I’m familiar with Homeschool in the Woods — I’ve used their beautifully rendered timeline figures for years. I’ve also used their Time Travelers Explorers study, nicely put together, fun, and (of course!) educational.
I was glad to be among those of the TOS Homeschool Crew who received the New Testament Lap Book Activity-Pak.
Lap Books are catching on among homeschoolers I know. Don’t know what a lapbook is? In brief, it’s a way of summarizing and organizing information in a creative, attractive way. Lapbooking can help students to assimilate new learning, and makes a wonderful tool for review as well as showcase of lessons learned. To learn more about lapbooking in general, just enter “lapbooks” or “lapbooking” into a search engine. The term “Lap Book” was coined, by the way, by the creators of Tobin’s Lab, http://www.tobinslab.com.
For my own convenience I’m going to refer to “lapbooks” from here on out.
Home School in the Woods’ New Testament Lap Book Activity-Pack has fifteen activities that teach about Jesus: from the prophesies that foretold His coming, to His death and Resurrection, on through the missionary journeys of Paul.
The first thing I noticed, reading through the instructions for the activities, was the provision for organizing. As you work on each activity, you store the results in a zipper-top plastic bag until it’s time to put the whole lapbook together. I learned the hard way, while working on lapbooks, that lapbooks take time. You don’t assemble a lapbook in one day — well, you do, but only after finishing all the components, and that may take a month or more! It’s discouraging, the way things have a tendency to scatter and get lost. However, it doesn’t take much effort to head off discouragement with a little planning ahead.
The next thing I noticed was the beauty of the artwork provided. “The Miracles of Jesus,” for example, is a shape-book (three books, actually) in the shape of a basket holding five loaves and two fish. Your student will write the details of Jesus’ miracles on pages with a loaf- or fish-shaped cover, or just cut out and assemble the pre-printed pages.
The activities provide for the perfectionist in us, with the interior pages of the books already pre-printed (lineage of Christ, miracles, Bible verses, parables, biographical sketches of the 12 disciples, and so forth). This was helpful for our middle daughter, who likes things to look “just so” but struggles with neat handwriting. She’d rather type, actually, than write.
If you want your student to interact with the material a little more in depth, rather than just cutting out the pre-printed pages and assembling the lapbook, you can take the other option offered, where you write out the information yourself instead of using the pre-printed text.
Coloring for young and old
Some of the activities have pictures to color (large and friendly pieces of fruit, for example, suited to little people with crayons), and others have space to add your own artwork (like illustrating the parables of Jesus).
Most of the material can be printed out in black-and-white. The maps of Paul’s missionary journeys were the only pages with color, and these took up two pages. We didn’t have to print them out in color, as a matter of fact, as we chose to print out the black-and-white maps and mark Paul’s journeys on these with colored pencils, looking at the color maps on the computer monitor as a guide.
Included with the instructions and activity masters, you’ll find a Photo Gallery which shows each individual element as it might look when finished. (If your family chooses different background colors, or you have very young children doing the coloring, yours might differ somewhat.) It makes a handy reference guide, to see how an activity looks when it’s all finished (for us, this was especially true for the “pie” book, which was a little confusing at first, when we were putting it together).
Finally, all the activities are complete and it’s time to put the lapbook together! Fear not, for the instructions for assembling the lapbook are clear, precise, and accompanied by full color illustrations!
And, oh, my. The finished product is gorgeous.
We haven’t had time yet to do the bonus activities, “The New Testament Times” and “The Armor of God,” but they look interesting and I’m looking forward to exploring them.
Purchasers of the New Testament Lap Book Activity-Pak have permission to reproduce for for private family use, not an entire classroom.
The New Testament Lap Book Activity-Pak is available from Homeschool in the Woods for $18.95 (downloadable e-book), or $19.95 for a CD-Rom.
To see other TOS Crew reviews of this product, click here.