Journaling the Summer

Usually, the first few days of summer are a blur for us. It seems like there’s so much to do and so many places we need to go. But eventually the schedules do slow down. And, as with many families, they always slow down to the point where my children are saying, “What can I do? I’m bored!”  “Journaling” can help them get started in their quest for fun!

One of the items on our list of down-time activities this summer is journaling. Not only does it provide the kids with writing and spelling practice, it gets their creative juices flowing. They (and you!) also end up with a record of the summer’s events that will be a keepsake for years to come.

Even children who don’t usually like to write can journal. You can make the process as simple as it needs to be to suit your child’s age and personality. You might not focus spelling at all. Maybe you ask your child to just write four or five sentences. You child may surprise you and start writing a lot more!

Here’s a sample entry from one of my daughter’s journals. I didn’t correct or critique it; I just enjoyed reading it.

Mom made me clean my room. I did. It is a lot easier to find things. The Nelsons [cousins] are coming in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait. We have a violin performance thing soon. We might be able to go to the American Girl Store!!! I hope we can go. I am saving my money. That’s all.

Ready to get your child started? Here are some ways to make journaling part of the summertime fun:

  1. Go shopping with your child for a new journal. We often just use inexpensive composition notebooks, but even these come with covers in a wide range of colors and designs. You can also find more elaborate journals at bookstores, art supply stores, and Wal-mart or Target.
  2. Decide with your child how often he or she will write in the journal. We aim for five days a week, but in reality they usually write in it about three times a week.  If your child is involved in the decision-making, he or she will most likely be less-resistant to the idea.
  3. Help your child choose the best time to write in the journal. In the evening before bed might be a good time. That way, your child can capture all the events of the day. Or, if your child is too tired, try having him write first thing in the morning. You might save journaling as something to do indoors on a hot afternoon.
  4. As you go through the summer’s activities, consider taking photos and print them for your child. Then have him glue the photos to the corresponding journal pages.

To read more blogs about summer fun, try our reading blog at:  http://reading.smarttutor.com  Does your child like to journal? What has made journaling more enjoyable for your family?



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