Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Journaling for Kids

Wow, it's June already.  We did a combination of home education and public education this year, so we're more aware of the school year's close than we have been in the past.  It's a big deal around here: the kids have worked hard and accomplished some awesome goals.

But there's lots of work ahead of us through the summer, too.  My six and seven-year-olds will keep working on reading skills.  We'll be participating in the library's summer reading program.  And I have three kids who will be journaling over the summer.

My eleven-year-old and seven-year-old are journaling because they need more work on their writing skills.  For my six-year-old, though, we're focusing on labeling what he draws.  He draws very detailed pictures, but describing what he's done is a weak point.



So, I picked up a set of these cool primary journals from Mead.  They feature a nice big space to draw, and a good amount of space to write, lined appropriately for primary students.  Each child has their own, and we sit down to write in them each morning before we head out into our day.

My seven-year-old really hates having to write, so I make sure and focus on how much space he has to draw and then ask him to tell me a little about the picture in the writing space below it.  I don't try to make him fill up all of the writing space.  A sentence or two is his limit, for now.  Making it a brief part of our routine helps.

My eleven-year-old Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan has the Do-It-Yourself Book on her wishlist, so she's taking to journaling even better than I expected.

It's amazing how many wonderfully tempting journals there are for kids.  Pink princesses and bright animals and everything else you could imagine.  But for now, for our basic summer work, the simple mead primary journals are exactly what we need.

Sometimes my kids have trouble thinking about what they want to write, so I'll give them prompts based on whatever activities we've been doing lately.  Usually, I'll list 2 or 3 so they can choose their favorite.  But if they have trouble deciding, I'll ask them to write about something specific: our last trip to the wild animal park, the birthday party they attended - something fun.  That hasn't failed me yet.

Need prompt ideas?

Try:
Scholastic Story Starters
30 Creative Writing Journal Prompts for Kids
Writing Ideas for Elementary Kids

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