Photo Books as Learning Tools

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Several months ago, I posted about some ideas I picked up from a homeschool seminar with Joyce Herzog. One of them was to use 4 X 6 plastic photo albums to make a variety of customized little books. We’ve been putting that idea to work this week as Josh and Megan have begun memorizing the list of prepositions in their Easy Grammar book.

Photo Book 1

We’ve been scouring magazines looking for pictures that represent any of the twenty-eight prepositions that the kids have to memorize. Once we find a picture we like, we paste it on an index card and write the preposition on the card. Then, we slide the card into the plastic photo sleeve.

Photo book 2

The next day, we make sentences about the pictures, using the prepositions on the cards. Some of them were a bit of a stretch since some of the prepositions are a little hard to depict with a picture, but I figure that as long as the kids know how we’re using it, they’ll still remember the words better.

photo book 3

The firemen are below the ladder

The firemen sit beside one another.

Sometimes their is lightening during a storm.

The people are between the trees.

There are a multitude of possibilities for these little books: alphabet, numbers, vocabulary words, timeline figures, about me books, phonics, and much more. They create a great, hands-on, visual for the facts being learned, making them great for a variety of learning styles.

What kind of books would you make?

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. I was thinking of doing this very thing but on a more basic level for my 2 year old. with colors and shapes and letters and numbers. too cool.

  2. very cool idea!! I love it! I have a ton of those little albums around the house. I'll have to see what we can do with ours.

  3. This is a great idea that could be used for most anything that needs to be memorized. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. what a fantastic idea! i was trying to figure out how to do my 6 year old's word bank…the ring with the index cards was just too destructible. but this is a wonderful way to keep the words/pictures preserved throughout the year! and i think i can do some fun things with them for my 2 and 4 year olds as well 🙂

  5. Last summer when my son was 3, I got one of those exact same photo books, some card stock of the same size and a bunch of scrapbooking alphabet stickers. We made an alphabet book, one letter per page. It was fun – he LOVES stickers – and now his little sister carries it around.

  6. We use them to keep track of our memory verses – makes it easy to review the ones that we've learned too. 🙂

  7. OMGoodness!! I love it! I have done that before using the photo books and index cards for quick references to scriptures but have never considered using them for school. What a great idea! One more that I plan to incorporate this year!!

  8. when my kids were little, i let them use 8.5×11 "magnetic" album pages to make abc books- one letter per page, with magazine pics, etc, for each letter. it was something a preschooler could do by him/herself while i worked with an older child.

    one of my kids took an elementary-level spanish class in which the teacher had the kids make up little index card books with spanish vocabulary. the little photo albums would work great for that.

    i don't think i'd have thought about using small photo books for something like prepositions. great idea! (and now you can use the cards to play "prepositional follow the leader" –we go THROUGH the door and UNDER the chair and DOWN the stairs…)

  9. My kids are a bit older 11,12 and 13 and all boys but I really like the idea of this. MY youngest has math anxiety. Mabey I can make one step per page for say multiplying large nummbers or division or with a zero. It could be a great way for him to know what to do next and be a bit more independent. Thanks for a great idea.

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