Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Lent Lapbook

When I began homeschooling my second grader last fall, I was looking especially for hands-on learning experiences. She had spent the previous year in a good school, but there was so much emphasis on workbooks that by the end of the year, she refused to read, write or attempt even the simplest math problems. She is a very active kid that needs to move constantly! 

I stumbled upon the Homeschool Share website and discovered the wonderful world of lapbooks! Lapbooks are hands-on learning books created by kids, sometimes with mom or dad's help. The cutting, pasting, coloring and painting was perfect for my craft-loving daughter. She also liked all the movable parts within the lapbook (sometimes there are wheels to turn, or flaps to open, or games to play.) So we created a variety of lapbooks while reading Five-in-a-Row books like The Story of Ping, Madeline, Papa Piccolo, and Lentil.

Then we moved on to creating lapbooks for special occasions. To prepare for her First Reconciliation last December, I purchased and downloaded The Sacrament of Confession Faith Folder from Lindy Meyer. Lindy's downloadable kit contained all the files I needed to make a very nice lapbook.  I simply printed out the files (alternating color and white paper). Then, as we discussed topics like The Ten Commandments or the different types of sin, I had my daughter cut, paste and color the related lapbook item into her folder. 

As a big fan of lapbooks, I was thrilled when I learned about Evann's Lent Lapbook on her blog,  Homeschool Goodies and Xhonane lapbook on her from Familia CatolicaI decided to borrow a few of their terrific ideas, plus add a few of my own, to create a lapbook that would not only teach her about Lent, but could also serve as a memory folder for my daughter to look back at when she's older.

Here are some photos of our lapbook:

Our lapbook covers (yes, I made one for myself, too!)

The inside of the lapbook

The inside of the flapbook contains our Lenten calendar, downloaded free from Lacy's Catholic Icing blog. 

The cover of the lapbook includes a coloring page image of Jesus carrying the cross and a title square that says "My Lent Lapbook 2011."  My daughter's also includes her Lent Journal (more about that in a minute.)


The left fold panel includes information about The Great Fast, which is what Orthodox Christians and Eastern Rite Catholics call Lent. I included this because my daughter was born in Russia, so I try to periodically share some of the customs and cultures of her birth country. This printable was downloaded from Jocelyn's blog, The Whole Trouble Is.

There is also a rectangle box that says "I prayed the Stations of the Cross."  Underneath it is a little envelope with small cut-out pictures of a crown of thorns. Whenever my daughter prays the Stations of the Cross, she gets to glue a crown of thorns into this box.  Thank you, Xhonane, from Familia Catolica, for this awesome idea!

The right panel
The right panel includes some of my own printables, including a list of our Lenten sacrifices and a "Today I prayed For..." log (we write down who we are praying for each day; it's my sneaky way of getting my hesitant writer to jot down a name or two!). There is also a journal to write down our thoughts during Lent. (My daughter pasted this to the outside of her flap.)
We have been using our lapbook since Ash Wednesday, and so far it is working quite nicely!  I think my daughter enjoys the slight change in our "starting school" ritual; it gives her a chance to look at the calendar in another way and build the habit of praying for someone special each day.

I have a couple of free downloads for you, if you would like to add them to your Lenten lapbook.

Click here for the "Lenten Journal" download, and here for the "Today I prayed for...." log.


  1. Great ideas! I especially love the prayer log. Is there a way I can change the dates for this year? Or perhaps maybe you could link to a blank template so that people can add the dates in the future?

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