Friday, November 30, 2012

What Is Journal Writing and How Do We Do It?

Recently a very good friend of mine that is also a homeschooling Mommy asked me if I had any ideas for writing prompts. While journal writing may come easily to some it can been extremely difficult for others. If you do not already do journal writing as part of your school day, but are interested here are some tips.

  • Set a budget before heading out & discuss this amount with your child before leaving. 
  • Allow the child to pick out their journal. As hard as it may be, do NOT offer any advice, "Oh sweetie look how nice this one is." or "How about we look for a different one." By giving the child the option to choose on their own they are more inclined to take to the idea of journal writing, even if they are a reluctant writer.
  • After they have picked our their journal check out the arts & crafts department to see if there are any stickers, specials pens or other decorations they'd like to use.
  • Once you are home allow you child to decorate their journal in any way they'd like.
  • Have your child write constructively in their journal for 10 solid minutes. Set a timer. If they are not using their timely wisely then restart the timer.
  • No two journal entries can be about the same thing. Each entry must be a new topic. 
Now, depending on your child's age & level of writing, here is a journal writing check list. 

  • Does your journal entry have a topic sentence?
  • Did you provided supporting details?
  • Did I indent each new paragraph?
  • Does my journal entry have an appropriate title?
  • Did I proof read, checking for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors?

Yang is unable to take her thoughts and put them on paper. She becomes very frustrated, discouraged and starts to shut down - sometimes even having a meltdown. If you have a younger child, or one that may be unable to journal writing as described above here are some tips for you.

  • Have the child verbally tell you everything they want to write about. As they are telling you, write it all down. Do not add capital letters, punctuation or correct any grammar mistakes. 
  • Once your child has all their thoughts out go over a few words at a time. Have your child identify where there needs to be capitals, spaces, punctuation and correct and grammar mistakes.
  • Once your child has made corrected everything have your child write their entry into their journal.
Next up:
December journal writing prompts

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