Journaling is a great way for you to help your children learn to enjoy writing. With a variety of things to write about, journaling can be interesting for a long time.
Journaling as a writing curriculum
Done correctly, journaling can be the backbone of your language arts curriculum. With each writing, you can review your child's writing with her. Help her correct misspellings. Help her correct punctuation. Advise her on grammar. Compliment improved penmanship. In areas in which she is struggling, you can help her find some other resources and activities that can strengthen those weaknesses. This way, her language arts learning is more focused than traditional curriculum. Instead of wasting time doing worksheets on things she already knows, you can focus on the concepts she is ready to learn now.
Additionally, journaling is far more enjoyable than worksheets. Your child might complain that worksheets are boring. Give your child the opportunity to choose what he wants to write in his journal. There are so many wonderful and inspiring things to write about. Journaling should be a rich and rewarding experience.
Who should write
It's a good idea for all students to keep a journal. For students who are not yet reading and writing, it will be necessary for you to take dictation from your child. Children love seeing their ideas on paper, even if someone else writes it for him. Have your child dictate to you the things he wants to express. You may want to have him write the first words, but then you can take over from there. Have your child with you as you write for him. Allow him to see how you write. Explain the punctuation you use. Point to the written words as you review what has been written. Do not feel a need to rush your child to become a prolific writer. Don't let an inability to write stand in the way of him enjoying the journaling process. A child who enjoys writing - even a little - will become a better writer than a child who hates to write. Keep the experience positive and powerful!
To start off, choose where the journal will be kept: book, binder, or digital?
Blank journal books are most widely used. They are easy to carry with you and fun to write and draw in. They are also good for adding stickers and gluing in mementos. They are best to do journaling on the go.
Some students enjoy the flexibility of a binder. A student can write on a sheet of notebook paper and then add it only when he is satisfied with it. The same binder can be a great place to keep other schoolwork as well.
Some students prefer to keep a digital journal. These are students who may be ready to type before they are ready to print. Digital journals are not as easy to include illustrations, but photos are fairy simple to add. A digital journal can easily lead to blogging. Blogging is a great way for your child to take an interest in writing well. She will want to make sure she does a good job in her writing in order to make a good impression on her followers. However, I recommend that a blog does not entirely replace the journal. It is important for a student to have a place to write things that are not intended for strangers to read.
To help the journal be more interesting, it is recommended that the student add drawings, stickers, photos, autographs, magazine clippings and mementos to their entries.You may want to carry scissors and stick glue with the journal so you can add a variety of interesting items. The journal should be interesting to browse for years to come.