Notebooking the Lapbook Way

We’re doing a lot of notebooking this year. I love so much about lapbooking, but in the end, the space it takes was a real deal-killer this year. I am all about concise, confined homeschool. Besides, there’s the fact that my kids still pull out their notebooks from 2 years ago to show people, while the lapbooks stay untouched on the shelf. So, back to notebooking it is.

But I am trying to keep the spirit of lapbooking in mind. We are using, in a sense, a notebooking-hybrid.

Our notebooking pages this year are filled with pockets and mini-books, flaps and folds.

Notebooking the Lapbook Way

Notebooking the Lapbook Way

Some of our creativity is out of the pure of joy of creating, while some of it is born of necessity. For instance, our Story of the World activities include a lot of puppets and finger puppets. The kids love these and always opt to do the puppet-project if there is one. Storing all of those pieces takes a little creativity.

Notebooking the Lapbook Way

A super fun and effective way to “notebook” our finger puppets is to trace the kids hands, have them decorate their hand, then I cut the “finger” lines with an exacto, and we slip the puppets over the paper fingers. Too cute!

Notebooking the Lapbook Way

For us, it makes our memories easier to take with us and easier to share with others. (Plus, it helps me keep all the parts and pieces in one place.)

Note: Many of our lapbooking/notebooking elements are courtesy of the free downloads from Dynamic2Moms website. Check out their vast collection of resources for history.

Illuminated Letters and Calligraphy

We’ve been learning about the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic Empire, and some church history over the last few weeks. St. Patrick, St. Valentine, and St. Augustine are a few of the names we’ve read about. And for art, we’ve explored the printed books the monks would work on.

We read Caedmon’s Song, a beautiful book about a shepherd who became a monk and wrote songs. Then the kids colored an illuminated letter. But I thought it might be more fun to go a step further.

We cut out our illuminated letter, glued it to some brown card stock, and experimented with calligraphy markers. I did help them with the actual writing, holding their little hands as they wrote so that they could keep the right angle. But to see their eyes light up as they saw the beautiful letters was worth a little intervention.

Child calligraphy project

child calligraphy project

Then we hole-punched the pictures and threaded some twine for hangers. It was a fun way to explore the work the monks would do and the perfect craft as we head into the Thanksgiving season.

Dayspring Christian Academy Review


Thanksgiving is a big deal at our house. We place a huge emphasis on the holiday, beginning our traditions at the very beginning of the month of November. Thus, after watching the video preview of The Pilgrim Story online course produced through Dayspring Christian Academy, I knew it was something I wanted to try even though my children were considerably younger than the recommended 3rd through 6th grade.

  Dayspring Christian review

I began going through the course with my kids in the afternoons once or twice a week. My daughter, age 4, was only moderately interested, but my first grader was extremely intrigued. He loved the video presentations and the interactive slides, and he loved that he could ace the review questions at the beginning of each lesson.

The course is set up for a student to create his own notebook with vocabulary sheets, fill-in-the-blank notes sheets, Principles sheets, and various other activities. Much of this was obviously above my son’s ability, so I took the general concept and modified it to fit my child. We did create a notebook, and I printed off the Principle sheets for his notebook. Then, I had him color a picture about each lesson and narrate the lesson back to me from the details he included in his picture. He retained a lot of information this way and loved drawing the pictures!




Dayspring Christian takes a “principal approach” to history, relating the events from the perspective of God’s sovereignty and the principles that can be seen throughout history. These include “liberty of conscience,” “diligence and industry,” “Christian character” and many others.

Pilgrim Story

The video presentation narrated the story of the Pilgrims in great detail, including many quotations from original sources such as William Bradford and William Brewster. Though my son loved the story and could easily navigate through the slides, we always listened to the story together, and there were often times when I had to paraphrase what had just been said. Still, when it came time for the questions at the end of the lesson, he nearly always got them all right.

TOS review

This self-paced course consists of 5 units or a total of 17 lessons. Currently, we are about half-way through unit 3 and have completed 10 lessons. As we continue to work through the course, we will include as many activities as my son is capable of doing and will continue with our own method of draw-and-narrate. And, as we get closer to Thanksgiving, the course also includes a virtual tour of Plymouth, an activity that we will invite the whole family to participate in, I’m sure. Overall, this was a great experience with online learning and an opportunity we might not have otherwise afforded. My son and I are learning a ton about the Pilgrims! And I expect this year’s Thanksgiving celebration will mean a lot more to him.

The Pilgrim Story is available for $99 for 6-months access to the course. Visit the website to read more about the course or watch the video preview (scroll to the bottom of the page) to see for yourself the quality of this course. Then, read what others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say.


homeschool product reviews


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free 6 month subscription to this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.