One of my favorite things about our home­school is the journaling.

A few years ago, I started hav­ing my chil­dren jour­nal daily. They are free to write about what­ever they want.

They can draw pic­tures, write just a cou­ple of sen­tences, or an entire story. I don’t grade them for con­tent or gram­mar. Or spelling. I want them to be free to write with­out aban­don. {Is that the right phrase?}

And they love it.

Some­times they com­plain about not know­ing what to write about. I can under­stand that! They always fig­ure it out though.

Other times, they are all writ­ing about some great adven­ture we either just did or they are look­ing for­ward to doing.

The jour­nals cap­ture a snap­shot of their lives, and my desire is that one day they will look back and remem­ber some major and minor events that they thought wor­thy of writ­ing about.

Like trips. And birth­days. And sick­ness and health…Oh, wait.

And fires, or other tri­als that drew them closer to God.

Oh, how I love the pic­tures that accom­pany their entries. I love it how they change and mature and morph from stick peo­ple with crazy hair, to more sophis­ti­cated peo­ple or ani­mals. And their thoughts mature, their writ­ing struc­ture becomes more in depth and com­plex, their per­son­al­i­ties com­ing through more and more.

I do love how skinny she makes me.

I do love how skinny she makes me.


She really does like to go to the den­tist, even though it looks like he is throw­ing up.

At the Dentist

At the Dentist

I do sup­pose some­times the pic­tures are a bit graphic. What can I say. It’s life on a farm.


Look at the guy in the window yelling. So true to life...

Look at the guy in the win­dow yelling. So true to life…

I pray that I am cre­at­ing a way for my chil­dren to look back and remem­ber what was impor­tant to them on any given day in their young lives. How their wor­ries were sim­ple, and their dreams were big. How mommy and daddy were safe and big. Well, not “big”, but you know what I mean.

My chil­dren love jour­nal­ing. Emma just gave me a gift this past week. She thought of it and bought it all on her own with her own money. It was a jour­nal. How spe­cial that was to me.

Are you cap­tur­ing your children’s thoughts? Have you thought about this idea? My boys may not have been so thrilled about the jour­nal, but my girls sure do love it. I do wish I had started this idea when my boys were small. I feel like I’ve missed out on the oppor­tu­nity to cre­ate a love of writ­ing for them. But, we can’t live in regret. I cher­ish what we have, and will con­tinue to do so. Some days my hus­band and I pull out the jour­nals and just roar with laugh­ter. And some­times we tear up at what they find impor­tant or has made an impact on their lives. Trips, joys, ani­mals, loss. All cap­tured by the heart of a child, in their per­spec­tive. Priceless.

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  1. I believe the cor­rect state­ment is to do some­thing “with aban­don”. You are too cute!

    • I knew it didn’t sound quite right. This morn­ing Mike was read­ing my post, and he was gig­gling. I thought, “Boy, he must think I’m witty and clever. He prob­a­bly thinks I’m beau­ti­ful too.” You know, I add that last part for good mea­sure. Nope. He thinks it is sooo funny that I always mess up my phrases. He did tell me he thinks I’m cute. Whatever.

  2. Heather says:

    I love the SIMPLICITY of what you shared Tonya! Well artic­u­lated & actu­ally, I thought your “with­out aban­don” phrase was on pur­pose. LOL! Since you were speak­ing about encour­ag­ing our chil­dren to write, draw; to sim­ply EXPRESS them­selves with­out any con­cern for us “grad­ing them” on it. How long do you gen­er­ally encour­age them to jour­nal? Warm Hearted Bless­ings from the serene TX Hill Coun­try. ~ <3 ~

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