There are many benefits of journal writing....
Students can write more freely, without the fear of the red pen, improve their vocabulary, explore and share their thoughts and the functional uses of language, improve their test scores, exercise their imagination, work through emotions and review and assess their own progress. The research on journal writing makes its value from pre-kindergarten through fifith grade, and even beyond, quite clear.
Research based journal writing strategies parents can use are:
Drawing before writing - instead of starting with writing, which is scary for some kids, start with a picture. When your child draws you can ask them about the details of the picture. Once they have had a chance to discuss what they have drawn, it will be easier for the child to write.
Think-Pair-Share - this is used in classrooms so many students will be familiar with the strategy. Spend a few minutes thinking and writing about a topic (you could write about a favorite memory, a special holiday, your pet- be creative!) then pair up with your child and share with each other what you have written.
Dialogue Journals - these are conversations on paper. Take a few minutes each day to write a note to your son or daughter in a notebook. They can write back to you and will have extra practice with writng skills.
To make writing more fun...
- you can use a homemade diary, journal, idea book or log, decorated by the child.
- the whole family can write a progressive story. (One family member can write the first paragraph, and then pass it to another, who will add a paragraph, until everyone has a turn and an end has been written.)