Jump Start Your Child’s Journaling

Summer is the perfect time to introduce your child to journaling. With so many new adventures, there's more inspiration to journal and opportunities to experience its many rewarding benefits. Not only does journaling offer a historical picture that lets your homeschooler see where he's been and evaluate his personal growth, but it also provides a healthy emotional outlet for his thoughts and feelings. In fact, according to research by Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, writing down one's deepest feelings each day for 15 to 20 minutes can even lead to a healthier immune system and improved grades.

Consider these following suggestions to bring out your child's inner writer this summer:

1. Designate a specific time. Whether morning, afternoon, or evening, help your child establish a regular routine of about 20 minutes to write down his thoughts.

2. Write about anything and everything. In addition to life-changing events, encourage your child to write about ordinary, everyday things that seem unimportant, like people he met, what he saw, and where he went.

3. Express emotions fully. Whether writing about troubles, fears, or dreams, teach your child to see his journal as a trusted friend, where he can enjoy his privacy and say exactly what he is feeling at that moment.

4. Don't worry about spelling and grammar. Just let the words flow and tell him not to pause or slow down to re-read what he's written.

5. Encourage more than words. Draw pictures, include photos, or have him simply draw a face to represent what he's experiencing that day.

6. Start small. If your child finds it difficult to write, have him begin by just keeping a one-sentence daily journal.

7. Use a variety of formats. Mix it up by having your child write by hand in an age-appropriate, attractive book using colorful gel pens, download a journaling app for a tablet, or take advantage of the journal widget in Switched-On Schoolhouse®.

Remember, journaling should be a pleasant experience and not just another assignment. It's your child's time to reflect, think, and record his observations on the world around him. Who knows? By the end of summer, he may even love journaling and establish a habit that benefits him for years to come.

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Comments(1 comment)

JAN C 08/09/2011 07:41:25

This is soooo important for children and parents, alike! Many people don\'t adequately know how to express their feelings--keeping a journel can help!!

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