Making Books in Your Homeschool is a post by Sarah Small from SmallWorld at Home.
Possibly, I am slightly obsessed with books. Not only do we have a dozen bookcases or more that house hardbacks and paperbacks of all shapes and sizes, butI have boxes of books that the kids have made during our dozen years of homeschooling.
These books are not only treasures for us but fantastic learning tools for the kids. We make books primarily as a means to enhance a certain topic we are studying, although sometimes we make books just for fun. Book making provides a multi-sensory approach to learning: hands are busy, minds are exploding with ideas, connections are being made between topic and task.
A book can begin with just a folded piece of paper, or with cardboard, wrapping paper, or a brown grocery sack. The possibilities are endless.
I still have the very first book I made for my firstborn, although it is in shambles. This was a word book, with pictures of everyday objects like a car, sock, and kitty. I wrote a short poem for a couple of pages, glued it all on thick cardboard, and bound it with red yarn. I can’t imagine how many times my little son and I read our word book together. (Hands-on poetry project ideas for kids)
I have made dozens of books with my three kids in the 18 years since that cardboard primer. We keep them all in our Big Box of Books. (Click on the link to read about our first-day-of-school routine that involves our book collection.)
We love gluing dried flowers on paper and stapling pages together or sketching what we see in our yard or in the mountains.
These kinds of books are great for nature studies! If you’re not doing nature studies, here are five tools to get started with backyard nature studies.
2. About Me books
These are mandatory for us at the beginning of each year. Our collection ranges from simple construction paper books to fill-in-the-blank books, like these from Enchanted Learning.
3. Subject-specific books
Whatever we are studying can turn into a book, whether it is the alphabet, the Titanic, or a particular country.
Oh, how I love lapbooks! My kids enjoy making the tiny foldables and fun mini-books, and the final product is always so satisfying. What a great learning tool!
From early learning skills to specific topics, lapbooks are a fantastic way to reinforce learning. Check out my post on lapbooking resources for lots of ideas and links.
5. Story/Poetry books
What kind of creative writer would I be if I didn’t mention all the story and poetry books that we have made throughout the years? From my oldest son’s 50-page Monster Book to simply illustrated stories to our visual poetry books, we count these among our favorites.
I think that every child who has ever read a book—or has had a book read to him — has the desire to somehow make his own book. You don’t have to be a crafty parent to help your child make books. All you really need is paper; staples, tape, or yarn; and something with which to write.
But if you want to venture into fancier book-making, try some of these resources:
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord provides great ideas and instructions for all kinds of book making at Making Books with Children.
Dinah Zike‘s Big Book of Books and Activities is absolutely full of ideas, projects, templates, etc. — if you can get a copy!
Vicki Blackwell’s Tech-It and Take-It has all kinds of patterns and ideas.
Making Books with Kids by Esther K. Smith features 25 unique paper projects great for creative book making.
There are lots of ideas for foldable book projects in Make It! Write It! Read It!: Simple Bookmaking Projects to Engage Kids in Art and Literacy by Wendy M.L. Libby.
If you feel too intimidated by book making (you shouldn’t though!) or just want a unique gift for a child, Faber-Castell has a Bitty Books set that has three books to make, along with a variety of other supplies.
Do you make books with your kids? What are your favorite kinds of books to make?
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This post was originally published on October 26, 2011. It was last updated in September 2016.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission. It doesn’t, however, change how much you pay.