Are you a good keeper of memories? I have to admit I enjoy scrapping and doodling in my little journals.
My love for documenting every day moments and special events has transitioned nicely into some of our homeschool practices.
Lapbooks and Notebooks have become a staple in our homeschool. I find that they provide a good record of what my son is learning or has learned. Plus, it has been fun for him to thumb back through them through the years. It has been a good measure of his progress.
Another (and much more productive) practice for us has been to start a series of Curiosity Journals. Mostly, these are notebooks that contain events and rabbit trails that weren’t part of any larger study or curriculum.
These Journals have endless options. You can make one for a specific topic or event or a whole year of exploration and discovery.
Summer is a good time for these rabbit trails and fun unit studies. Instead of creating the more formal notebooks we use during the year, I wanted to let Josiah to record his learning and life adventures in one fun book.
I’m the king of the world! At least the pond. Josiah really enjoyed this memory and wants to include it in his notebook.
Of course, this is something that can be done any time of the year. The whole idea fits in nicely with our “Delight-Directed” approach.
To start with, I had him list make a Bucket List. What did he want to do this summer? We added in our family vacation and listed a few of our normal summer habits; such as participating in our library’s summer reading program. One of our big week’s happened recently. Every year we have a Cousin Camp for my parents’ grandchildren. Of course, Cousin Camp made this list!
Then I had him make a list of a few things he wanted to learn more about this summer. What was he curious about? His list ranged from learning about The Titanic to researching the Houston Texans (he’s a football guy). He also wanted to memorize the States and their Capitols.
We started assembling his notebook.
We began with his list. We added a reading log so he could keep track of the books for the reading program. I also printed a map of the United States that marked the capitols for a handy tool.
We found a stack of cardstock in our stash and made a page for each of his bucket list items. We also added a page for any news events and “special mentions”. The Special Mentions page was for movie tickets, fun surprises or other things that didn’t have a home.
It has rained cats and dogs (and a few cows) here in the Ozarks this summer and we’ve dealt with major flooding. We printed off a neat chart of temperature and precipitation averages that covers the last 100 or so years. We also made sure to include pictures of familiar places that were underwater.
A picture from our week at ‘Cousin Camp.’ I’m the disapproving older gal in the front. Our theme was “Mystery.”
Our Summer Curiosity Journal has been easy peasy to make and manage.
We are never in short supply of 3 ring binders at our house (I buy them at The Thrift Store) and I have never met a plastic sleeve cover I didn’t like. I also make sure we are stocked up on colored pencils, stick glue and (my favorite) gel pens. I’m just a bit addicted.
We have a plethora of scrapbooking supplies we’ve gathered over the years. Josiah isn’t one for decorating his pages, but I’ve been known to add a sticker (or four).
If you are starting from scratch the best thing to do is start gathering supplies a little at a time. The Dollar Tree is a great place to stock up. I have also found that Tuesday Mornings has a really neat little scrapbook section. Of course, Hobby Lobby and Michaels both have great sales from time to time.
I use my scrapbooking supplies year round for our Notebooks, lapbooks and my own personal projects.
Little hand made books are always fun.
There are an enormous amount of things to think about when keeping a journal.
Here are a few ideas for yours:
- photos [include “selfies”]
- poems you’ve memorized
- coloring pages
- ticket stubs
- greeting cards
- post Cards
- articles and stories
- stickers and stamps
- journal entries
- pressed flowers and leaves
Cousin Camp books from a few years ago. You can use whatever floats your boat when creating a Curiosity Journal. These little books came from The Dollar Tree.
I do need to add just a little something. In the past, I struggled with making “suggestions” about what Josiah should add to his Bucket List or Curiosity Journal. “Don’t you want to learn about plankton?”
Let’s be honest. There will be time and opportunity for us to explore plankton. A Curiosity Journal needs to be about what sparks the child’s curiosity now.
This guy deserves a journal all his own. Don’t you think?
I do have to admit that I had to fight the urge to wrinkle my nose when Josiah added the football team on the list of things to explore, but just as a stone wall is built with one stone upon another so knowledge is built one question answered upon another.
Curious, isn’t it?
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.
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