futureflyingsaucers

Become an Excellent Bible Teacher

Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from setting goals! @His Mercy is New

Don't let fear of failure hold you back!

Quick Start Guide to Praying the Scriptures @His Mercy is New

Praying the Scriptures

Top 10 Free Homeschool Printables @Homeschool Encouragement 

To Ten Free Homeschool Printables from Homeschool Encouragement

Encouraging Scripture Printables @Homeschool Encouragement 


Teaching Students with Dyslexia – Series & FREEBIES

Teaching Students with Dyslexia


Put the fun back into your homeschool by using our lapbooks!

Simple to use – with assembly instructions on each page . . . .

On SALE Now – get 50% off on Selected titles with code: WINTERFUN

Jan & Feb Special - 50% off on Selected Titles


 New Year

AJTL has big plans for the new year and we want to include you each step of the way! Sign up for our New & Improved (monthly) Newsletter and receive exclusive discounts as well as a FREE Lapbook to get you started. We will encourage you & offer discounts & resource to help you in your homeschool journey.

Sign Up Now

Lapbooking for Homeschool: What and Why you should

Lapbooking for Homeschool

What exactly is lapbooking for homeschool and why should you use it?

Lapbooking for Homeschool - what & why you should

The What

Lapbooking is simply a way to gather the information you are learning and studying and compiling it into a mini-book format. Students learn to assimilate information, to pull out the important data, and to put it together in an organized and understandable presentation.

Regular file folders are used as a base to create this fantastic homeschool resource. See our tutorial HERE  on how to fold them to form the main book. Additional “mini-books” are then added throughout the base to organize and present the information on any topic.

Lapbooks are an educational scrapbook of your studies.

The Why

Lapbooking trains students to process, assimilate and share important information.  

The mini-books that are put together throughout the lapbooking process provide a terrific visual method of “chunking” information in appropriate sections. This skill not only helps students retain what they are learning, but is a skill that will continue to be useful to them long after their lapbooking days have passed!

Lapbooks also make great tools for review and for recording all that you have studied in your homeschool journey.

Lapbooking is educational and fun!

Additional Benefits

Using lapbooking as an educational tool in your family homeschool can change the whole atmosphere in your school day. A few of the added benefits include the following:

  1. Lapbooking is FUN!
  2. Lapbooking is CREATIVE
  3. Great for Special Needs Learning
  4. Hands on activities help students retain what they learn
  5. Terrific resource for REVIEW
  7. Lapbooking highlights the most important information on a subject
  8. It teaches organizational skills useful in studies & throughout life
  9. It is FLEXIBLE! Use it in a way that works best for your family or child
  10. Lapbooks make a GREAT PRESENTATIONS of work (for grandparents or state agencies)


A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks come in stand alone options that need no other curriculum, and also in lapbooks to accompany your studies for many of your favorite homeschool companies!  SEE OUR STORE HERE


Summer Lapbooking

Summer is a great time to start your lapbooking journey.


Because many of us, either take a break from school, or we reduce the amount of school we are doing.  This frees up some time to learn to utilize lapbooks.  It gives our children something to do on those rainy days, or so stinking hot it is not really fit to be outside.  It can break the summer boredom patterns too.

Some ways to utilize lapbooks during these hot months:Abbey Lapbooking (1)

  • Review a some concepts taught from last year
  • Introduce some new concepts that will help make the next year a little easier
  • Use our blank templates to have children lapbook through vacation, gardening, and more.
  • Help younger children get a head start in reading by using one of our literature lapbooks
  • Do a lapbook to help gain excitement in science or history topics you will be studying in depth next year.
  • Do one of our Bible Lapbooks to help review some of the verses and Bible stories you have covered.
  • Train an older child to lapbook with a younger child, to give you more time to work with another child.
  • Enjoy a Staycation traveling the world with one or two or more of our Geography Lapbooks
  • Practice and Review math facts with our math lapbooks

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to lapbook through the summer to help keep those skills learned last year tuned up.

What lapbook would you like to work through this summer?

Here is a special to help you stock up on Lapbooks:

In honor of Nancy’s birthday, ALL downloads are 25% OFF THIS WEEK. Use the code Nancy at check out. NOT GOOD on CD, Printed, or Assembled items and NOT GOOD on folders. Can not be used on previous orders. Sale ends Friday, May 25! REMEMBER-GOOD ON DOWNLOADS ONLY! Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Top Ten Unusal Lapbooking Supplies

Last week we discussed ten reasons to try lapbooking.  This week we are going to talk about a few supplies that can make lapbooking a little bit more “crafty”.

Knights & Castles

Personally, I need to let my children do this a little more.  Our children have a lot of fun embellishing after they do the thinking part of filling out the information.  This also helps cover another subject in school – art!

Creative thinking and creative activities are key when teaching special needs children and those with dyslexia. Making supplies, such as these,  available to them can go a long way towards helping them retain what they learn.

By using artistic means to enhance the school work in your homeschool, you help to engage both the left and right brain activity in your students. Learn more about how this can make a difference in teaching – especially those with dyslexia and special needs HERE.

There are many (limitless) supplies you can choose from – these are a few of our favorite.

Top Ten Unusual Lapbooking Supplies:

  1. Glitter Glue
  2. Water Color Crayons
  3. Oil Pastels
  4. Glue Dots
  5. 3d Glue Dots
  6. Eyelets, Rivets & Brads
  7. Circle Cutter
  8. Decorative scissors
  9. Yarn and ribbon in various colors
  10. Stickers, buttons, flowers

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Helping the Reluctant Child Learn to Love Lapbooking

Believe it or not, when I started working for A Journey Through Learning in August, my oldest did NOT like lapbooking.  He would practically refuse to do a lapbook.

We finally sat down and talked about why…it was because the first five lapbooks we attempted were so challenging, and he really didn’t like the subject matter.  He also struggled because many require a lot of writing.  He is dysgraphic, so writing is a challenge.

So, I asked Paula and Nancy what I could do to help.  First they sent me some high interest lapbooks for him to work on.  Specifically the Reptiles lapbook.

He absolutely loved this lapbook.  He learned about different reptiles, and found the instructions so easy to follow, that he able to complete it on his own.

Just the other day, he said

“I am a smart boy now that I can lapbook”


It seems that those harder to follow, more complicated lapbooks really had him believing he couldn’t lapbook and that he was not smart.

Finding a lapbook that interests you child is key.  Next find out how best to meet their needs.  Some moms will sit down with their child have the child tell the mom what to write down.  Others will allow the child to type their answers on the computer and print it off on sticky paper, then allow the student to stick the answers on the mini books.

I only assign a minibook or two per lapbook per day.  This keeps the lapbooks from being overwhelming.

For coloring the lapbooks, you can allow your child to use colored pencils, pastel chalks, oil pastels, crayon, and even water color paints.

To do the water color paints, you will want to copy the area to be painted onto a separate piece of paper, then once painted and dried, cut and paste to that mini book.

I have also found that spending a bit more on colored file folders really helps my children want to lapbook more.

Lapbooking is a very creative way to learn new information.  When the child finishes a lapbook, they have something they are proud of to show to their friends and relative.

Lapbook Supply Storage Ideas

One question I get asked frequently is:

How do you store all your lapbook supplies?

For our family, I just managed to accomplish this.  First I purchase a little green caddy.  I then decided what supplies would be most useful in there.


I chose to add:

  • scissors
  • pens and pencils
  • glue sticks, bottle of glue and sticky dots
  • glitter pens, as there wasn’t room in my supply organizer
  • tape dispenser



Below are a few of the ideas I had submitted when I asked on Facebook what other do to store their lapbooking supplies.

Missy wrote: “I have a small tote that has pockets going around it. Each pocket has things like glue, crayons, pencils, brads, glitter etc. And in the middle are our two bigger items – stapler and pencil sharpener. I also use a hard pencil case for stickers. And to store our in progress lapbooks I use a plastic 12×12 scrapbook envelope to hold the folders and any loose items (I bought these at the craft store for $1).”

You Found a Code: Chris

Patty wrote: “We use binders with cardstock to hold our lapbooks instead of the folded file folders. It stores better for us. I store the uncut minibooks in clear page protectors, sometimes we cut them out as we go, Normally I’ll cut out a set at at time. To keep all the completed mini-books together I use a zippered “Pencil Pouch” that fits right in the binder. Then when we are ready to assemble, all are right there–nothing is ever lost!”

Paula of AJTL wrote: “one neat thing we do for storing the lapbooks themselves is to use the duct tape on the sides and put in a notebook.”