Ironically, not long after I took the indefinite break from running the lapbooking classes and workshops in 2013, I also stopped lapbooking at home.
Of the three kids, O started at the earliest. She made her first lapbook at 2 years old. We went on to work on a few more. But instead of completing one lapbook a month as I originally planned, our pace slowed gradually over time as other priorities emerged, and I began devoting fewer and fewer hours per week to homeschooling. In the end, we only managed to complete a handful in the next 12 months. Sadly, this year has been an even slower year on the homeschooling front.
Two days ago, O looked through her lapbooks and to my pleasant surprise, she could recall so much from her "lessons" with me, even though many of these lessons were conducted months ago. Her responses demonstrated what I have always suspected - that she can comprehend as much as her brothers when they were this age. Yet another proof to what I used to advocate to friends and parents of former students - INPUT, INPUT, INPUT even as early as 18 months. The pay-off will come later, and usually we can start to see it around ages 3-4.
I was suddenly inspired to review all the lapbooks I had made with the boys. It brought back so much wonderful memories and warmth to my heart. Just looking through all the lapbooks that O made with me so far, it is fascinating to see how much my lapbooks have evolved.
Those made in the early days of lapbooking in 2009, such as Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, were more straightforward, with simpler activities.
By 2010, the lapbooking activities were a lot more varied, with more emphasis on honing creative and critical thinking skills for all age groups. For all age groups, the content and activities introduced were pegged at least 10% - 20% above the norm, as seen in the typical enrichment programmes and kindergartens.
When the boys used to work on lapbook at home with me, we would spend between 15 and 25 hours in total, over a period of few weeks, to complete all the activities in the lesson plan. This elaborate lapbook, that M did when he was only 5 years old, was one such example.
Thankfully, my baby O, who has just turned 4, is able to read as well as the boys when they were this age. Now it is time to pick up the pace on lapbooking again, so we can reap the benefits of the comprehensive programme I have in store for her.