Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let Me Jot That in My Journal

One way to keep your kids writing without all the stress of grading is to require a journal. This is not a diary for dreams and crushes, but a guided, informal, daily routine. The only true way to learn to write is to well…write, so the more often a student can force concepts into words on a page, the better writer he will become. The pressure of spelling and grammar and other conventions can erase most of the fun from the process of self-expression. Because I never corrected or graded journal entries, my children were free to write for the joy of it.

A child left on his own will find it difficult to produce material to write about every day, so we had lists of writing prompts that I’d made and several books filled with suggestions. They were free to choose to write on whatever question interested them that day. They always had the option of writing about whatever was on their minds at the time.

Many times the subjects my children explored in their journals ended up in their formal paragraphs and essays. Sometimes writing about an issue helped them to sort it out. And every time, the entries in those many years of journal writing were a record of what they thought about, what was important to them, what intrigued them, what made them laugh, and so much more.

So, if you’re thinking of how to shake up your writing routine a little, try journaling. There is really no reason not to!

No comments:

Post a Comment