Back before I got married, I was a dedicated journal keeper. I think I have seven volumes detailing my years as a girl who liked to kiss boys. Seriously, if I could go back in time I would give myself a kick in the rear. Who knew there was so much more to life than boys?? Not me.
Ever since I have been married, I’ve thought, “Now THIS is the stuff I would love to record for posterity.” But, have I done it?? Nope. Until, yesterday.
For one of my New Year’s resolutions, I decided to start journaling again. The second part of my resolution is to get my kids to keep a journal too. What’s so fantastic about journaling, you say?? Well, for one…posterity. It’s fun for your kids to be able to see that you were young too…because sometimes its just too hard to believe. It’s also fun for yourself to look back and remember past events and feelings. Another reason that I’ve personally discovered is that it’s therapeutic. We could all use a little therapy, right? Oh, and lastly…it’s one more way to practice handwriting, coming from a homeschooling mama.
(My Book About Me is SO cute for kids ages 4 – 6…or who can’t write much on their own.)
So, yesterday I gathered the kids together and gave them a little lesson about journals. I talked to them about WHY they are so great. I mentioned several books that we are lucky to have because people have kept journals. And, THEN….I pulled out my journal from when I was there age. I read them several pages and had them cracking up. They especially liked the entry, “Dear Diary, Right now I’m going to the bathroom.” Funny, I haven’t changed much in 23 years. They got to look at some of my drawings in there and read the threats to my brother (in case he was reading it…which, I’m sure he was.)
(All About Me is a great journal for kids that want writing prompts, such as, “Write about your biggest hero.”)
I then presented them, and myself, with a journal of their own. I told them that journaling was now going to be part of our homeschool routine. The best part of it, for me, was that I would be doing it right along side them. One of the things I’ve learned about homeschooling is that it’s easiest and most rewarding if you drop everything and work right along side them….as opposed to running back and forth to check on them. When it’s reading time, I pull up a book and read too. Now, journaling time…we’ll write together.
(This Classic Journal is the exact kind I bought for us and also what all my childhood journals were done in. There are several colors available and two different sizes, large and small. It’s nothing fancy…but, I like it. Plus, it’s hard to find big size ones like this. Small paper can be a pain to write on!)
So, we wrote. Of course, I had some major catching up to do…it sounded a little something like this, “Ten years ago, I got married. Now, I have 5 kids.” I told the kiddos if they can’t think of much to say, I’ll give them a topic. Topics could be any random deep question that would help the reader get to know them better. At first, my little Shane was irritated and said there was nothing he wanted to write. But, when I told him that journals were private and nobody (not even me) would read it without permission…it seemed to set him free. He has been carrying it around all day an writing in it and drawing randomly. I actually had to stop him and let him know he wouldn’t be getting a new book every day, so slow it down a little! But, I’m glad they are open to the idea and I’m excited to have it be a part of my life again.
(If you want a book to have some “writing prompts” on hand for the kids, my kids love this one…The Kids Book of Questions.)
So, that’s that. Journaling is great. Journaling is good. You should do it.