5 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Start Journaling Now
Journaling is an asset for people of all ages, but especially for young children who are just starting to read, write, and express themselves. Most of us associate journaling with writing about our daily experiences and thoughts. But a journal can serve a much greater purpose . . .
Journals are powerful instruments that kids can use to exercise motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and have unlimited fun with while learning. It gives them a creative outlet for dealing with challenges and healing emotions. Think: bully at school or fears about speaking in front of the class.
It also allows them to build out a greater sense of their own character. Plus, journals – whether they’re vacation journals, dream journals, or simple dairies – are a wonderful way to relive the past and see how far you’ve come!
Working Through Academic Challenges
Journals aren’t limited to daybooks or diaries. You can use them for academic learning too. Just create a different journal for each area of study such as English, science, math, and arts and crafts. The primary hook for getting children involved in learning is by making learning fun. Plus, journals are a safe place to get reflective and work through problems. There are no test questions here and no one will be grading a journal.
So whether your young one is facing difficulties learning the ABCs or is having a tough time solving mathematical equations, keeping a journal can actually have a hugely positive impact.
An English journal is a sharp tool for learning how to read, write, and communicate. For instance, some kids have trouble sounding out words, so by having them write the words down as they say them out loud not only helps to develop hand-eye coordination, but helps to flex their learning muscles visually and kinesthetically. This is a great way to help children retain information. They’ll be improving their vocabulary and writing skills, as well as their motor skills!
Do you have a future paleontologist on your hands? A journal of dinosaurs can help them categorize and organize their favorite creatures while building on their scientific knowledge and working out their language skills. Is math particularly challenging? Have your kids work out different concepts in their journal using drawings and stickers to get through arithmetic.
Kids are not always going to be in the mood to dive into anything directly related to studying, and your kid doesn’t have to! Learning doesn’t have to be serious, but it can be seriously fun by making your journal into an arts-and-crafts project.
Make your journals playful by using all sorts of colors, shapes, and stickers – nothing is off limits because it is all educational. Your children will be personalizing their book and will be more likely to come back to it again and again.
Exploring Identity Through Journaling
From a young age, kids feel pressured to figure out who they are, what they want to be when they grow up, or where they fit in. Not all kids will know the answers to half of these questions, and some may not even have an answer to any of them; but that’s okay because there is great excitement in exploring one's identity. Through journaling kids can truly discover who they are – or who they want to be.
Strengthening Language and Motor Skills
Perhaps the greatest thing about journaling is that while your children are focused on getting the content of their amazing All I Know about Outer Space or The Flowers in my Garden journal together, they’ll be reaping plenty of benefits. Not only will they be regularly strengthening their pencil hold, perfecting their letters, and writing on the lines, they’ll also be building essential language skills such as:
- Learning the power of self-expression
- Putting new words to use
- Playing with the double meanings of words
- Practicing handwriting skills: tracing numbers, letters, and shapes
- Strengthening grammar and punctuation skills
- Better retaining information through repetition and documentation
Expressing Craftsmanship Through Journaling
Getting your hands (and possibly clothes) dirty with your children just might be what they need to really lock in those color wheels, shapes, plants, vocabulary, and whatever else into their memory banks. Try planning an arts and crafts session at least once a week. You will need a couple of blank journals and a spread of art supplies.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stay at home, you can always take it outdoors – in the garden or a park. If you happen to find yourself hurting for ideas, head out to a museum for some inspiration. When you are done exploring, you can set up your space on the patch grass that sits in front of the museum and create an artsy journal together based on what you learned inside!
Your children will have so much fun designing their Super Scientific or Amazing Art Journal that they won’t even realize they are actually learning. By going the extra mile, you will have given your children an experience they could not get otherwise.
Bonding Over Journaling
Being a part of an interactive activity like journaling isn’t only fun, it’s also an effective way to bond and create a strong connection with your child. There will be a greater sense of trust and communication built into your relationship. Your kids will understand the importance you place on expression and they will want to be a part of it too.
Does your child keep a journal? What do they enjoy writing about? Share with us!