I have friends that have bought expensive writing journals for their kids. They have creative journal notebooks, fancy topic starter kits, extensive lesson planners for the mom-teachers, and still the kids do not write. Too many rules and expectations, and in the end very little success.
How to get journaling instilled with your kids? Be an example. If you want them to write, you have got to write. It’s simple. We don’t need fancy notebooks or creative writing prompts; just find a good notebook, it can be cheap, dedicate it to journaling, and then leave it in a prominent place that will remind you to write.
After writing for a few days yourself, pull out a notebook for one or all of your kids. Set a short time for writing, and everyone writes. You can make it a swap, that after the session, you trade books and respond to each other, or it can be private and kept to yourself.
But what do we write about? One of the easiest things to start with, is just to write about yourself, your day, your thoughts. Make it a journal of some event that is happening. Journals can be messy with taped in ticket stubs, cartoons, and photos. They can be picking a memory from your past and putting it onto paper for preservation.
When we write, most of the time I do not correct anything. This is the chance to just get out the ideas and be creative. If I do correct, I ask permission first. If it is a journal for a purpose, then we might agree ahead of time that the red pencil will make appearances. For the most part, I want writing to become fluid, free, and abundant.
If I were to search out all the journals throughout the house I would find pirate journals, recipe journals, gardening journals, new story journals, diary journals, Magic Tree House Research journals authored by our son, scouting journals, prayer journals, favorite musical journals, my personal journals of favorite things the kids did or said, and journals written with grandparents.
The less rules placed on the journals, creates more abundance in the writing, more pages filled, and more stories created.