08 August 2014

Journals that are Fun, and Pretty and it makes your kids want to write in them.

At our house writing seems to be the most disliked activity. Although during our home school walk I have become a firm believer that you need to read to be a better writer, and write to be a better reader. 

There is tons of data to back this up, however I saw it first hand with our oldest in Kindergarten. She loved to read everything and anything, however she did not like to write. I made the mistake of putting writing on the back burner, which made us both happy, for a little while. Then when she started First Grade and was required to write more she was stumped and got easily frustrated, which did not make either of us happy. She had no problem reading her spelling list but could not for the life of her spell the words themselves. It was then that I realized how important they are to each other. So entered keeping a journal. 
***Side note did you know "journaling" is not a word, yes it is not a word, look it up. I learned something new today.
Journal writing was not something that was met with a lot of excitement. So this year summer I decided to take a different approach. Especially since princess 2 would be starting more of a formal education. Shes right in between preschool and Kindergarten this year. I wanted her to get used to the idea of keeping a journal in hopes of having less resistance in following years. I can hope right.
So what did I do? First I downloaded a whole bunch of silly pictures and some pictures of stuff that we would be covering this year in history,then I gave their journals a makeover. 
Here is some of the pictures

Now to the fun part, the makeover. I started with a regular primary journal and a sketch book. For my older princess I chose the primary journal that is half lined so she could paste our silly pic in there or draw her own picture to illustrate her story. For princess #2 I chose a sketch book since we are just working on letters, letter sounds and just a few sight words. This way she could draw her "story" then I have her dictate to me and I write. I let her fill in words that she knows or that we are working on, with the hope eventually she will write most of it and I will just help where needed. 

The girls had bought some colorful duct tape at our last AWANA store night, and I knew it would be perfect for this project. 
I used plain paper on the inside and outside since the printed duct tape was kind of transparent. It also made a nice inside cover that we could use for pictures of the girls during that year.

Next I just layered strips next to each other to cover the front and frame the inside. Yes I wasn't to perfect and there were some wrinkles in the tape, but the girls don't seem to mind and I was to tired to try and re-do it. I was about 7 months along with princess #3 and I am suffering from lack of energy, and brain power. So please excuse any grammatical errors in these posts. 

We started this as a summer journal but I believe we will continue to use it during the school year. The girls really love writing in these.

I will keep you posted as to how they do with this type of writing. I do want to mention that I do not correct any spelling in here. This is their free space to write as they wish. I do this for 2 reasons. First my oldest is now in second grade and has tons of other writing and spelling to do that I have to correct and grade. So this gives her a free space to not worry about if she is right or wrong grammatically or with spelling. She can just get her thoughts down and have fun with words. It also serves as an indicator to me as to what she needs to work on. Right now it is story flow and details but I wouldn't know this if I didn't let her free write. 

What tips and tricks have you used to help your children write? I would love to hear other ideas. 

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