1. It's funIt is, and my children love me reading what they have written. I make sure that it stays fun and I don't correct what they write. I just read for enjoyment and because I do this, they love bringing it to me to read. I can see them watching my face as I do, to see my reactions.
2. Teaches writing skillsNot overnight but it does. The biggest challenge with any child in developing writing skills is to actually get them to write. I know the rest will come over time, but for the moment I just want them to write.
3. Consolidating experiencesSome of our writing exercises have been about excursions or adventures and so they get the opportunity to consolidate and express their experiences. It's interesting to me what they focus on - it's often the thing I least expect them to remember or be interested in. It also gives them an opportunity for written narration because of this.
4. It's not just about writing it's about creative expressionThere is art, list making, collages, photos - but it's all about them and it's all varied. I love the fact that journaling is like art. It can be done in so many ways, it's personal and no two pages look the same. Journalling is a platform of creativity in so many ways.
5. Giving children the opportunity to express their feelings on difficult issuesGiven the opportunity - children are very honest writers.(this comes with a warning - they can be brutally honest) but I think its good. Especially if you suspect that they are dealing with something in their lives, choosing a subject to write about wisely, gives them the opportunity to talk through some of the things they are wrestling with.
6. Develop a love for writingI love writing. Am I a good writer? I would say I am so so but that doesn't stop me from doing it. I believe that reading and writing go hand in hand and it happens when they are passionate about it and love it. There is nothing in their heads that say - no you can't do ti!
7. Put into practice the theory of grammar and languageJournaling allows children to put into practise so much of what they have learnt. Having said this - I do not correct grammar and spelling in their journals. I do however make a note and try and cover some of those issues with them, when we do any other English work
8. Memory MomentsSuch precious memories to them, to me, to the family can be found between the pages of their journals and I hope that one day they will be able to read back and remember all the good things they did.
9. Getting to know my childI know this is a semi-selfish reason but sometimes they write things that bring tears to my eyes, make me laugh, reveal an aspect of who they are that I didn't know (Can you believe that its possible? But they constantly show me a different facet of their personalities and boy are they complex). I think they also get to find out who they are too.
10. A Writing PortfolioBecause I give the children such a variety of topics, they eventually end up with a writing portfolio which showcases what they can do. Bearing in mind that it is a journal and they probably won't always deliver top of the range work - I think there will be so much to choose from that you will be spoilt for choice. We have included items like: writing their own menus, letter writing, descriptive writing, lists, poetry - the list is endless.
I hope that I have maybe motivated or encouraged you to start journaling or to persevere in it. It might not come naturally to you because you don't or didn't journal but keep on with it! It's worth every minute and every bit of effort you put in!