Swapping Adventures

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I think I might have posted about this before, but I thought I’d do it again.  On Facebook there is a group called Homeschool Swapping Adventures.  They have many different types of swaps you can get involved in.  Some include: postcards (monthly), Geoboxes, Traveling Buddies (similar to Flat Stanley), penpals, and various holiday swaps.  We have really enjoyed being involved in this group.  We are participating in the postcard swap right now.  We are trying to get a postcard from every state.  We even have a map up to mark each state we get.

4 1 13 002  This shows the map when we first put it up.  We only had four states.  We now have seven.  It’s a lot of fun to read the postcards, and then to mark them on the map.  This map is 2 pages x 2 pages.  You can make a map as large as 8 pages x 8 pages at Your Child Learns, this is one of my favorite sites.

We are also starting a unit study on Ireland and then Great Britain.  So we have done maps for those places as well.

4 15 13 012           4 15 13 013

The first map is of Great Britain and the smaller map in the second picture is of Ireland.  We have also made the flags for England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.  As we do things in the unit study we will add to the maps.  Today she will be adding four cities in Ireland; Blarney, Trim, Galway, and Dublin.  She is working on a Sightseeing Guide booklet today.  I got this study from Homeschool Share, It is under the free lapbooks.  Abby feels she is too old for lapbooks, so we do the same thing but then put the lapbook components in a notebook.  Here are a couple of pictures.

4 15 13 015            4 15 13 014

The first picture is the lapbook components she has completed.  I cut down a piece of construction paper and put holes in it.  She then completed the component and glued them on the construction paper.  When she is finished with the unit, she will have a notebook full of lapbook components as well as notes, drawings, and research essays.  So if you have a pre-teen or teenager that feels they are to old for lapbooks, this is a good alternative.  The second picture is the lapbook component she is working on today.

My next post will be about our new Writing Notebook and  our timeline.  I love our timeline!!  There is a post about it in an earlier post, but I thought I’d update it.




I will be webcasting again soon.

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I’m so excited that I will be webcasting again soon.  I’ll let you all know when I begin again. I know I will be doing a couple of holiday webcasts, but then I will begin doing my weekly webcasts after the first of the year.  SO if you have something you would like for me to cover in my webcasts please let me know.  I am again going to do some lapbooking and/or notebooking. I plan on covering some topics that are subject specific, such as using timelines in History, Nature/Science notebooks, and tips for teaching math. I’m also doing some research for a webcast on teaching and motivation tactics.  So let me know if these interest you and if you have suggestions.

I’ve also talked to Paul about doing a class online for elementary students.  My thoughts were something like a book club or unit study that the children could be a part of.  We would meet online either once a week or once a month to discuss the topic.  I would really like to know if that would interest anyone.  If it does please comment and let me know.  I think it would be a great motivator for the children.

School is going really well. We have changed a couple of things.  We are still using ACE for English and Math, but as soon as she finishes the PACES we have in Math we will be changing to Saxon 76. I was able to buy a Rod & Staff Spelling book, so we are using that. We are still doing writing on our own and she is doing really well with that.  We have been reading Little Women and I’ve been writing a unit study on the book.  I’m hoping to have it ready by the first of the year.  History and Science are still “Mystery of History” and “Apologia”.  Right now we are doing a unit study on Thanksgiving, so we have stopped History and Science for a bit.

Let me know how your school is going.  I’d love to hear from you.



Famous Artists Webcast

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This past Tuesday my webcast was on Famous Impressionists.  It was a great webcast!  I showed how to make a single, double and even a triple lapbook.  I introduced a wonderful website, Practical Pages, where there are lapbook components, information sheets, notebooking sheets and much more.  We discussed the children copying the artists.  I think this is a wonderful way for the children to study, more closely, the artist’s work.  If a child is copying a famous work of art, they pay closer attention to that art. We discussed how to include the children’s work in the lapbooks.

All in all this was a great webcast.  You can view this webcast at Justin.tv






My email:  rcstanley@ms.metrocast.net   or cstanley@afr.net

My blog:  www.tshhomeschool.wordpress.com



Feb. 21st – Making edible earth layer  (fun project for the children)

Feb. 28th – Reading Response Activities

March 6th – History Resources and Timelines


Supply List for “Edible Earth”


Large Marshmellow

2 rice crispie treats

Choclate syrup that hardens


food gloves

Double Lapbooks and Lapbooks as Gifts script

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Good afternoon.  Today we will be discussing how to make a double and triple lapbook and how we can make lapbooks into gifts. 


First let me show you how to make a double lapbook.  All it takes is two file folders.  You fold both of them into a single lapbook.  You then glue two of the sides together.  Because you want these to stay together, I recommend using liquid cement.  It brushes on and will last longer than regular glue.  I also recommend using paper clips to keep them together until they dry.  Now as you can see we have double the space in the lapbook for the mini books.


Another fun thing to do is to make a pocket between the lapbooks.  To do this you brush the glue on the three sides of the flaps, leaving the outer flap without glue.  This creates the pocket.  This is a wonderful place to put anything the child would like to include to remember the year.  In a double lapbook you would have one pocket, but in the triple lapbook you could have two pockets.


To make a triple lapbook, the principal is the same.  You just add one more lapbook on the end.  I’m not sure if you could go one more or not.  I haven’t tried.  But the triple lapbook closes up nicely. I’ve put together one for you to see.  You can even use these as a mini science project type board.  They stand up really nice.  This is how you close the lapbook.  Now you have three large areas and six small areas to work with.


These can be used as gifts as well.  The one I’m working on is for a girl and it’s a journaling project.  Eventho its past the first of the year, I wanted to show you how I have put this one together.  I just happened to have pastel paper that went well with the file folders. I found the file folders at The Dollar Tree for only a $1 for the three.  This lapbook is a year’s worth of journaling.  The child will journal what happens during each month of the year.  It’s not a great amount of journaling, but it does get journaling started. I’ve also put together some extra things in the smaller spaces. 


To make the monthly books, I went to homeschoolshare.com and got three of the simple fold books.  I used the ones that said “skinny”, because you want to be able to put four mini books per lapbook.  As you can see I wasn’t trying to be uniform, but just fit them onto the page.  The larger simple fold books are too big for the lapbook. I used two different methods for the mini books.  For the first one, I printed out two of the books, cut them out and then put them together.  Like this one.  The other type I printed out one book, then I took some notebook paper and traced around the mini book a couple of times. I cut out the paper smaller than the mini book and then put them inside the mini book as its pages.  You can use either of these methods or both.  I write each month’s name on a mini book and put them in the lapbook. 


The extra things I came up with were


New Year’s Resolutions

My Goals for this Year

My Summer Plans

My Goals for this School Year

My Birthday

My Year in Review


These will go on the flaps like this.  I’m putting summer plans and goals for the school year in the middle lapbook since that is where those months are.  The My birthday and year in review will go in the last lapbook.  


There are many other ways that you could make these into gifts.  A baby book journal, A summer fun journal.  Using pockets and the mini books you could make a wonderful picture album.  You could even make it a scrapbook.

I do have the lapbook Resource for sale.  This is a lapbook I made with about 15 different minibooks displayed in it. The resource is for sale for $10 using my paypal account (rcstanley@ms.metrocast.net).  Please email me and let me know you have bought it and what address to send the resource.


I hope you enjoyed this webcast and I hope you can use some of the information.  Remember next week my topic will be Notebooking 101.

Christmas Traditions Script

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Thank you for being here this afternoon.  Today we will be doing a lapbook you can use year after year as a keepsake.  The subject is Christmas Family Traditions.

Before we start, I want to remind everyone that my web casts are every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central time.  This week I had to postpone until today, but I do a web cast every Tuesday at 3:30pm.  And also this webcast will be recorded and will then be available on


www.thehomeschoolchannel.tv and also on YouTube.

Let’s first go over how to put together a lapbook.  Today our lapbook is going to be a simple one with no flaps.  We will have about 9 components in this.

First you fold your lapbook.  Open up the file folder and then fold each side into the middle.  Now you have your lapbook.  You have three areas to put your mini books on.

The front of your lapbook needs to have 4 things:

1) Title – Christmas traditions

2) Child’s name

3) Date – Christmas 2011

4) Decorated by your child

The mini books we will be doing today are: a pocket to put pictures in, a flap book for the traditions, a petal book for your Christmas tree traditions, a simple fold for your Christmas menu, a matchbook for your Christmas Eve traditions, a simple fold for your whose who list, a simple ford your recipes, an accordion fold for your special family traditions, and a simple fold for your church activities. You can include a pictures for any of these activities you would like to put into the picture pocket.  Remember on each mini book you will want to put what information will be in it.  So on the flap book you need to put that this is Traditions on the cover.

Let me show you what each of these mini books look like.  The pocket looks like this before you cut it out.  After you cut it out you fold the big piece down and then fold the flaps around it.  Then you just glue the flaps down into the book.  The flap book I made with four flaps and a cover.  You cut it out and then cut each flap so that it will open.  The front of the flaps will say, where will you go this Christmas season, when will you celebrate, how do you give out presents, and how do you do your stockings.  The petal book is my favorite.  This one has five petals and you would put your title on the inside which is “Christmas Tree” and then fold each petal in.  The last petal you fold under the first one so it will stay closed. On the outside of each petal you will put what information is under the petal, so you will put where do you put your tree, when do you put your tree up, what do you put on top, what other decorations do you put on your tree, and when will you take your tree down.

The next mini book is the simple fold for your Christmas Eve traditions.  On the front you will put the title and then when you open it up, you will put what you do as a family on Christmas Eve.  Next is the Whose who list and you will use another simple fold, but we will be turning it up like this.  For our Traditional recipes we will use another simple fold.  You can put as many recipes as you want into your lapbook.  Special Family Traditions are next and we will be using an accordion fold book.  Every family has some things they do that are special, I wrote down a couple of ours.  Every year since my oldest was about five, I have bought an ornament for each of my children and put them into their stocking.  Each child has a theme for their ornaments; Jaime’s is trains or nutcrackers, Rebekah’s reindeer or carousel horses, and Abigail’s is teddy bears.  Another of our traditions is going around town and looking at the Christmas lights.  So whatever your family does that is special you will put into the accordion book.  After you cut it out, you fold it just like we used to fold the fans.  Then you glue the bottom fold into the book and then you can pull the accordion open to see all the traditions.  The last mini book is another simple fold for Church Activities.

After you have printed out all your books and cut them out.  You will need to work with your child to get all the information in each book.  Also let your child decorate each book to make them colorful.  After all the books are finished, you can then start putting them into the lapbook.  Before you start gluing however, try placing the mini books in and rearranging them if you need to, to make sure they will all fit.  I think this was one of our mistakes in the past.  We would begin putting the mini books in as we finished them and then would always run out of room.  So place them in first before you begin gluing.

And that’s your lapbook.  Pretty simple!  I think sometimes we make things too complicated when they really aren’t.

Here is the website to print the mini books:


This is a wonderful website.  They have many different mini books with all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Are there any questions?

Susan says the stick glue doesn’t work for her.  You can use Elmer’s glue, you will just need to make sure your child doesn’t use too much.

Watersprite says how about using rubber glue?  Is that the one that uses the brush?  If it is I think that would work well.

Paul says they you a pen from 3M.

Double sided tape works well also, but it is a little more expensive.  I don’t like using staples though.

Paul says that next week on Wednesday, Dec. 28th at 3:30pm central, he will be doing a webcast about what will be going on in 2012 on The Homeschool Channel.  I’ll try and get my list to you, Paul, so you can use it during your webcast.

Thank you for being here today and I’ll see you next week.

Christmas Around the World Script

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Christmas Around the World

Dec. 6, 2011

Good Afternoon and Merry Christmas.  I’m so happy you are here and I hope that you will enjoy this Christmas Around the World lap book.

 Before we begin, I want to remind you that I have two more Tuesdays before Christmas. My subjects for those two web casts will be Hanukkah next Tuesday, Dec. 13th, and then Christmas traditions on December 20th. So I hope you will come back and participate in those web casts as well.

For today’s web cast I decided my subject would be Christmas around the world.  To make it just a little simpler, I decided to do the same mini books for every country.  So we will be doing a Tab book, a shutter fold book, and a matchbook.  We will also do two pockets.

The pockets we will do will be for all the countries and will be for recipes and songs.  So lets go ahead and do those two.  I’ve already folded my lapbook, but if you need to see that done you can look at the Thanksgiving lap booking 101 video.  I show how to fold a lapbook and how to put in an additional flap.  Now for these two pockets, you need to decorate the pocket first, and I’ve realized that’s easiest done before it is even cut out.  So after you decorate it with the title and some color, you then cut it out.  If you watch the lap booking 101 video, you know that you put glue on only the flap parts to make the pocket.  Now we are going to put these two pockets on the inside flaps of the lapbook. 

Now for the rest of the lapbook you will use the three mini books.  The Tab book will be used to find general information about the country; the capital, the currency, famous landmarks, and a fun fact.  The Shutter fold book will be about Christmas in that country: Preparations, tradition, Christmas greeting, and something special they do in that country.  The matchbook will be for the flag of that country.

The next step is to pick the countries you will be studying.  I’ve got information on 10 countries that I will make available as well as the mini books and pockets. 

So lets put together one country today.  We will be doing Australia.

Let’s start with the tab book.  I picked this tab book because it has lines.  I like having lines, especially for the younger children. For older children you can have them find additional information. For example, they could look up exchange rates for the currency or population of the capital city.  In this mini book we will be looking at general information about Australia.  We found that the capital of Australia is Canberra and the currency is dollars.  One famous landmark is the Sydney Opera House.  Also Australia is the only country that is also a continent.  Our fun fact is that Australia is called “the land down under”.  This is because it is the only continent that is fully “under” the equator.   So now lets put it into the lapbook.  I’ve decided to do five countries in this lapbook.  One country per page.

Now the Shutter fold book is for the Christmas information for each country.  For Australia we found that they prepare about the same as we do.  They trim a tree and decorate their house.  Their decorations are a bit different though.  They decorate with bush plants such as wattle flowers and bottlebushes.  For their traditions, they are different as well.  Since Christmas is celebrated during their summer season, many families have a Christmas BBQ or a picnic on the beach. Another fun tradition is their desert is a flaming Plum pudding that has a favor baked inside and the person that finds the favor will have good luck during the next year.  Our Something Special is Boxing Day.  This is celebrated on the day after Christmas and this is where people give gifts to the lay people in their lives such as their postman or garbage man.  The Christmas greeting for Australia is either Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas.  So now let’s put this one into the lapbook.

The last mini book is the matchbook that we will do the flag on.  I went and got a picture of the flag, but you could also have your child draw the flag.  I also labeled the bottom of the matchbook so that it would show that this is Australia’s flag.  And this one goes into the lapbook too.

As you can see I now can move on to the next country and that will go on the next page.  For this lapbook you will need to use the back of the flaps.

If you are interested in this lapbook as a file, it is for sale for $3.00.  You can pay through paypal and the email for that account is


Please email and let me know your email address so that I can send you the file.  In this file you will have information for 10 countries, as well as the three mini books and the two pockets with their cards.

Also I still have the lapbook resource available for $15.  If has 15 mini books in it.

I hope you enjoyed this webcast because I enjoyed doing it.  Remember next week we will be discussing Hanukkah.  We will look at the meaning, traditions and how to of this beautiful celebration.

Thanks again!

Penguin lapbook

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I thought this would be a great time to have some fun and do some different science than what we usually do.  I found this lapbook and also this Penguin unit.  I decided to put them together and allow my daughter to do this instead of her usual science.

This is the lapbook site:  http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/penguin-lapbook/2237824

And here is the site for the interactive unit:  http://simpleschoolingunitstudies.s3.amazonaws.com/2011_12_days_freebies/penguin_course/player.swf

This interactive unit will be free until sometime in January.

Using this unit your child can answer pretty much all the questions in the lapbook.  There are some creative writing that they will have to do on their own, but for the most part all the answers are there.

Let me know how you like it!

Merry Christmas!!!


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