As a homeschooling mom with sixteen years under my belt, math still makes me cringe! I loved teaching my four chil-
dren history, science, and the arts. Each
of these subjects I pored over each sum-
mer. Spending hours researching our field
trips, experiments, and projects for the
upcoming year was a thrill. When the time
came for me to decide on which math cur-
riculum we would use, I would become
depressed. Hours were spent at my local
homeschooling convention as I stopped
at each math table. Math is a subject that
many children don’t enjoy. For them, the
concepts are hard to remember. They
struggle with the memorization of all of
those facts! Then, comes higher math with
all of the rules, steps, order, and little al-
phabet letters! Ugh!
Years ago, I started homeschooling with
my best friend, Paula Winget. Between
us, we were homeschooling six children.
Co-teaching them together was something
we enjoyed. Together we would create
hands-on lessons for our children and our
A couple of months into our business,
a mom emailed us about the idea of creating lapbooks to be used for math. For
those new to the term, lapbooks are simply a collection of mini-booklets glued
inside of file folders. Each mini-booklet
addresses a key point relating to the study.
Lapbooking is perfect for the hands-on
learner! Usually, lapbooks are geared more
for history, science, Bible and literature
topics, but we decided to research the idea.
Through my research, I discovered that
there are several reasons that children like
and need math manipulatives.
Using manipulatives while teaching math
concepts, first and foremost, provides the
hands something to do. Many children,
especially those with ADHD, have to be
moving. I have personal insight into this
world. My son, now 15, still walks around
our kitchen island in circles as he studies.
He carries a “twirling” object in his pocket.
To think is to walk, spin, roll a dice, twirl a
spinner, or even just rub his fingers together. So, I had been personally using all types
of manipulatives for years. Placing manipulatives inside of a lapbook was a new exciting challenge.
By Nancy Fileccia
Helps Make the Grade!
Above: Kindergarten Daily Helper Lapbook Sample
When a child creates something they are proud of,
they will share and re-use the tool over and over.