journaling a family habit

Journaling is the practice of writing your thoughts down.  We may journal our thoughts after a day’s work, or an event, or a thought.

My father in law has journalled every night for most of his life.  He is in the process of transcribing those diaries (which is an incredible family history and heritage) into digital format so they can be shared with the family.  There is no-one in my immediate family (Peter, myself or the kids) who are this diligent in journaling (or keeping a diary) though we try in different ways.

Scrapbooks:

Pictures may tell a thousand words, but there are always missing bits!  This year I need to (want to and must) catch up on the journaling in our photo albums.  I also want to encourage the kids to start scrapbooking.  I don’t want them to scrap every moment of their life but rather find a scrapbooking project and work on it throughout the year.  This is as much for the journaling experience as it is for the art of keeping photos.  This year I have embarked on a few journaling projects in the form of scrapbooking (I use Creative Memories digital programme: Storybook Creator Plus).  Thanks to faith-sisters I am journaling weekly on God’s Providence (His goodness to me and my family), and writing stories of my life so far (my life story).  I also have a long list of scrapbooking in general projects to work on but these two are my journaling projects.

Reading Journals:

I encourage the kids to read with a pencil in hand.  I am happy for them to underline and mark books they are reading (as I do) but the idea that books are friends and you treat them carefully (something I drummed into them when they were young) is too strong in their minds and they can’t bring themselves to do it!!  So they have their reading journal beside them and they copy quotes and record their thoughts and questions as they go along (which is ultimately a better idea than marking the book anyway).   One of my regrets in life is that I have not kept all the notes that I have made from books that I have read so I get my children to file their reading journal pages in amongst their study notes/binders so that they have a permanent record of thoughts and learning over the years.

Keeping a Diary:

I like this idea but I lack the consistency and commitment.  Keeping a diary can look very different than the dear diary of days gone by.  When I first had children I wrote letters to my mother (I wish I’d kept them) as they were a record of my new life.  When my children were younger my blog served as a diary of our activities and sometimes emotions we went through.  I’d like to get back into documenting our children’s learning a little better.  Some people do a photo a day type of scrapbook which serves as a diary – Daniel tried this last year but ran out of puff and enthusiasm.  This year Nomi and Daniel are both using a digital scrapbooking programme to keep a daily (or weekly) diary.  I am encouraged to see that so far this effort has been more about the words than the photos but the art side of it is fun so it inspires them to do more.  Some people keep a nature diary as they observe nature daily or travel.  The idea is that we write daily about our activities, feelings and thoughts.

Here are a few links that I’ve read over the last few weeks.  Keeping a diary seems to be a common new year resolution and if it is one of yours may I encourage you to find a way and a purpose that fits with your lifestyle and that it is realistic.

Journaling:  What to and What not to journal

The Benefits and How to (for Journaling)

Art Journaling (kids might like this one)

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