Journaling with Children
Most of us think of writing in a journal as a “diary” kept locked away or something we wrote in when we were teenagers. However, journaling is an essential literacy experience.
Journal is defined as…
1 a: an account of day-to-day events
b: a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use.
Given this definition, a journal can be a rich resource for all. For young children, journaling can be an opportunity to write the experiences and reflections of their lives. How can a preschool child journal if they cannot write?
Literacy activities are essential to the development of all young children. Many of us think literacy is simply print rich environments and books. Literacy goes far beyond this definition and includes the need to learn how to communicate with others.
Journaling with young children can accomplish many things, including:
- Experimentation with letters and their sounds and the use of inventive spelling in a no pressure environment.
- Children who journal are provided with the opportunity to understand how print concepts work. For instance, we write from the left to the right, print goes from the top to bottom, there is a difference between the print and the pictures, letters comprise words.
- Young children can learn there is value in writing.
- Writing develop fine motor skills.
- Writing and journaling also teaches children that their thoughts and feelings can be conveyed to paper, and can be shared with others.
Some tips on Journaling with your child
- Make the experience fun and relaxing! Foster a love of writing with your child!
- Your child can help create their journal. It can be a few pieces of paper folded in half or a store-bought notebook they can personalize.
- Adults should refrain their urge to “correct” anything in the journal. This is a place for the child to write or draw to express themselves. Invented spelling is fine as they learn to write and spell.
- Parents can write the date on a piece of paper and allow the child to practice writing the date themselves in their journal.
- Provide your child with a regular time to write in their journal and allow your child to journal where they feel comfortable. Children should have control over their creations and writing.
- Children will create wonderful stories they may want to share with you. Be receptive to their offers and create time to allow them to present their creations!
Creating a love for writing is a skill that your children will use for the rest of their lives!