I have always loved journals. There is something special about being able to look back and see your memories documented, and to see your personal growth over time. I kept journals until graduate school, at which point I could barely keep up with all the things. I returned to journaling after I graduated… until I had babies, at which point my world revolved around sleep (or lack thereof). Still, once the baby dust settled, I returned to journaling.
And then we started homeschooling and blogging about it and, well, journals have become a part of our daily life! Here are just a few ways I use journals in our homeschool:
- For planning (thanks to Sarah McKenzie for this great Spiral Notebook idea!)
- Nature journals are always in our Nature Explorer Packs!
- Doodle diaries
- Brave Writer free writes
- Just for fun- each kiddo has a journal in his or her bedroom with plenty of fun writing instruments, just as a way to encourage writing and art.
Most recently, we have started to use vacation journals.
Simple Learning with Vacation Journals
Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to document not only your homeschooling but also your children’s growth as writers. And I can tell you that my children love to read over their “diaries” and review past entries.
Our homeschool journals:
Journals can be an especially fun way to learn while on vacation!
We have several types of journals over here, but my absolute favorite is this Meade K-2 Primary Journal Creative Story Tablet because:
- It is durable
- It’s inexpensive
- It provides enough space for age-appropriate letter formation
- The top of each page is unlined, leaving space for art
We use these composition notebooks so much that I actually buy them in bulk via Amazon.
How we use our journals while on vacation:
We homeschool year round because my children thrive on routines. That said, when we are on vacation, we keep things relaxed. I want these journals to be a fun activity for my kids; the last thing I want to do is to stress them out while on vacation! I keep the journaling simple. All I ask is that they try to make an entry most days, and I ask that they date each page to help them later on when they look back on their entries.
Here are a few examples from our recent vacation:
My children pick the topic and write as little or as much as they would like. Some entries are long and detailed with fantastic illustrations while other entries are messy and choppy. My goal is to have the activity be fun and sometimes fun is messy!
Are you looking to inspire more writing at home? If so, check out these related posts:
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do your children love to journal? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram