Educational Scrapbooks

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When I was a kid my Mother always provided my sister and me with scrapbooks and pots of paste during the summer holidays.

Then if we ever said we were bored, her stock answer was 'work on your scrapbooks'!

I don't mean the beautifully designed photo album memory books you see nowadays. I mean just those cheap big blank books with colored paper like this

Americans - I searched for hours and you just don't seem to have them for sale. They are everywhere here! Maybe you call them something else?

Australians - Yep, you have em. Here.

I found a video and journal that is EXACTLY what I am talking about! Click here to find out more!

Types of Educational Scrapbooks

We usually kept two types of scrapbooks.

The first was just a book of scraps! Anything that took our fancy got pasted in. Poems, newspaper cuttings, magazine pictures, drawings and keepsakes. A bit like my ideas daybook or as a starting point for journaling with kids - but without any end result in mind. We just thought they were fun. I still have one of those scrapbooks and it is a great reference book for art projects as it is filled with pictures I like.

Victorian Scrapbook

Example of vintage scrapbook

I think the telegraph sums this up with a quote about Cecil Beaton's scrapbooks :

Images were nourishment and fodder for his creative energy, and over 40 years, he ceaselessly tore pages from magazines, clipped from newspapers, playbills and tickets, Christmas cards, postcards and telegrams, pasting each item onto pages numbering in their thousands.

The second scrapbook was more of a learning journal. We would pick a subject and over the summer fill the book with things we had learned about it. Of course in those days we couldn't just do a google search and print out lots of stuff - so we painstakingly copied out passages or reproduced drawings to add.

The scrapbooks were slowly added to. We wrote up notes. Jotted down questions we had about something. Made comments. By the end of the summer that scrapbook would be bulging. Clippings and news articles, postcards - whatever we could get our hands on about our subject. And you can bet we had learnt loads about our subject (wasn't my Mam sneaky?).

Scrapbook Project Ideas

I have been thinking of bringing back this tradition in our household - perhaps as a winter project. I can think of lots of uses and projects for this gentle way of learning :

According to Victoriana

"A nineteenth century school-girl scrapbook often displayed portraits of her favorite authors, with little sketches of their lives and quotations from their works."

We could pick a theme for our scrapbook - butterflies, an artist or 'woman in history' - or anything from our Smorgasbord curriculum . Even something really visual like a color or shape. And then keep our eyes open and slowly add to our books.

My educational scrapbook

Wouldn't a nature scrapbook be lovely - and a compact way of having a nature table? You could add leaves and pictures of the animals you saw - and even bark rubbings and pressed flowers.

More ideas:

  • A general learning scrapbook covering a whole school year of learning in one place.
  • An Art journal with lots of paintings and details of artists.
  • A geography journal - travel around the world and make one page per city or country studied.
  • Timelines -collect scraps and pictures about different time periods.

I guess I am harking back to the days before lapbooks and notebooking. I miss the time when scrapbooking meant you could just stick things into a book, in any old order, without making endless little booklets and flaps or prettying things up!!

By all means delve into these and the lovely scrapbooking materials available - but lets do a bit of old fashioned cutting and pasting too!

What about you. Could you use educational scrapbooks in your homeschool? I hope you feel inspired to give it a try.

Smash Journals

This video is EXACTLY the kind of thing I am talking about! Use a Smash journal to keep an educational scrapbook!

Wouldn't it make a great gift? There are several different colors and styles - so something to suit everyone! And there are lots of accessories to go with the journals too.

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