Product Review - Journey Through Learning

As my children have gotten older the way we school has changed. They work more independently and now have questions about irrational and real numbers, logic, atheism, and citing sources correctly. I still have two that are still doing elementary work, and they like it when there is coloring, crafts, and hands-on type things. But the dilemma is balancing between the two age groups, finding what works, and making the time to do it all. One thing I have found that helps out with those younger ones are some really fun lapbooks and unit studies from A Journey Through Learning.

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What It Is:

First off, I need to define a lapbook. Lapbooks are a super fun way to display facts and information. These can be as simple as a single file folder opened up, or multiple ones glued together. A Journey Through Learning makes it very easy, with simple directions for making your lapbook in the beginning of each pdf. As your child progresses through the material, they continually add to their lapbook each day; usually it is something as simple as a drawing, labeling parts, or a sentence or two summarizing what they learned.

I chose to do The Earth lapbook.

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This lapbook, meant to be done in about a month, was well put together. A perfect fit for those students in grades 1-4, this fun program teaches about the earth's crust, days and seasons, the water cycle, landforms, ocean zones, and much more. Each day you and your child will read a topic page about different earth science subjects. These are 3-4 paragraphs long and are at approximately 3rd-4th grade reading level. For each page there is a component to add to the lapbook; the creators put a diagram on each page so you know exactly where in the lapbook you can put the little booklets. At the end of the study you will have a colorful, creative way to look back on everything your child has learned. At the end of the unit you will find song lyrics, poems about the earth, suggested books to read, science questions, and crafts. You can see sample pages from The Earth lapbook here.

I also decided to use a unit study from A Journey Through Learning about Astronomy and Space.

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This unit study goes through topics such as the universe, constellations, comets, the moon, telescopes, and goes through each of the planets. As with the lapbooks, there is a page to read, followed by a workbook page. These are varied; some are copywork pages, worksheets with questions about the material, experiment suggestions, spaces to draw pictures, and information cards to fill out for each planet. At the end of the study is a place to record all you have learned about each topic. There is also an enrichment page, planet book reports, narration forms for younger and older children, and additional reading material. The reading level of this unit study is at about the 4th grade level and is meant for students in 2nd-7th grade.  Sample pages of Astronomy and Space can be seen here.

What You Get:

Each unit study or lapbook comes with everything you need. For the lapbooks you will need 2-3 file folders for each child.

There are numerous options when purchasing: for The Earth lapbook you can buy the pdf as an instant download for $13, or the physical book  for $21.

The Astronomy and Space unit study can be bought as a pdf for $13, a CD for $14, and the printed version for $21.

I also received two other products from this company:

Knights and Castles lapbook looks like a really fun one and is meant for grades 2-7; this one can be purchased three ways: pdf - $13, CD - $14, and printed version - $21.

Letters, Numbers and Shapes, a lapbook for those little ones who can sometimes get left out, is perfect for early learners. The pricing is as follows: pdf - $13, CD - $14, printed version $21, and as a bonus they offer a completely assembled version for $29.

How We Used This And What We Thought:

I had my two younger ones use the lapbooks. First off, The Earth. Right now we are studying earth science in our co-op so this was a perfect fit for the younger kiddos. I really loved all of the hands-on booklets...some of the favorites were learning about the earths' crust and cutting out the layers, and learning about the different kinds of rocks, and drawing them onto the page, to be glued into the lapbook. I really appreciated the detailed instructions, and how easy it was to actually put the lapbook together. Like I said above, The Journey Through Learning made this super easy by giving you a diagram that tells where each of components go in the folder.

Here they are, happily cutting away at one of the booklets....

And here is one of the sides of their lapbook...

I decided to sit with Dasher each day and do a page from the Astronomy and Space unit study. The reading level was perfect for her, with harder vocabulary words underlined for emphasis. We would read it together, discussing the topic, and then move onto the workbook page. She really enjoyed the drawing sections, as you can see below from her Constellations page.

She liked learning about each of the planets and filling in the information cards about each one. I really liked the resources at the end of this unit study. There is a page with suggestions on how to organize information that is learned, and how to look for key words when gathering information. I also loved the narration pages. For the younger ones there is a place to also draw what has been learned; so often we forget how much the little ones like to be artistic!

There are so many other lapbooks and unit studies to choose from at The Journey Through Learning's website; you can see the list here.

Members of The Crew were given all four books as well, and some of them did the Knights and Castles, and also the Letters, Numbers, and Shapes lapbook. Check out what they have to say by clicking below.

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