Friday, November 2, 2007

Live and Learn Press Review

When people first began making lapbooks to correlate with my books, I harkened back to our lapbooking days. In my mind, they added more work without benefit. However, I am now changing my tune as my daughter has been using the Live and Learn Press Lapbook/Notebooking approach for upper level Apologia and I am seeing immense benefits.

First, what I like about the Live and Learn Lapbook/Notebooks is that the folded books are placed on card stock that is put inside a notebook. So, you actually have a notebook, not a folder. Notebooks are easy to store and they maintain the aesthetics of your bookshelves. I like aesthetically appealing bookshelves - it's one of my idiosyncrasies. Also, the Live and Learn book folds are very clearly explained, making the folding process rather simple and not so time consuming. Further, they are visually appealing.

As I mentioned, I never understood the purpose of lapbooking, except to cut and paste and have fun, fun, fun. However, I can now say that there are actual advantages to this approach. My fourteen year old daughter simply does not like science. She doesn't hate it; she's just a very artsy person that is glad other people are scientists - not her. She's happy for plastic, cell phones and all the wonderful inventions of science - she's just not really that interested in how it's all done. She's a ballerina, you know.

So, when I saw the Live and Learn Press product that went along with the Apologia book my daughter is doing, I realized this was a way to integrate the artistic, visual appeal into the drudgery of upper level science for a non-science kid. We began using it this year. With the making of the books, and recording the information inside the books, my daughter was reinforcing her learning and adding a visual cue to help her remember the information. The real test, however, would be her score on the module tests. Lo and behold, she earned perfect scores (or near perfect) on all three of the tests she has taken to date! I am certain the Live and Learn Press minibooks and notebooking method has really helped.

So, I began to think about how these folding books would help students using my books - the Elementary Apologia series. Instead of making more work without adding benefits, I now believe these folding books are very beneficial. The student will quite enjoy writing their answers to the questions inside the little books they have made; and as their notebook becomes full, reviewing the material is as fun as reading a pop-up book - reinforcing retention!

Thus, I can highly recommend the Live and Learn folders for helping your child succeed in science - both the elementary and upper Apologia courses. I think they are a marvelous invention. I'm thankful that Debbie allowed me to test the product with my own child because it's going to make her high school transcript look much better!