Kindergarten Daily Helper Lapbook Sample

As a homeschooling mom with sixteen years under my belt, math still makes me cringe! I loved teaching my four children history, science, and the arts. Each of these subjects I pored over each summer. Spending hours researching our field trips, experiments, and projects for the upcoming year was a thrill. When the time came for me to decide on which math curriculum we would use, I would become depressed. Hours were spent at my local homeschooling convention as I stopped at each math table. Math is a subject that many children don’t enjoy. For them, the concepts are hard to remember. They struggle with the memorization of all of those facts! Then, comes higher math with all of the rules, steps, order, and little alphabet letters! Ugh!

Nancy Explains Daily Helpers Lapbooks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43Ygb1WT_Q&feature=youtu.be

Years ago, I started homeschooling with my best friend, Paula Winget. Between us, we were homeschooling six children. Co-teaching them together was something we enjoyed. Together we would create hands-on lessons for our children and our business.

A couple of months into our business, a mom emailed us about the idea of creating lapbooks to be used for math. For those new to the term, lapbooks are simply a collection of mini-booklets glued inside of file folders. Each mini-booklet addresses a key point relating to the study. Lapbooking is perfect for the hands-on learner! Usually, lapbooks are geared more for history, science, Bible and literature topics, but we decided to research the idea. Through my research, I discovered that there are several reasons that children like and need math manipulatives.

Using manipulatives while teaching math concepts, first and foremost, provides the hands something to do. Many children, especially those with ADHD, have to be moving. I have personal insight into this world. My son, now 15, still walks around our kitchen island in circles as he studies. He carries a “twirling” object in his pocket. To think is to walk, spin, roll a dice, twirl a spinner, or even just rub his fingers together. So, I had been personally using all types of manipulatives for years. Placing manipulatives inside of a lapbook was a new exciting challenge.

All of our children fall into one of three basic types of learning styles. Research shows that manipulatives help to build the thinking process. My job was to lay out a math lapbook that covered all three learning styles into one product! Here are three learning styles:

  • Visual (using pictures and images)
  • Kinesthetic (using your body, hands, and sense of touch)
  • Verbal (using words, telling and retelling, and writing)

Starting with visual learning, I knew that I wanted booklets that could be utilized over and over again. By viewing, writing, erasing, reworking, and mastering problems, mathematical fears could be overcome. After all, math could not be taught in a basic “one-time” booklet. Laminating each booklet allowed problems to be worked over and over using write-on markers. Now, learning could continue until mastered.

Kinesthetic learners or tactile learning is a method where children learn best by doing, rather than listening or watching. They thrive when they can design their own teaching pieces through cutting, gluing and folding, which is what the child does to make their lapbook mini-booklets. This involves hand-eye interaction that merely doing worksheets does not offer. Once again, lapbooks were an excellent choice. When finished, the child fills the mini-booklet with the answers, and the hands-on activity continues. With each question a booklet must be opened, unrolled, twisted, etc. to uncover the answer.

Verbal learners need graphs, charts, maps, and diagrams. All of these teaching tools are used in lapbooking. Lapbooks encourage kids to share their knowledge with others. When a child creates something they are proud of, they will share and re-use the tool over and over. With each new person (dad, grandparents, aunts, and uncles) they will open their lapbook and retell an entire subject start to end. When was the last time your child opened a workbook and showed it off cover to cover while explaining each concept?

A lapbook full of math mastery booklets is a great hands-on tool.1 Full of learning fun, each lapbook can be organized, is reusable, and stores neatly. They are great tools to take on road trips or to doctor appointments. Your child will enjoy going through the lapbook, opening and closing the mini-booklets, while soaking in additional knowledge. Your child will be “doing school” and not even realizing it. How awesome is that?

Endnote:

  1. Our product, Daily Helpers, goes over each skill that would be mastered during the year. Currently, we have Daily Helpers through fifth grade. Each contains three folders full of math mastery booklets.

Copyright 2017, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.

Nancy Fileccia

Nancy Fileccia is a sixteen-year homeschooling mom. She is co-owner of A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks with her friend, Paula Winget.