We love A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks! I was so excited to see this on the Homeschool Review Crew list because we use these lapbooks so much that my son just assumes they are part of his normal curriculum, rather than a supplemental tool. For this review, we began on the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 JUNIOR Activity Book, which is designed for kindergarten through second grade. They also have the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book (not the JUNIOR version) for third through sixth grade.
What is A Journey Through Learning?
A Journey Through Learning (abbreviated AJTL) was started by two women about eight years ago who were in search of hands-on unit studies for their children. Together they created a series of lapbooks: a file folder filled with notebooking pages and mini-books on a specific subject. They have dozens and dozens of these lapbooks on their website. We’ve done their preschool lapbooks on farm animals and flowers, and their early elementary lapbooks on astronomy and medieval history, as well as last year’s Classical Conversations Cycle 2. We love AJTL! (And I love that all it takes is some scissors, crayons, glue, and a little bit of patience for my kids to cut out those mini-books.)
What is the AJTL Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book?
Unlike AJTL’s lapbooks, this is a workbook. This correlates directly with Classical Conversation’s Cycle 3. Each week, this workbook reviews the memory work for English, math, science, geography, and fine arts. This also goes over one letter each week – in cursive, just like the Classical Conversations’s PreScripts series (though again, this is a review and not a replacement for the program). The regular version (not the Junior version) also covers Latin.
How we used the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 JUNIOR Activity Book:
I should say “how we plan to use this,” not just “how we used this,” because the school year has barely begun! We plan to use this all school year.
Classical Conversations provides weekly memory work through the elementary years, drawing on a child’s natural ability to memorize things. How many children out there can quote their favorite stories or movies? Or sing the lyrics of a song after hearing it just once or twice? God made kids to memorize easily and the Classical Conversations model maximizes this ability while children are young.
But even with a child’s natural ability to memorize, the best way to ensure the memory work sticks is to experience it in multiple ways. We read books on the various subjects presented, and use the Classical Conversations cds that put the memory work to music, but we also use AJTL’s Activity Books to round out our boys’ Classical Conversations experience.
This workbook is about 200 pages. If you’re a member of a Classical Conversations community, you should have been provided with both a Staples and a Office Max discount card. (If not, contact your community’s director.) With that discount card, these books are only $4 or $5 to print out. I used my 3-hole-punch and put this in a 3-ring binder. Then, at the beginning of each week, we pull out the week’s worksheets and complete them during school time.
The Junior workbook actually contains two versions of the history work: one with just the name of the historical figure of the week with the year, and one with instructions to write out most of the history sentence. This makes it perfect to share with Little Brother! We’re also sharing the math work because my first grader actually needs the older math work (so for now we’re not reviewing the math memory work – he really didn’t want to copy the numbers after doing so for the last two years).
Where to find A Journey Through Learning:
Obviously you can click on their link to get to their store, but you can also find them on social media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJTL_Lapbooks @AJTL_lapbooks
They have an email list where they offer sales throughout the year, and a free lapbook just for signing up!