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more than the subject at hand

We are really not a lapbooking family.  I have always loved the look of a lapbook, where everything you have learned about a particular subject is summarized and housed between the covers of file folders, but there is just so much printing and cutting and pasting.....

That said, we are really enjoying our Periodic Table lapbook.  Perhaps because the girls are doing it with a friend.  We are not rushing through it. There is no “due date”.  We have been working on it at home and taking it on the road.  We worked on it at Yale’s Peabody Museum and this week we worked on it at the UCONN Library, after a failed visit to UCONN’s Museum of Natural History.  I was shocked at how tiny this museum is and how misrepresented it is based on the university’s website.  I was bitterly disappointed I rescheduled a trip to NYC due to the snow and ice, cold temps and crowded subways.  We should have just braved it and went....

...However, learning in a university library is a cool experience in itself.  My girls have ventured into the libraries of Sacred Heart University, Yale University, Quinnipiac University and UCONN.  They have attended programming at Fairfield University, Yale, Western Connecticut University and Southern Connecticut University.  I want them to attend a college or university when they are ready.  I don’t care what the name of the institution is, or how others perceive its status.  I don’t care if they do a trade program or spend some time at a community college.  I just want them to understand that there are many, many options out there to gain a skill, trade, degree, or certificate that will allow them to pursue a talent, interest, or career.   It may be art school, or music school, or a 4 year institution. They might unschool their way to a degree by choosing a university that will allow them to design their own major.  Maybe they will do an internship or apprenticeship.  Who knows?  By visiting these different schools and gaining an understanding of the feel, the culture, the programming, and the degrees offered, they are learning first hand that not there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to learning (as if they did not understand that already!).  

Our work may be focused on the Periodic Table, but in reality we are always learning far more than the subject at hand.


  1. Where did you get your Periodic Table Lapbook? It looks very interesting.

    1. At Homeschool Share: I am not a huge lap book person, but I really like this one.

  2. We're not really into lapbooking either - too much time taken cutting and folding for my not very crafty boys. (I figured you crafty people would be all over this. Interesting.) At the time we did this lapbook, I only had one kid at home, so I did all the cutting and folding and left him to do the learning.

    I'm sorry to hear the UConn museum wasn't what you hoped. Was it just that it was small? I've never been, so I'm curious.


    1. It was three small rooms. I know better than to go someplace without at least calling to verify that they have the material we are looking for. However, the girls said they had a fantastic day so while I was fretting over "wasted" time, they remember it quite differently.

      My problem with lap books, is really a larger problem with projects. We start them, but never finish them! This year I have put extra time and energy into allowing the girls to explore through projects and dedicating the days necessary to complete what they start.

      I am very grateful to you for your advice on this subject. It has turned into so much more that I ever anticipated.

  3. This is something that I wish Keilee had more access to. I so agree that just being in a college atmosphere is uplifting. Especially to our homeschool girls. You are so fortunate to have all these resources near. So anyone can go to college libraries? I have wondered about that. We only have a Jr. College and a Secondary college near us but it would still be neat to visit.

    1. I would call first but we have never been turned away from a college library, even the private exclusive schools, like Yale. I was shocked that anyone can use their library during certain hours. I will never forget our first library trip, when I took Lilah to the school I did my graduate work at while Grace was at a basketball clinic. She spent hours working on a bug project and we still talk about that day. She was only 8 or 9!

  4. I'm amazed at how many universities you have in relatively close proximity. One of many ways the United States differs from here. I love your last comment - I often find that we too are often learning far more than the lesson at hand

    1. Connecticut is loaded with colleges and universities. There are many more that we have not explored yet. Within a two hour radius of our house, we have access to the programs at the Boston institutions, Worcester colleges, Rhode Island colleges and New York/New Jersey! Since I don't mind driving for quality programs, there more going on than we can attend. It is truly a blessing.


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